Thursday, February 27, 2014

Tiger Tiger, Burning Bright

He paced around the cage nervously. Another had been let into his cage, by the outsiders, earlier that the day. The other lay in the corner with weary eyes.

His primal instinct was to show his agression and establish dominance, but he feared coming off second best and remained in his corner. The two never took their eyes off each other.

When food was lowered to each via separate hatches on top of the cage, they rushed forward to lay claim to their shares, hungry.

A large number of their captors, young and old, walked by the cage, staring curiously at the duo, sometimes making strange noises that only scared the two.

Once, long ago, when he had been very young, he'd made the mistake of trying to attack the outsiders. The consequences had been painful.
To add insult to injury, he hadn't even managed to cause any damage.

Even the youngest of the outsiders, though scared, seemed to know that they were completely safe from the caged beasts.

After a while, curiosity and loneliness got the better of the two and they edged closer, warily. The outsiders were oblivious to the fact that they could talk.

"How long have you been here?" the other asked him.

"I forget... quite a long time I think.

"Well, I've been here for a much much longer time. Once though, I used to be free" said the other

"Freedom? For our kind? Do you expect me to believe that?" he almost growled

"Indeed, once upon a time, we ruled the plains, we spread over all corners of the land, and no animal walked, but that feared us. Then it happened.

"What happened?

"We cannot tell for sure, but the outsiders changed in strange ways, they became cunning and skillful. They avoided our attacks easily. Of course, I only speak of what my father told me, and what his father told him in turn. It has been a long time since we all roamed free.

Fortunately though, I had managed to experience freedom in my youth. I was born in captivity, but I escaped and wandered the forests freely for many years, until I was recaptured

"Why do they treat us so?

"For ages we..." the other was cut short by a loud ruckus outside.

A young male of their kind had somehow escaped from another cage through the food hatch, and the outsiders had reacted fast.

He was immediately struck down and lay dead with blood pooled around his head.

The two humans in the cage cowered back as several tigers surrounding their cage threateningly, fully on guard, and alert, fangs bared. Despite their fierceness, the humans could not but be breath taken by their grace and sleekness.

"For ages we caged and killed their ancestors... Is it surprising that they cage and kill us now?" the elder human whimpered.