Monday, February 4, 2013

Prompt: The Dog Who Thought She Was A Lioness

Dedicated to Daughter

Little Bit’s ears twitched and she lifted her head to look around the warm, dark den, sniffing for any new scents coming on the breeze. Big Mama opened one eye and rumbled deep in her chest. Go to sleep, Little Bit. The sun isn’t up yet. Little Bit snuggled close between her brother Tumbler and Big Mama and drifted back to sleep.

She dreamed of her first mother and the fire. She didn’t understand these dreams, feeling her mother’s hot breath on her neck, then watching her race back toward the red-orange flashety lickety snarling flames. Her mother never came back out. After a long time waiting, Little Bit tried to look for food. She found the water hole, but she was too weak to do more than lie by the edge and lick at the water that washed over her toes.

Big Mama found her there. Big Mama was sad because one of her own babies had died. She found the little pup and instead of eating such a tasty morsel, she gave it her milk instead. Then she carried Little Bit back to the den and dropped her in with Tumbler and grumbled. Sister. Play nice.

Tumbler was already bigger than Little Bit. He played rough with the other cubs, but he always took good care of his new little sister. She was the right color for a lioness, tawny yellow with white on her paws and the tip of her tail. But her tail curled like a sleeping snake, even when she was awake and playing. Tumbler liked to bite her tail—gently of course or Big Mama would grumble rumble—and stretch it out, then let go and watch it spring back into its curl. He was sure Little Bit did it on purpose, even though she said she did not. He could move his tail however he wanted. She was just teasing him.

Little Bit liked to stretch out on the rocks that warmed in the morning sun. She lay with her chin on her paws and looked all over the waving grasses. She sniffed the breezes and watched for birds and animals coming close from far away. She always smelled things long before Tumbler, and even Big Mama. Their noses were lazy. How could they not smell the rotten fish smell of the vultures, or the musky skittery energy of the hyenas, or the big big peaceful smells of the elephants? She watched the zebras grazing far away, and the elephants wading in the last of the splashy swim play river pool.

Big Mama said soon the water would dry up and they would have to move to another territory. Little Bit didn’t want to leave their cozy, comfortable den, but she was excited to see far away things up close, and there would be new, different things in the far away. She shook her head, trying to understand the big big world beyond the grassy plains that were all she could see from her sunny sleepy resting rock.

Dogs in house:
Houdini, Brindle, Bacon

Robert Sequoia, Bequest

February word count:

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