Monday, May 16, 2011

Emma, the lion

This morning Emma was a lion, stalking zebras.  Some days she was a three-toed sloth, lazing on the yarn lady's bed, some days she was a snugglebunny, demanding attention from everyone, but right now she was a lion. She was on a long narrow rock outcropping, eying a herd of zebras (or was the plural zebra?)  She didn't know and decided she didn't care, as long as she could take one down to feed her pride.  

The rock outcropping had precarious footing, and she dug her claws into the spots where dirt had collected and small savannah plants had taken hold.  Her concentration was perfect as she eyed the herd.  Was there one zebra who was a little slower than the rest?  Perhaps a youngster who wasn't keeping an eye out for predators?  Maybe an elderly zebra who wouldn't be able to run as fast as the rest of the herd once they noticed her final charge?  

Ah, there was the one.  An old zebra whose stripes were beginning to fade.  He was a little slower than the rest, a little stiff in the hips.  She'd take him.  She carefully stalked along the outcropping, low to the ground.  She needed to get closer to the herd before she made her charge.  Big cats were faster on sprints, but she couldn't let the herd get too much of a head start, as they could outrun her on a long run.  As she pursued him, her tail began to whip from side to side.  The quarry was in sight, almost in range.  She hugged the outcropping as she flowed over the rocks with the grace that only cats command.  Almost close enough...almost...she vaulted down and began to cover ground, but something had alerted the zebras.  They were pulling away - too much of a head start.  She couldn't catch up to even the oldster.  She returned to the rocks, and lay with hooded eyes, awaiting her next quarry.

The yarn lady and Val had been sitting on the deck watching Emma for the past ten minutes or so.  They watched her concentration, focused on something not visible to them.  They saw her perched, monorail cat style, on the deck railing with one leg hanging down, claws dug into the wood of the rails.  As she began her stalk of whatever she could see that they couldn't, the yarn lady wondered aloud what Emma could see or was thinking.  When she sprang down, Val replied matter-of-factly, "She's a lion - probably stalking zebras."  

The yarn lady continued to watch Emma, and decided that Val was probably right. 

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