Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The roar of the last true tiger

I am a wild tiger, the jungle of south china is my home. I grew up here since I was a little cub. The woods on the other side of the hill is where I like to go, because it is my territory. It's a special place for me. I faught and beat both of my brothers for that spot. I like to rest on the rock, listen to the bird and watch the monkeys play. It's quiet place, perfect for me, because as a tiger, I don't like to be seen, specially by two legged creatures my mother called "humans".

In the evening, I would travel to the downstream of the river. I don't know why other cats like to stay away from the water, but I love it. I can see myself reflected from the surface of the water, I've been doing that since I was no more than 4 feet long. I watched myself changed from a volnerable, innocent cute little cat to the king of the jungle that I am, I see the color of my eyes getting lighter, the skin of body getting tougher, and yes, the scar on my left cheek getting harder to spot. I just realized that I am getting old.

Things changed fast. There used to be a huge playground near the den where i was born. As far as I can remember, there were a lot of trees, and the grass and bushes were perfect for me to hide underneath everytime I got in trouble with my mom. I used to play hide and seek with my 2 brothers and sister. My old neighbor, a green boa used to guide me throu the bushes to his secret holes that no other tigers knew of, and let me take shalter when I was chased by angry leopards for stealing their food. Now, the bushes and tree are gone, instead, a bunch of wierd-looking walls are created for those two-leg beings. My old pal, the green boa disappeared. We don't know where he went, some said that he went crazy after being separated from his girlfriend by the wall, so one day he decided to break into the two-legs' turf, but never came back.

I have never encountered any of those two-leg beings. I remember my mom used to tell me that they didn't taste good althought they were easy catch. My favorite food is the wild boar, though they will put up a fight before going down.. I enjoy them the most because they make me work for it, and they make me feel like a tiger. The so-called "humans"? Forget it, but my brother loved it until one day he ended up becoming their prey. How ironic it is?

Knowing the fact that I am too old now to hunt those wild boars does make me feel a little disappointed and sad, but I have to accept it. In order for me to get by, I have to go for easier preys. My mom told me to avoid humans as much as I could, but their caws and pigs are good options. Therefore, I have decided to go check it out.

Humans aren't hard to find anymore, because I do see them all the time, the more often I see them, the less often i see my own kind. I don't know what's the correlation between their coexistance, I just have one thing in mind that I am too hungry, and I see some beef. So I keep approaching the target --- a caw who is feeding on grass now. I wait and wait patiently, these animals have been hanging out with human for too long that they become more like them. They are losing their sensitivity. I can't imagine being this close to my prey and not get discovered, maybe it is my lucky day today. I take a deep breathe and make a 3 count, then leap. I am going right for the throat.

All of the suddent, I feel something on my back, it's stinky and painful. I realized I've been hit by something, and I see a lot of two-leg creatures coming at me out of nowhere. The caw on the other hand, still isn't moving, it isn't breathing even, and it's skin feels very different from all the living things. Is that a decoy? I try to get back on my feet and take a good look at my surroundings, but maybe because I am too old, I feel like dying. I can't see well anymore. I only can feel being manhandled by all these creatures, I feel they are moving me, they are making a lot of noise and they are... Ohh, maybe it's time for a sleep, afterall, I am too old to hunt.

When I wait up, I find myself at a comfined area full of other tigers. I see lots of humans on the other side of a transparent wall looking at us. I see a bunch of holes on the wall where tigers go in and out, a pond full of stinky scent and some beef bones on the ground that's been regurgitated. Is this my new place?

I feel uncomfortable, i don't know about other tigers, but I like my jungle, and I hate being watched. A big chunk of beef is thrown at me, I look at it, it's a fresh cut. I take a look at my surroundings, a lot of tigers are staring at me, they seem to be pretty comfortable with where they are at. Some of them are sleeping, some other ones are playing, and there are also a few young male tigers are mean mugging me because they never met me before. I don't feel like eating right now, I just can't do it under the observation and lights.

So I decide to take a walk and find a quiet spot, that's where I want to be. I don't feel connected with all these other tigers, in my opinion, there are not tigers anymore. They don't behave like one, they are just big cat-like toys for humans. Anyway, I am just gonna take a rest, afterall, I need it..

I hear something is approaching me. It's a big male tiger, who is coming from the otherside of the area. I look at him, and I know he wants to show me he is the boss here. Honestly, tigers don't need bosses, we are solitary creatures, all we have is respect toward each other but we don't need each other to survive. Obviously this male tiger has been raised as a bully in this little world, and he is not used to having me taking his resting spot and he wants to make a statement. However, he is not going to earn my respect just because of the way he walks. If you make this much noise while walking, you are going to scared away the preys from miles away, that's not how tigers move.

He approaches me, positions himself right in front of me, and roars. I am annoyed by his sound, and I am annoyed by all the sounds made from other tigers and even humans. I am annoyed because this isn't a true tiger's roar, a true tiger roars to self-express, not to intimadate. Just like looking him in the eyes, I already know everything about him, he's never been in a real tiger fight, that's why he uses his roar to do the work. So I stand there and just look at him with peace. He roars again and again, each time with more anger. All I am doing here is just waiting for his initiation, afterall, when it comes to protecting the turfs, action speaks a lot louder.

He finally launches his attacks on me, so slow and amateurish, that I don't even have to duck. His claws barely scatches my skin, I just move around and now I am behind him. When he realizes that and immediately turn to face me, he losses his balance and falls to the ground. The crowd is quiet, they can't believe that their leader is so clumpse and stupid in front of an old fart like me. He gets up, with tears and fear in his eye and quickly runs back to his den and never comes out anymore..

Since them, I become the center of attention. All other tigers watch me, they want to approach me but are scared to do so. They just follow me whereever I go. They want to move like me, sleep like me and even breathe like me. To me, they are ridiculous. They are no tigers, and perhaps they don't even know what tiger means to them. They only feed on well-cut fleshes that don't move; they let humans ride on them; they even like the flash lights coming out of a small box-like object that humans carry around.

I am tired, so tired that I can barely walk. I know I am going to die soon. These days, I only eat a little, because I don't like the taste of the meat anymore. I just want to live in the memory, the memory of our tiger kingdom, the boa, the bear and the wild boar. I know my dad was a true tiger who defended his turf to his death; my mom used to take down an adult baffulo without any helps; me and my brothers and sisters used to roam free in the jungle, leaving our scent whereever we go. I used to roar under the moon light to let the wolves know who is the king of the beast. There is nothing that matches the power of a true tiger. We were born as lovely, cute, cuttling little cats, but we die as kings of the jungle that others fear and respect.

Look at all these other tigers now, they are fat, lazy and slow. Even until today they are still havoring around me, not knowing that I am about to die. They still think the way I am laying down now is cool and they are mimicking me now. I can only laugh it in my heart. Now before my last breathe, I want to show these cats how the true tiger roars.Yes, the roar of the last true tiger..

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