Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Shira by Marielle

Chapter 1

I’m Shira, an Amur Tiger, 1 year old, and named after my Great Grandmother, Shira O’Shiba. She was a great one, wise and strong. Even though she was strict and had a firm voice, she cared for us and never let anyone mess with us. Sadly, a couple months ago, a human shot her with a stick­-like object that blasted a deadly rock that killed her instantly. Now that our Shiba has gone to tiger heaven I feel lonely. Shiba gave me strength and  could tell her anything. I was really attached to her. We miss her. 

In case you are wondering, Humans are our worst enemy. They stand on 2 legs and the other 2 legs stick out near the top. Attached to the top legs is a large paw that grabs and holds things. They don’t have fur and no tails. They don’t have the best sense of smell nor hearing but their brains are smart, whatever that means.

Humans treat us like gold. They just want and want and want. They never stop! They kill us for money. They kill us for our pelts. I suppose money is a piece of paper or flat rock that is very much valued. The more you have, the better person you are. Gold is also very valued, like money. Gold is worth lots of money. Humans are very greedy with money. I guess you give money to a person and in exchange you get something that is needed or wanted, like a trade. That is exactly what they kill us for but instead of giving money and getting something else, they get money by giving the killed tiger to a person and in exchange for the tiger, they get more money, and like I said, the more money the better. 

I've also heard that Humans also capture us for a place where there is no freedom and no wide­-open space to roam and call home. The animal is lonely and stuffed up in a room. I've heard that you never get to see your family again. I would not want to go there.
It's hard to live in a place with these dangers. You always have a risk of getting killed or kidnapped. You need to stick together with your family and never get lost because you don't want to get taken. Except now, I’ve set off on my own to find food. My mom said that it’s only to practice my catching skills yet I’m scared. I don’t really know how to do so. My brothers and sisters can do it on their own but I’m still learning. I think that’s why she told me to find food on my own; I’m the one who is behind and has never caught my first prey. 

The voice in my head is saying, I’m so scared. I don't want to get snatched. Just stay together with your family. Wait, you're alone! You are not with your family. Ok calm yourself. Just pay attention to your surroundings.

I wander around the woods not knowing where I am, sniffing and listening along the way. Is that what I think it is: deer? Yes! I move toward the deer, slowly and carefully. I concentrate on the voice in my head. Sly as a Fox, sly as a Fox. My heart is beating fast. Ok, what has mom taught me? 'Move slowly towards the prey, keeping low to the ground. Try not to reveal yourself. When you get close enough to pounce, go ahead!'  I move closer. 

Closer! Move closer! I pounce! Good you got on top of the deer. Now push out your claws! I push out my claws but the deer got away before the claws reached the skin. Shira, you almost had 'em! Now the herd knows I’m here. They ran away scared. 

I have to find another herd. I search more, hoping to find another group of deer. Think Shira, think, where do deer graze? Oh! They like grass fields or places with lots of grass! Find grass, find grass. Oh, over there! Now don't get too excited, you don't want to fail again! My heart is pounding even more now. I slowly creep to the grass, but alas there was no deer. I am getting hungry now. I need to get home.  Where am I? I have gone too far. I can’t go home. My mom has showed me the way to our den starting at the edge of our territory, but I’ve gone past the edge. 

I have to find a place to sleep. I'm so hungry that I can't even find a place. I must find food first. Luckily us tigers have good night vision and eyesight . That's another thing that Humans don't have.

I search more. I can’t! I’m too hungry I can’t even hunt! I guess I just have to try to go to sleep, even without food. I think of the lullaby that my mom sings to us every night. Sleep tight, my little cubs; I’ll be here with you in the morning, safe and sound. So don’t worry my cubs...

Chapter 2

I open my eyes. Ok so I’m awake and hungry, now what? Find food! Ok, sniff, sniff, hmm, nothing, taste, taste, I taste the air DEER! Run to it! Wait, hold on there! Calm down, Shira. Think of what is happening. You’re desperately hungry for food, you’re excited and mom has told you 'If you’re too rowdy or stirring too much you could fail getting your food'. You should be excited in the inside and calm on the outside. I listen to my conscience inside me and calm down but let my heart boom! Move closer, move closer! I move. Pounce! I let my legs shoot me into the air and jump onto the deer. Push claws out! I push them out. Yes, Shira! You got the deer! Then the male swings his head in distress using his antlers to poke me off. I hold on. Don’t let go! Finally the guy falls to the ground, motionless. 

I drag the deer to a spot with bushes hiding the prize and myself. I chow down on the dead buck. Mmm, yummy. The soft insides, the taste of blood rushing on my taste buds, OH the glory!

I’ve finished my fill and will go to a water pool. It’s pretty hot out. Especially when we have fur covering ourselves like the clothes of humans. That is why we bathe in water. Us tigers love water. Ahh, the feel of cool water seeping through my pelt, it’s so refreshing! It calms my excitement. I’m also very proud of myself for catching my first successful catch. I should probably head toward home.

According to my instinct home is to my left. I’ll use my senses to find my way.

Chapter 3

I’ve been searching for my mom but have had no luck. To make matters worse, I have seen a dominant male lurking around! Male tigers are very dangerous to young cubs like me. Especially since I’m alone without my family. They can kill us.    

I have to be careful and not go further into his territory. I must go around his space. If I do go inside his territory he will fight but if I don’t go inside I will not be at risk as much. I use my nose and mouth to smell and taste the scent of the tiger.

I use my senses to guide me around the dominant male’s territory, Careful not to enter. I can smell his scent markings. That is how we let other tigers low that this is our place and that we are here. When I smell a marking I know not to go past the mark. I ask Shiba to help me and guide me as I go.

I hear a voice in my head Go to your right, my loved one. It sounded like my Great Grandmother. I heard it again. Go right. I decided to listen to it.  

I got to a venue that had a lot of grass and a rock shaped like a cat face. It’s the Samu! I come here to be myself. My two brothers Dimbo and Tiff, and sister Amichi, always tease me. I am the younger one, I'm the runt, but only by an hour, thus they treat me like they are the boss of the whole house. They think they are two days older than me. They think that they can do more, they think they are more dominant than me, which is kind of true, but it just really annoys me. Actually, it's more like Amichi who is like this. She's a bit sassy and bossy. Dimbo and Tiff just seem to get distracted when Amichi's teasing me, so they didn't really play a part of this. Anyway,  that is why I go here, to be myself, to get away from the teasing.
Home must be close. I know the way to home from here. I will try to get there now. Let's see. Where do I go now? Oh yeah I go to the right, left, straight, and to the right. I’m running fast to home. I see my mom!

Gasp it’s a Human! He has the gun that my Great Grandmother got killed with! Run, Shira, run! You must get away before you die! Run, run, run! Everything is slowing down. I’m still running! He shoots. I fall… 

Chapter 4

I hear sounds. I’m in a room full of Humans.  What are they doing to me?

 I guess the gun that they shot me with made me go to sleep. Then they woke me up. I’m confused. There is one gun that kills and another that puts you to sleep?  

“OK, she's awake” one human says.
“How old is she?” Another says.
“She looks like a year old. Probably already left her mom. She should be on her own now so it is OK that she has been captured so young” The first human said.
“She’s certainly a beauty” the second human said, “are you sure we need to capture her?”
“Yes, we do. Don't worry Amelea, she'll be fine. She's gone from her mom, anyway. I'm sure she won't care of we put her in a zoo. We're protecting her from other predators. ”  The first human said. 

What? Protect em from predators? It's lonely here? What are you thinking humans? 

  I see a table with two small doors above it. A third human opened the doors. He pulled out a small bottle with a sharp point at the end. The human pointed the sharp point at my pelt. It pushed it in. OWW! My mind drifts...

I guess the 3 humans had done some more things with me because when I woke up I was sore all over. I had small cloth pieces in my skin.

Why did they have to put me asleep a second time? They could have just kept me asleep when they shot me and then done everything meantime. Then they just had to wake me up. They make it so complicated. 

“Ok, she's done with her check up. You can carry her into her zoo room.” The first human said. He acts like the leader of the 3 people.

    The Humans are moving me into a medium room, not very big and not very small but I know it isn’t big enough.  I plop down on the hard ground. There are no other tigers in this room. I’m the only one here. I think this is the Lonely Place. I never wanted to be here. I feel lonelier than I’ve ever been. I want my mom and sisters and brothers and Shiba and  my dad, Orea, but I only got to meet him when I was first born. I remember his sweet voice. He seemed like a nice tiger. Then he died.  I want to be home with my family to tell them that I caught my first deer. I don’t want to be here. I wish I never got sent off to find food. I wish I never got into this mess, but I have to face reality and work through it. Sigh.

    I am very tired now. I close my eyes and fall asleep.

To be continued...


  1. This is a great story! Thank you for sharing!

  2. This is just a rough draft. I will post the final draft when I finish.