Yearning yawn! He was tired of being in the cave. He was tired of staring at those cold walls  that felt no iota of the trauma that'd enveloped his spree. He was becoming impatient. Many reasons were owed to the reason he decided to remain in the cave. He hadn't stepped out since he'd returned from the hampered hunt for lighter he went for the previous evening. Seeking for a lighter had led him to obtaining sundry other things. Things that'd helped him survived the malady nocturnal nature leased the jungle. He'd made the fire in the cave to keep the walls warm for that previous night. After eating he'd traced his fingers through the hollows cut by the chisel of time like a foiled furrow in the bosom of an isle. Then he'd succumbed to the clone of death that'd restored his wandering spectre.

      He had no idea whose footsteps those he'd seen yesterday was. Probably, one of the gladiators sent by Ja Lia had tailed him to his absence. He couldn't be sure. If that was true, then they'd be ready for an intruder. That bounty break-in. He recalled the pleasure of the escape and etched a sassy smirk in his flushed physiognomy. He couldn't be sure if there were some other strays - gaunt gladiators - that'd suffered from archetype guts as he. His hypotheses were of no stance if he didn't trace a tactic observation. He dumped the thought, changed his robe to a thicker one which could mock the bluffing of the bruised breeze. He stepped out of the bare cave.

       His eyes caught the travelling sun as callous clouds skipped in gay ahead of her. The mystic mood of the hay was smothered as clouds merged with the waves of the winds and apt azure assumed a seeming stance. He ducked the rusty rays of sun and traced the footprints. He knew he was to find something. His motive was not farfetched compared to that of the raving raven in the heart of a large baobab tree. It was quite unusual for such breed of tree to maintain a stance in such part of the world. The raven was skeptical as it made a call to the vying vulture transversing the nook and crannies of the high. The call thrived till a paging was enforced and what looked like an owl fought itself free from a shrub and flied to keep raving raven a company.

       His pace was severed as he was conscious of the footprints. The track was quite moist. The apt azure had been overcame sundry times that it'd cried and brood over the littlest disagreement with the callous clouds. Such sorrow had been a complement to the work or nature. And had hitherto helped the Callous cod in trailing the trace of where the footprints expired. Pulpy patience was beginning to jilt him as he maintained the track. He knew something was amiss. He couldn't be sure what it was. The footprints were quite the glaring. He could use no light at night tracing them. But then, his attention was chopped.

       He had a faint growl coming from what lags in being called a distant. He could discern a cry from a growl. A coo from a croon. A coon from a redhead. Why wouldn't he be able to? He was matter-of-factly a coon! He took no offence in what that might mean. What semantic denotations anyone could be generous enough to allot it. He didn't give a damn. He had never cared and would never. His ears were faster than his legs as he moved towards the faint growl.

      He knew that twas some hideous creature. Well, he was with his spear. There was nothing to be afraid of. To him, only a coward would hear a noise in the jungle and run away, not knowing whether or not twould lease harm. He did despise being caught ungaurded, thus, he was always in for digging out what was needed to be dug out. He moved closer as the cry became louder. He brought out his spear, he looked backwards, cleared! To the right, cleared! Also to the left, cleared! Then to the right he zeroed in on easing his heart of the tension. But he was shocked.

       There was a cub - baby leopard. It was quite small, cute and naive. But it was in an ill state; it was wet. He looked around him, there was no trace of a waterfall or stream. He had no idea how possible that was, but felt he needed to help it. But he must be sure he knew what he was doing. How bout if the mother leopard was tarrying somewhere. Probably using the baby as a bait. He doubted that. He convinced himself, "Animals are not so wise". He repeated the course of affirmation and edged towards the helpless cub. He really felt for it.

       He had no idea what had been wrong with him lately. He couldn't fathom it. How easy he'd became. How soft his heart had been shredded. He had no idea what plague had inflected his horizon and rigidity. But one fact that consoled him was that twas towards animals he was soft. He wouldn't had taken it easy with himself if it'd been to humans. He was really glad that he hated all. Everyone he'd met in his life posed a threat at him. He was glad he hated his father who fathered him and ran away. He was glad he hated his mother who placed him under a shrub and skedaddled. He was glad he hated his gaunt guardian who succumbed easily to death. He was glad he hated God who made him interpret roles he was not aware of. He was glad he hated the sewn sage - marred monk- who gave him to the care of a Persian dell who'd nurtured and sold him to being a gladiator. He was glad he hated his master's son whom he had killed and escaped to the camp of Ja Lia who was impressed by his vigor. He was glad he hated both Cyclops and Ja Lai for complicating his life. He was glad he hated all. Ah! Glad He Hate All!

        He bent to lift it up. At the first place, it protested. Who wouldn't? Getting to meet a stranger who presents himself as an angel! He couldn't have blamed it. If it were to be him, he'd done worse than that. He'd thrusted a spear into the ribcage of whoever that would be. Oh! Not possible! Who has a spear as a romper? He'd rather bite such. He'd do all he can to avoid a contact with a stranger. So, he rose and to allowed the cub have a rethink.

       He looked behind him again, cautious of the stray-in of any of the pestered panthers. He was evenly ready. His retina caught an adder forcing a forest mouse through its gaunt throat. He thought of how such mouse would had felt at the morn. He'd had had an impression he'd return to his hoisted cum lovely hole to resume whatever he'd been doing. But see that evil snake, he was sucking nectar of delight from its action. He was reminded of surviving as a gladiator. He knew he couldn't run away so long from it. He was a born gladiator and he'd return to being it. But never back to Ja Lia. If he'd had to see Ja Lia again, it'd be for tossing his head to his moaning Medusa. He watched the triumphant adder gorge the tail of the innocent adder and slid down the large tree. He swore to himself that he'd not hunt it down, but if it came for him, he'd choke him with his spell and send him as an escort to the recently gone mouse. He restored his gaze on the shivering cub.

       Again he bent to lift it and at that moment, it allowed him. Probably because it'd observed his patience and care. If that was what had played out, then hell wrong it was, because he was far from being caring. He was just being a little bit of a little bit of a faker skin. He knew and could discern. Change actually is a constant meal the world grows fat on. He wouldn't toss such meal to pride. But he had no idea how long that change would tarry before the beast in him took its forlorn form.

        He held it to his breast luxuriously. He wasn't careful anymore. He didn't care if it bit him. He didn't care if it mother came around. He didn't care if some ill outweighed him at that moment. He only wanted to feel the pain and loneliness of the cub. What mother could have been so careless. He remembered how he also would had felt when he was young under the shredded shrubs. If he was prone to tears, he'd trade and trailed it graciously. But to him, tears are meant for the week. He believed that there are a million and one ways of expressing ones grief and pain without confiding in the cliche, tears. Does God cries? 

        He put the cub down and disrobed himself. At such state, he needed no cloth as keenly as the cub did. He spread the robe on the recently hardened earth and wrapped the cub in it, conscious of the fact that its head was out - to avoid suffocation. Then he lifted it again to his breast and made for his way. He wasn't sure when next he was going to leave the cave and decided to search a little while for the owner of the footprints before returning to his abode. 

        To no avail did he ply the route further. Then he had a rethink and decided to return to the cave. At least to care for the cub. Since he wouldn't be leaving the cave in no time soon, he went to a nearby tree and plucked some fruits that'd be supplements. He was sure to pluck some that are striving for being ripe. Those would survive the day and serve long-term purposes. He picked many as he could bore and put them in the Cheetah skin locked with a rope made from lamb wools hanging across his shoulders to the small of his waist. 

       It occured to him then that the cub wouldn't be able to eat fruits. It was damn carnivorous. He had no idea if it could hunt game for himself. If it could, the state it was in at that moment wouldn't he. The chances were very slim. They were super duper slim. He wouldn't take chances. Ah! He could recall. He had some leftovers from the panther he'd killed the other day. He should serve some to the panther. Of course it'd eat it.

      He then edged home. As he fastened closer, he saw some clusters of leopard at the mouth of his cave. He had no idea what they were there for. But such animals don't pay homage. Obviously, they were there to finish the battle started. Probably they were mocked by their mates after how he'd chased them away. He had no idea what was happening. He could actually go there and kill them. He knew he could that. But he wasn't going to lose the cub to some pride contest. He adjured his pride to seat on the throne of patience. Porous patience wouldn't mind. She'd never mind and would never.

       The oranged eye of the azure had began to slumber as the hoisted hay was retreating. Pulling its robe off. It was getting ready to invite the impending dusk. The day was spent and whooshing wind wallowing in merry paged la-de-da lust and both skipped across the jolting jungle in spree, taunting all trees and teasing bounty brooks. Anon, their mystic mood metamorphosed, marred by multifaceted myths of memories. Then returned they to their posts and the jungle once more was sane. Even apt azure admonished its oranged eye to persevere. At least, complete its shift.

       At the twist of the eyelids, he saw three of the panthers dead. And the rest skedaddled. He couldn't fathom what happened. He was sure that the wind were only drunk and joyous but not girded in ire. He was sure that there was more to that. He left the tree that'd housed him and tottered closer to the cave. Then at once, he saw a creature ran outta the cave. He was sure that it was not running. It was like run-disappearing. Like the shy lightening that canvasses the brief manifestoes of the throbbing thunder. He was sure that no human could be as fast as that. He quickly ran to the cave. Though the bag mocked his haste.

       Lo! The footprints matched the former. Matter-of-factly, the footprints were etched in the former ones. Like giving a retouch to an already painted building. He couldn't fathom. The creature rushed by again and disappeared into the locks of trees behind his cave. He instantly eased himself of his burdens and ran to track down and discern what it was. But his long search was mocked by the hasty hay. 

          He returned to the cave giving up, but the creature came the third time and returned to the former. That time, he was determined to find it, but he took the cub with himself.

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