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Prowling Tiger, Hidden Human  by creativesoul

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             No matter how carefully I placed each step, the dry leaves still crackled under my large paw. No one seemed alarmed except the birds in the trees.  A large wall loomed in front of me as I emerged through the flax leaves. Initially deterred by its size, I was about to turn and go back the way I came. Then, a scent caught my sensitive nose, a scent I could not resist.

                With one swift, fluid movement, I crouched, leapt, and scaled the large green wall.  The sun had almost disappeared from behind hills, and it would soon be dark. I knew had to find some food and get back to my young.

                Dexterously, I jumped from the top of the wall, and landed on the much shorter grass on the other side. There was little to hide behind here, which made me initially nervous. Pausing briefly, I assessed my surroundings, checking for initial signs of danger, or an imminent threat. I saw none. All the same, I stayed close to the shadow of the wall. Fortunately with the fading light, any potential predator would have to be wary, as in this dim light, I had the distinctive hunting edge. Also, my stripes would camouflage me, and keep me out of sight until I could strike.

                My strong muscular legs propelled me forward, but very slowly, speed was not required here, stealth was more important. I raised my head slightly towards the sky, I caught a stronger scent of the smell which had brought me here, I was close.

                Stopping deathly still, I looked to my left. A light had appeared, a very bright light. No sun or reflection. It was smaller, but more intense. It was contained within a small area. I stayed very still, watching to make sure it did not pose any threat. Just as I was about to move forward, a shadowy figure moved within this light, catching my eye immediately. A large, upright being. It was taller than I was, standing on its two legs, but nowhere near as muscular. If anything, it was a curious shape, the middle of it seemed much larger than the rest, disproportionately so.

                Some of the other tigers had spoken of these large upright beings, often in a very negative way. On the few occasions they had seen them, they had been carrying items in their hands, which they were using to kill our kind, for no apparent reason. To my knowledge, at least a few of them had been killed, when threatening fellow tigers. Apparently without those metallic objects in their hands, they were quite an easy kill, according to those involved.

                The tall upright figure with the large middle, now moved forward, closer to me. I could still smell the scent, it was strong now, my nose attuned.  Despite the upright figure in the bright box, I wearily moved forward, slowly. Although my frame was large, years of hunting instinct and watching mother, had taught me how to move unnoticed through all types of terrain, this should be no different. I kept to the shadowy areas, always keeping an eye on the upright being behind the abnormal light. The scent was very strong now, the source must only be a short distant. I focused in on the scent, my nose twitching at the slightest change of wind direction, making sure I was headed the right way.

                Just then, a second abnormal light came on, though this one seemed much brighter, and it was outside the box. Suddenly the whole area I was in, become extraordinarily illuminated. The shadows that previously hid me, now disappeared into the night, appearing to vanish. I froze, exposed, nowhere to hide. My heart started to race. I was prepared for battle immediately.

                Still standing very still, not moving a muscle, I waited. A sound caught my attention, it was coming from the largely lit box, which was now harder to see, because of the blinding light coming from the front of it. The upright figure with the large middle appeared. It had come out of the box, and was descending down to ground level, slowly. It was carrying, something large, black and shiny. An unusual shape it was.

                As I crouched slightly lower to the ground, trying to minimize my profile,  my nose reacted. Suddenly the air was filled with all sorts of interesting scents, many of which I could not discern.  The upright figure carried the object to another larger one, dropping it inside. More scents, it was almost overwhelming, I had now lost the original scent which had bought me here in the first place.

                Completely fixated with all the different smells, I hadn't noticed that a small creature of the undergrowth had found its way onto my large paw. Suddenly a sharp jabbing pain made my jump, shaking my paw to get rid of the pest. When I looked up, the upright being was frozen, looking directly at me. It's eyes were wide, its mouth was open. Quickly, I tried to assess the situation, was it about to strike? I wasn't sure. In anticipation, I crouched down lower to the ground and let out a menacing growl, exposing my teeth,  which glistened in the bright lights.

               Without warning, or it would seem reason, the upright figure with large middle, seemed to topple, like a falling tree, into a heap on the ground. Stunned, I watched on, contemplating it may be a ruse, to lull me in. My alertness levels stayed high. But it didn't move, just lay there, in a heaped mess on the ground under its bright lights.

                Twitching slightly, my nose had picked up the scent again. Staying in my low, crouched position, I moved slowly towards to origin. There was a large structure up against the far fence, roughly my height, dark and square. It seemed the scent was emanating from there. Still keeping one eye on the crumpled, no longer upright figure on the ground, I moved quickly and quietly towards the scent. Now it was so strong I could almost taste it.

                Upon reaching the square structure, I spotted the objects laying on top. Several small pieces of meat, inexplicably black in colour, lay on a flat surface. Turning to check on the figure, it had not moved. Was it dead? It was hard to be sure. I had not inflicted any damage on it, not even got close. I had never managed to kill a being with only my roar before.

                Not wasting any more time in contemplation, I took the black pieces of meat of the surface, secured them within my powerful jaws, and with one final check of the figure, still crumpled on the ground, I broke into a run. In one deft move, I leapt the wall, instantly feeling safer once back in the darkness of the jungles' shadows, and away from the glaring light. Night time had now fallen completely, the moon glowing, slightly illuminating the dark jungle.

                With swift, long strides, I ran through the jungle, clutching the food in my jaws still, anticipating my young ones would be waiting, and be hungry. This would not be the food they were used to. Even as I ran, I noticed that while it was the distinct smell of meat, the taste was quite different to that which we were used to. None the less, it was meat, and my job for tonight was done. My young would not go hungry.

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  'Prowling Tiger, Hidden Human' statistics: (click to read)
Date created: May 16, 2010
Date published: May 16, 2010
Comments: 12
Tags: tiger
Word Count: 5775
Times Read: 217
Story Length: 1