The Hunt (1997)

A short piece from a writing workshop at The College of Wooster with Dan Bourne


I lay silently beside my cover.

Waiting.

Watching.

Thinking of the ground, and becoming one with it.

There it was. My prey. Lying there motionless. Yellow and blue on the tan ground. Mocking me with its calm presence.

I felt myself preparing. Legs bunched under me, ears flat, eyes wide, muscles tensed.

In a flurry of motion it was over. I was on it feeling my claws sinking into its soft flesh. I held it still as I rolled onto my side. I brought my legs to the thing, rapid motions as my claws shredded the creature’s back. My teeth sank into its front as my tail lashed wildly. Oh, this was the life! The thrill of the hunt and the kill!

Wait.

There was a sound.

With a startled, “Yaolp!”, I leapt across the room and scrambled to my perch, far above the ground. I sat, hind legs bunched up under me, paws and front legs straight, tail curled around, ears perked forward, back straight, head high.

I appeared as dignified as only I could.

Then I glared.

That two legged servant had tried to catch me off guard.

Surely it had not seen anything. Had it?

It made an odd noise as it came toward me, strange, yet familiar. One of its upper legs reached out and stroked the top of my head, down my neck, and along my back. Then the same leg came up and started scratching behind my ear.

I tipped my head, leaning into the servant’s paw, its crime forgiven and forgotten.

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