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The Tiger Hunt

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Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 908
Location: Athens Ohio
The Tiger Hunt  Reply with quote  

A/N: I wrote this for english class. The teacher projected a painting called The Tiger Hunt on the overhead and told us to write a story about it. This is what I wrote. It turned out to be an excersize in editing (this is draft 5 >_<) but w/e. Enjoy!

The village council has decided that the beast is a menace that must be disposed of. It is supposed to be a great honor to be chosen for the hunt, but it doesn’t feel like an honor to me. The tiger only hunts for food and takes no more than it needs. Should we not show it the same respect?
The one who strikes the finishing blow has the supposed honor of wearing the pelt. My brothers boast over their drinks, each claiming that he will be the one to win the pelt. My eldest brother boasts loudest of all. I notice, for what seems like the millionth time, how brilliantly green his eyes are compared to the muddy brown of the rest of my siblings. I only wish I could be deaf to their boasts of bloodlust.
When thinking of a place to flee to, I suddenly remember a cave that I knew in my youth. It has always been a quiet place. I duck away from the crown and walk the formerly familiar path that has become overgrown with vegetation. The night air is warm and the sound of my brothers fades away, leaving only the soft sounds of the night.
I reach the cave and find that I am not the only refugee to seek asylum here. The mud from this afternoon’s rain is imprinted with giant pawprints leading in but not out.
I walk into the cave unarmed and helpless. Before me is the beast whose fate is to be decided the next day, and at its feet are two playful young. The beast growls at me and I sink to my knees before it. It seems to know that I mean no harm. I slowly approach and one of the young scampers out to greet me. It has never known fear. Before I know it, an hour has passed and I am forced to return to the village, dreading the next day’s events.
After a restless sleep, my brothers wake me at dawn to prepare for the hunt.
“Are you ready?” my oldest brother asks, his bright green eyes staring into my barely open ones. “The tiger wakes at dawn and so must we.”
“I’m ready,” I say, mounting my horse and reluctantly taking up a spear.
We track the magnificent creature vigilantly. I pretend not to know where to go, trying to buy time for the beast’s escape. However, my brother is exceedlingly fast at everything he attempts. Before we know it, we locate the tiger.
I am the first in the pack of hunters, so I am expected to give the first strike. The tiger is minding its own business, devouring its first catch of the day. I aim my spear, praying that Shiva will guide my spear away from the creature. At this movement, the tiger springs up to bite my horse.
My brothers run in with their spears, shouting for me to strike, but I cannot. My eldest brother’s vivid veridian eyes flash as he throws his spear. Unfortunately, he misses his mark and his spear pierces me through the heard. The pain wrenches my consciousness and I succumb to the oncoming darkness. The last thing I see is the tiger lunging at his throat.
The wheel of life turns on, and my karma leads me here. Ten years later I am back in this same cave. I examine my new paws and orange and black fur. My stomach releases a moan of hunger and I pounce out of the cave to find a suitable prey, becoming a streak of color as I move. My mate, who I had known before as the kitten who had greeted me years ago in this very cave, waits for me to bring back meat for our young.
After a brief hunt, I encounter a suitable deer. I give chase and notice its impressive speed. I pounce. Just as the deer takes its last breath, I notice its familiarly green eyes.
The tiger only hunts for food and takes no more than it needs. I did not mean to kill that incarnation of my brother any more than he meant to kill the human incarnation of me. I only hope that his karma allowed him to venture on a favorable path after he had been so unjustly punished. But the wheel of life turns on. Someday my brother and I will meet again. I hope that next time, we both survive the encounter.
Totus Floreo Totus Ardeo

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