I recently came across that little piece of fiction and thought I'd post it. It was good to read it again. Hope you all enjoy it too.
by Coleen Frazer
The heat of the day was still in the night air while El Leon, the mountain lion, was quietly, silently stalking a mule deer. The only other noise was a group of coyotes. All else was silent; then a woman-like scream, which could be heard for miles around, broke the silence; swift as lightening, El Leon had run up and strangled the mule deer, bringing it down. El Leon hadn't eaten for three days. His would last him a week. He was only about three years old. It was his first deer.
When dawn came, El Leon was asleep, content and full from the deer had killed only the night before. He buried the deer in the back of his den, so he would know exactly where he put it.
A hawk flew over, screaming at something. The great cat awoke, not because of the heat but from the cries of the hawk. As soon as he awoke, he was aware of the heat. He figured he must have slept all morning. Anyway, he didn’t want to stay in his den.
As soon as he came out, he could see the beauty of the desert. Ever since he was a cub, he loved it.
The tawny gold of El Leon's back shone brightly in the sun. All of a sudden, BANG! A sudden force knocked him down. All at once he took in the situation. Dogs and men running toward him. Men with guns! Then he remembered what happened long ago when he was a cub. Dogs had chased him up a Joshua tree. If it hadn't been for his mother, he wouldn't be here. All this he took in a flash.
He remembered he mustn't jump a tree. Luckily the bullet didn't hit him in the leg. Thought it burned with pain in his shoulder blade, he ran with all his strength. He knew if he ran far enough, they would quit following him, but he'd have to run far. And run he did. It was nearly twenty miles before they quite following him.
He didn't lose much blood because the desert heat had dried his wound. Oh, he was tired. He was at the foot of a mountain range. He knew if he'd climb it, the wheat wouldn't be as great.
He found an old mining shaft that was cement. It smelt badly of humans, but it was the only cool place he could find. He instantly went to sleep.
It was midnight when he woke up; he was very hungry which always made him bad tempered.
El Leon suddenly froze as if he were made a statue. He had seen a lame horse. Quietly, silently he stalked it. The coyotes were making their usual racket. All else was silent. All of a sudden a woman-like scream broke the silence. Quick as lightening, El Leon had jumped on the horse's back and got him by the throat. He stayed on the horse as if he were glued on. He felt himself falling. He had killed it.
He ate hungrily as if he hadn't eaten in days. The heat of the previous day was wearing off. A cool wind sprang up.
He had gotten through an ordeal with man, his greatest enemy. He might not be so lucky next time. At least he knew how to handle another problem like that.