Animal Dilemmas – Wild Ass Bengal Tiger
The Tiger was not impressed with the Squid’s rhetorics. It had seen enough hardship to know that rhetorics were just an exercise for the mouth. The Tiger liked to move and to exercise its mouth by chewing blood dripping meat. It had lived on fish since its escape from the zoo and craved a good size grazer.
In the zoo it had met and conversed will animals from the jungle with a metal grill separating them. It had told the how their meat tasted and that their hind thighs were its favorite for their texture and size. The animals were always terrified at the Tiger’s calm demeanor towards death. They swallowed their dry saliva and backed away from the metal grill to the far corners of their enclosure.
The only animal that didn’t flinch and laughed at the Tiger with its hideous teeth out, shaking with condescension was the Wild Ass. The Tiger had never eaten a Wild Ass and expressed its interest to do so. The two animals hardly coexisted, their turfs bordering but not overlapping. The Wild Ass had never seen a Tiger and born into the zoo fed to mouth all its life was ignorant to any fort of danger. But it could laugh so hard that the entire zoo could here it.
The Tiger had remembered that laugh and had vowed to revenge the Ass’ condescension. The Wild Ass’ territory was further north and the Tiger took through the jungle to find it. It crossed many streams, rice paddies, circled villages and evaded giants. It lurked by roads while motor cars passed and crossed fields at night when the pickers had retired. It crossed the territory of at least two other tigers as it could say from the markings but never met them.
The wild ass territory was plains of sticks and tree groves. The soil was dry and tall yellow grasses grew everywhere. It was a good country for ambush and the Tiger was happy with it. It was not the only hunter there he marking told.
The Tiger found piles of fesses on a well beaten path to a watering hole. It crouched in the tall grass near the shrinking pond and waited. Night fell, followed by crispy morning when the Wild Ass came for water with its entourage. The Tiger had stayed up all night and just before dawn had dozed off. When it woke the herd was by the water taking a drink.
It was mostly females and few young males. The one that stood out was a large male of arrogant demeaned. The Wild Ass reminded it of the condescending he had endured by it zoo cousin. That was the one I will take thought the Tiger. As far as it could tell the Tiger was not spotted. The herd was at ease with no sentries on the margins.
The Wild Ass had grown without a mother to make it soft. It’s mother had been killed by giants and roasted in front of its eyes for their entertainment. The Wild Ass had seen how the giants consumed its mother piece by piece and the smell of but in flesh was in-printed in its memory. Without a caretaker the Wild Ass had been tossed about and toyed with by the cynic males of the previous generation. It often starved and lived on the margins of the herd.
It had to fend for every morsel and its unique struggle had eradicated its tender feelings. Not it was the biggest bully and had first choice in the mating season. It had injured many competitors and murdered one crushing its skull with its powerful hoofs. It had stayed and watched scavenging beasts tear the flesh of the fallen ass with cold eyes.
The Tiger had taken large beast before and doubt was not part of its thinking. It crawled as near as it could and leaped out of the grass. The herd scattered in all directions. The birds from the nearby trees flew off. The Wild Ass was the last to run. It crossed its mind stand and fight but ruled it out when its eyes met the Tiger’s violent gaze. The Tiger focused on the galloping Ass and curved its leaps with grace. The Ass entered the grass and only its head stuck out. The Tiger followed the tail of dancing sticks gaining on the Ass. The Minds of the beasts were empty, muscles decided the next action. Repetition and habit ruled the chase.
The Wild Ass didn’t think of the direction it was going until it reached the giant’s village. Dark memories filled its mind and between the first two cottages the Ass froze. The Tiger was in war mode and had zero consideration for the proximity of giants. It sped ahead with tremendous speed, and when it saw the halted Ass leaped violently to its back.
The Ass was froze in space but its mind was racing. When it heard the flying Tiger its fear and anger boiled down to a torpedo of rage. It shifted its balance to its front legs and kicked. Both its hind legs flew I the air with deadly force. Just as the Tiger was about to land on the Ass’ butt, the hind hoofs met its jaw and it fell to the ground unconscious.
The Wild Ass stirred and giants came out of the cuts. The Ass run into the tall grass. The Giants pulled out their knives and stabbed the Tiger in its heart. They skinned, lit a fire and roasted it feeding the entire village. Its skin was give to the shaman to decorate his wall.
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