********

Sunday, August 13, 2006.

"What is wrong, Tigress?" said the Wind to the
female tiger that walked the ground, deep within
the green of the jungle.

"But a thought."  She replied.

The Wind blew kindly against her furred ears, as if
to tease them softly.  "Is it the trail you followed on
and off the last week -- is that what is bothering
you?"

The Tigress simply walked forward, on trails only
the tigers can see.  "Tis true," she replied, "The
scent was not old."

"Yes..." replied the Wind softly.

"And now," said the Tigress, lowering her large
head in sadness, "The trail has ended for a time."

[Now, tigers cannot cry.  But if the Tigress was a
people-one, she would have been in tears.]

The Wind was silent and blew a comforting cool
breeze on her back.

The Tigress continued her slow walk.  A foolish
doe-brook wandered the trail before her, turned,
saw the Tigress, and fled.  But the golden one paid
the prey no heed.

She whispered, "Pushed... Pushed Time."  The
Wind heard her whisper.

[For the tigers have no words for a "broken heart".
 Instead, they mention the time when they are
half-grown, and their mother pushes them away...
away forever... the relationship changed forever...
a time that can never be relived, only recalled.  To
the tigers, such a feeling is called "Push Time".]

"Push Time?" echoed back the Wind softly.

"Yes...." She whispered back.  "The trail has
ended... the scent will grow old... tis Push Time...."

The Tigress stopped walking, and then slowly,
raised her striped head.  She began to pant, and
her golden eyes became wider... as if recalling the
panic of when she experienced Push Time herself,
so many years ago.  Her claws flexed, as if wishing
to hold to the past.

And then, it began.  A growl so soft, but so guttural,
that it rumbled and tore ever louder through her
throat.  All her white teeth showed as if in rage; yet
the claws sank deeper into the jungle floor, as if
refusing to release the past.

The jungle around her reacted by becoming totally
silent - for they thought they heard an enraged and
perhaps wounded tigress.

The growl ended.

Her head slumped back down.

The panting slowly ceased....

The golden eyes seemed to shrink in size, until they
were normal... yet the eyes seemed to be
searching for some one.

The Tigress walked forward very slowly, and into a
thicket of bamboo.  In the dead center of the
bamboo, where the moss was growing soft green
on dead yellow and brown, she circled slowly, and
then lowered herself to the ground.

"Push Time..." she whispered, perhaps to herself,
or perhaps to the Wind, "Push Time... Push Time...
Push Time...."

The Wind blew comforting cool air upon her, and
slowly, she stumbled into a troubled sleep.



********

Friday, August 18, 2006.

"He was savage." Said the Tigress, while watching
the shallow water that raced from an upper pool to
a lower one.

"That he was." Replied the Wind.

"The Black Tiger would choose whom to help."  
Continued the Tigress, watching through the
ripples.  Here, at the shallow between the pools,
she hoped to spy a fish racing from one pool to the
other - its back fin would break the water's surface.

"And," continued the Tigress intently watching the
water as the Wind blew into her face, "the Black
Tiger simply believed that all tigers should be able
to change their color."

"He did not 'simply believe'," replied the Wind, "He
believed simply.  There is a difference."

"Hah." Replied the Tigress, blinking as the Wind
continued to blow into her face, making the
Silver-hunt all the more difficult.

"Perhaps you should forgive him." Said the Wind.

"What?" Replied the Tigress, and she turned her
head away from watching the shallows, and turned
her back on the Wind.  "Do you recall how the Black
Tiger drove away all the tigers that had the
'Mark'?"

"Tis true."  Replied the Wind.

The Tigress continued, growing angrier, "You
interrupt my hunt to tell me to forgive the Black
Tiger?  You disturb my hunger by reminding me of
all the pain he gave me?  He drove out all the tigers
that did not have black above both eyes!"

"Tis true."  Replied the Wind once again.

"Because I had the 'Mark' - orange above both
eyes - he drove me out from the richness of the
jungle that he owned!"

"Tis true, again, Tigress."  Replied the Wind.  "But
still, you should forgive him."

"Wind," replied the Tigress, "You are stubborn."  
And with that, she turned her head back toward
the shallows with the Wind still blowing straight into
her face.

Suddenly, she saw a fin breaking through the top of
the shallows - it was a 'Silver', as the tigers called
the large fish.  The Tigress pounced into the water!  
The Silver moved between her paws!  The Tigress
kicked out her back legs, and swung a large wet
paw in the direction of the Silver!

The Silver flew through the air, glistening with a
thousand drops of water spraying like jewels in
every direction ... and then, the Silver landed upon
the jungle embankment.

The wet Tigress leaped back to the embankment,
and sank her teeth into the Silver.  With the fish still
in her mouth, she shook all her striped body,
sending the water from her fur in every direction.

As she walked away, prey in mouth, from the
water's edge, that is exactly, and precisely, when
the Wind changed direction.

The Tigress sniffed the air, and then spit the dead
Silver from her mouth.  "The Black Tiger is near
here!  You hid his scent from me, Wind!"

"And so," replied the Wind, "what now, dear
Tigress?"

"Pain for pain," she growled, "claw for claw!  I
remember when my friend was dying, and the
Black Tiger refused to even give her access to
water.  I am not weakened as she was - let him
taste my claws!"

And the Tigress moved forward, but three steps,
and then she saw him.  The Black Tiger had come
within yards of her location, and she had not even
been aware of it due to the Wind blowing in the
opposite direction.

"Black!" the Tigress roared.  "Let us 'debate' once
again!"

"Ho!" hissed back the Black Tiger, as if talking to
the sky, "Who disturbs me from my jungle?  Who
comes to raid my riches?"

"Look at me!" roared the Tigress.

But the Black Tiger took two steps back... awkward
steps... and his eyes looked straight ahead, yet his
head moved from left tlo right, as if searching for
the source of the roar.

"He is blind now...." Whispered the Wind softly to
the Tigress.

The Tigress did not answer the Wind, but continued
her low growling, moving her head lower, bracing
both front legs, digging in the back legs - she was
now in the strike-and-kill position.  One leap, and
the Black Tiger would feel her fangs and claws.

"He is also crippled now...." Whispered the Wind
softly to the Tigress.

The Tigress stopped her growling, but her body still
remained in the strike-and-kill position - like a
golden arrow pulled back into the bow used by the
people-ones.

"He has very little jungle given to him now...."
Whispered the Wind.

"Very little?" Whispered back the Tigress, her neck
muscles beginning to relax and lifting her head.

"Yes, Tigress."   Softly answered the Wind.  "I had
to reduce his pride of territory, so that he would do
less damage."

"Who whispers!"  Roared the Black Tiger, more
uncertain now.  "Who comes to destroy what I
glory in!  Who comes to ... comes to ... " and then,
the Black Tiger began to cough, with small amounts
of blood showing around stained brown fangs.  
"Who comes..." he continued, "to spoil all my
treasures?"

The Tigress stared at the shadow that was at one
time a powerful Black Tiger.  She raised up her
head fully, and relaxed all her muscles from the
strike-and-kill position.  She paused, as if thinking.

Then, the tigress walked over to the dead Silver
that lay where she had dropped it.

She took her paw, and flipped the dead Silver hard
- it flew through the air, and then landed near the
feet of the Black Tiger.

"Food?" Whispered the Black Tiger.  He coughed,
and then shaking, he lowered his face to the Silver,
and began to eat savagely, as if he had no
nourishment for days.

The Tigress watched the Black Tiger for only a few
breaths, and then, she turned and walked directly
away from him.  She left him, and the stream, and
the Silver, and even the Wind behind.


********



Copyright © Caryn LeMur    2006   
The Wind And The Tigress

August #1, 2006
(C) Copyright 2006 Caryn LeMur