No Power in the ‘Verse Can Stop this Leo

I was going to write about scorpions. But who in her right mind would want to read about a liar that is too damaged to understand that inner poison always ends up killing its carrier? Besides, scorpions don’t roar. And this tale must unleash thunder-thoughts that promise rainbows. So I’ll tell you about a wildcat who lost her claws… 


Tara was the most cunning huntress in her pride. Sharp clawed, strong backed and charged with agility that always got her jaws around a throat before the prey could gurgle a bloody yelp. But today she was only scouting.

She crouched low, almost flat against formerly rich soil that had been turned into wasteland by the selfishness and stupidity of two-legged beasts. In the past, her pride had laws that forbade the hunting of the two-legged that wore stolen skins. But food had gone scarce, and everyone had to do unspeakable things to keep cubs from starvation.

The musky scent of fear and wool reached Tara’s nose before the bleating hit her ears. She couldn’t believe her eyes or her luck. She would not have to return to the pride with reports of the location of two-legged youngs. She had grown not to mind bloodying her muzzle in meat that threatened her and her sisters with sticks that spat burning stones. But the youngs…. They just whined and howled and… It wasn’t the natural order of things… She found shame and sorrow in their pain.

Tara focused on the sheep, tensed her hind legs and pounced. Her back and the top of her head were smacked down by a heavy web that pushed her hard against dirt. She roared and tried to slice at the snare, but it just tangled and squeezed her ribs. She continued to fight and growl until a stone stung the side of her neck. Her legs wobbled and the world went blurry. She whined and tasted dust before her eyes closed.


“Tara?”

Her old pride mistress was calling her name, but there was no one to see; just a terrible light.

“This isn’t the end of your hunt, Tara.” The old pride mistress’ words were living wind on Tara’s face. “This is only another spent life. You can go back now. Or—”

“Your voice, Mistress,” Tara spoke through a muzzle she couldn’t feel. “It’s—”

“Different,” her old pride mistress said. “Survival—true survival—sometimes requires sacrifice and change.”

“We are dying out, Mistress. The land…” Tara thought of the shortage of food and water, of the cubs that weren’t more than pelt and bone, of the growling of their guts… She hoped her tone told the mistress what her words no longer dared to say. Everyone said that the old pride mistress let herself go, so that the cubs had something to eat. “If I could change and be… like you I would… I want to do it for them, Mistress.”

“So mote it be, wild Tara.”


Tara awakened. And she stretched. She flexed her legs and tried to move her head from left to right, but… The sun was high in the sky and her face refused to turn away from its heat. She wiggled her paws and… She tasted something rich and delicious. With her paws. Tara was trying to make sense of paws that could taste when she felt a ripping pain that left her blind.


After following the ups and downs of the sun for many dawns and dusks, Tara’s head was beginning to feel puffy. She liked that sensation; so light and moving and freeing.

“Mommy look, a dandelion!”

The sound of a two-legged young left Tara’s body rigid. Soon the screaming and the stench of fear and the shame would overwhelm her senses.

“It’s so pretty. Can I make a wish, Mommy? Can I please?”

“Sure,” the two-legged mommy said. “Just don’t rip the poor thing out of the ground. Get on your knees to make your wish.”

The two-legged young wrapped a warm paw around Tara’s body, before saying, “I wish all the big kitties grow fat and happy and that my Mommy finds the bad man who shot their mommy and that my Mommy can put the bad man in a cage forever. I wish, I wish, I wish.”

With eyes closed and heart open, the child blew her belief-full breath into Tara. Every seed of the flower that was once a lioness soared into the wind roaring: so mote it be.

And there was not a scorpion in sight.


for Imaginary Garden with Real Toads… and for every blooming Leo… and for Herotomost who believes in the magic of “In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb…” and hates scorpions. ;-)

Dandelion Art, by Falko Follert 

54 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. And I add my wish to yours...

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  2. Replies
    1. May the tears be of the cleansing kind...

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  3. Beautiful. Tara is most definitely a Big Damn Hero.

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    1. This is time for Big Damn Heroes, so yay!

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    2. And of course I love any writer who can throw in a Firefly reference for this Browncoat. ;)

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    3. I've been having Firefly withdrawals lately. So we might get more. ;-D

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  4. Thunder thoughts that ended in wishes! Enchanting!

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    1. "Enchanting" is one of my favorite words. ;-)

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  5. A big roar to you!!!

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    1. *adds some growling, for good measure*

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  6. Oh, gorgeous! This cries out to be a graphic novel, in hot Okavango colours and splashy black ink. Maybe a set of twelve stories? You know, my dearest Agnus Scribendi, it's much too early in the cycle for scorpions. We've got a virgin and the bathroom scales to entertain us, first.

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    1. My eyes just widened, visualizing the rainbow of possibilities!

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  7. May that wish of be for future generation a world much more tender than it is today.. Very nice prose that pulls you into the mind of Tara..

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    1. The idea of "a world much more tender than it is today" puts a smile on my face. Let's hope and wish...

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  8. That made me cry, you have such a power with words Magaly. The image of the dandelion seeds blowing hope and wishes at the end though was uplifiting.

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    1. Transformation can be such a painful thing... but it's all worth it when the end is better, isn't it?

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  9. Great tale. Empathy I think is the great poetic gift, to be able to feel out into strange worlds and make them real, even ours. The transformation of this wildcat is terrible on one side and sublime on the other, like all spiritual transformations -- we see it so differently on the other side of growth. Very interesting that you make this cat's new embodiement the vehicle by which its own old wishes might come true. Love the bit about the mother cat of the tribe. Why not for us, too?

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  10. I love how you blend bloody with mushy when you write pieces like this :D XXX

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    1. And I love when our common love of bloody mushiness puts a smile on your face. Yes, I can see your grin in my mind. ;-D

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  11. What a tale you have told!

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  12. Gah! Your blog always eats my comments! Anyway, yes, I loved the imagery and the word play that made a proud lion into a humble dandelion. Clever and well done.

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    1. This damn thing is rather hungry. I've gotten used to copying my replies before hitting "Publish". Yep, it keeps on gobbling up my comments, too.

      I've always thought that the seemingly humbleness of a dandelion is quite cosmetic. I mean, look at the way those things spread. All the lions will be gone, but the dandelions... Oh, they will continue to inspire curses from weed prejudiced minds (and smirks from witchy souls). ;-D

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  13. the urgency, the pure thoughts, the sacrifice, the hope are all so tangible in this tear evoking tale. I love how you smith your words into feelings that are felt, tasted and experienced. All so deep and wild......just like you. xoxo Oma Linda

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    1. "felt, tasted and experienced." Now I won't be able to stop the muse from congratulating herself over and over. ;-D

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  14. Oh for the chance, and the will to make a difference.

    So Mote It Be.

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  15. Oh, wow! I adore this.

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  16. What a lovely story ~ I so admire a writer is who is just as skillful with short stories as she is with poems ~ Very well done ~

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    1. Well, thank you. Short fiction will always be my first and forever love, but I've been falling so very deeply in love with poetry. So your words make me very happy. ♥

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  17. A lovely and clever story, with a real sweetness to it. Thanks. k.

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    1. Sometimes, we just need a little sweet...

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  18. Arrrghhhhhh!!!! Sorry it took me so long to read this, I have been too busy. All I can say is WOW!!! You have a knack for prose....just saying!!!! This was vivid, heartfelt, the pace, tone and dialogue were fabby and I am a sucker for characterization and dialogue. Thank you for not adding any scorpions, now I can have sweet dreams of prides and humanity instead of ugly stingy scorpions...lol. Alright I am going to have to throw down the gauntlet and and issue a PROSE BATTLE!!!! Maybe a flash fiction battle a thousand words or less, you pick a topic or a pic or whatever you want and in a thousand words or less we will bloody each other to a pulp and when the smoke clears.....just saying. You game???? I am guessing you are. You don't seem like a person who disappoints!!!!!

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    1. Never met a Marine who backs down from a battle. And I always like to be the first when the pickings are promising, so of course I'm in.

      Want to discuss the details via email? I will start thinking of a topic. I like this. A lot. ;-D

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    2. Herotomost@gmail.com

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  19. Powerful, Magaly, powerful writing! :)

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    1. Glad you thinking so, Francie. It's good to see you here. Haven't seen you in a while. Hope all is well and in color. ♥

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  20. Replies
    1. I think the next one will have crows in it... ;-)

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  21. intelligent, vivid, fluid, whimsical, hopeful, and a tad mad. a wonderful piece ~

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    1. A tad of madness always makes life mighty interesting, so yay!

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  22. So powerful, brought tears to my eyes.

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    1. I hope the tears were cleansing and spoke of hope...

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  23. Brilliant!!! My wish for all life.

    I am a Scorpio but glad this was not about scorpions...don't like those bad babies.

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    1. I add my wish to yours.

      And let there be Scorpios! ;-)

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  24. Wow... that was beautiful! Tear-inducing beautiful! The words conjured up so many mind pictures. I can imagine them as a stunning animated film... although doing the words justice would be a very hard task. ❤

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    1. Just imagining the possible setting makes me sigh deeply...

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