a predator's point of view.
Mina looked across the stretch of dry grass to her mate Khnor, who lay sated and sleepy. He closed his eyes, licked the residue of blood and meat from his muzzle and paw while the wind the tawny mane away from his face. Those powerful spike teeth glistened in the light as he yawned.
She'd made the kill earlier. Blood had coursed through her veins as she ran and leaped on the young gazelle's back. A roar erupted from her mouth and she felt blood flow through her paws as she dug her claws into the young animal. The moment she'd brought the animal to its knees and buried her teeth into its neck; adrenaline rushed through her body. A feeling she'd never felt before. She tore another strip of meat from the haunch. The smell of blood rose in her nostrils and released a need that seemed to intensify. She buried her muzzle in the bloody mess and savored the smell and the fast beating of her heart. Another strange feeling overcame he and she lifted her head to capture the scents in the air. She could smell each animal and sense its fear. Now every creeping thing turned into potential food. With the final gnawing of the meat from the bones, she rutted around the carcass, her belly full and the two small cubs she carried in her womb would be satisfied. The rest would be devoured by the birds circling and the ring of smaller animals she sensed, just out of her sight.
She moved to a rock a few yards from her mate, stretched out in the blazing sun and rested her head on her paws.
The high rock overlooked a garden. One she knew every inch of. A large tree dominated the center, protruding above the others.
Just below her stood the garden's gate , another addition. A divide locking them away from the home they once knew. A glowing body sat near it holding a stick that shot bolts of pain to anyone who tried to enter. She knew that pain. She'd experienced it. She'd roared and charged the glowing body only to have the stick pointed at her and felt the pain. From that moment her life, and the lives of every animal shunned from the garden, had been changed.
Mina closed her eyes and thought back to their days in the garden. She and other animals played, chasing their tails, rolling and tumbling over each other. The food was not killed. It was provided; fruits, vegetables, grass, leaves, all succulent and filling. In the afternoon, the two-legged animal and his mate came and to her and Khnor. They had no fur nor feather, but they were fun and loving. The male called each animal to him and gave them a name.
She had gone to the male and rolled on her back. He always knew just where to scratch her belly. There had never been any thought other than love that crossed her mind.
All had changed after that other animal entered the garden. If she would have had the instinct and senses then that she had now; that thing would never have made it two feet from where she'd first seen it.
It had two legs and a long tail, beady eyes that darted to every dark shadow and a skinny forked tongue that seemed to taste the air every few seconds. She'd slid on her belly, following the new animal, did it want to play catch me? Maybe roll down the hill or try to climb the trees? She watched it for a while as it made its way to the center of the garden, where the two furless beings stayed.
Now it was too late, the serpent, as she found out, was worse than any of the animals created. It had spoken to the furless animal with hair that flowed from her head down her back. She had walked with it. Mina heard the tone of the new one and saw the long haired one walk away from the tree shaking her head. She'd seen the stranger sidle up to other and soon she'd tested the tree, touching the leaves and jerking her hand back. She looked at the stranger who encouraged her to take the fruit. She had picked the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden and took a bite.
Mina followed her friend and watched while she curled up with her mate and shared the fruit with him. Immediately a loud noise seemed to shake the garden. A voice roared in the air; calling for the furless ones. They ran and hid. That was before.
The glowing body with the firestick made all living beings leave the garden, never to return.
They ran from the garden and into the tall grasses of a new land and a new life. Her former playmates that once chased and tumbled over the grass now ran from her in fear. Those she once slept with and cuddled into their soft woolly backs were now just food to her and her mate.
The change in the garden had already begun, vegetation blending in with the surrounding wilderness. Would the garden, as they had known it, be gone forever?
She sniffed the air, smoke. That meant the furless ones had killed one of her brothers or sisters for their sustenance. She'd followed them when they left the garden, she wanted to be with them, but when she saw and smelled the covering they were wearing, she hid.
Hanging on their bodies was fur. Not attached like hers and the other animals. Only the skin had been cut from the animal and hung over the main part of their bodies; leaving the legs, arms and head uncovered. By the color of the pelt, she knew whose body was missing its fur. They put the meat onto a rock over fire. She'd lifted her head and roared at the new feeling of hunger.
A red sun now set over the horizon. The silhouette of the big tree mocked Mina. Tomorrow was another day, another hunt for food and the rush of elation with the kill. That was all she lived for nowadays. Killing for her mate, and eventually teaching her young cubs to do the same; when they were born. It wasn’t a bad life, just a hard one. She sighed as she watched the glowing body with the fire stick, sitting by the garden gate. Her eyes slowly closed and she slept.