BIRTH, DEATH AND NEWCOMERS.
“Kamchatka’s a silly bear,” he said, “cuddling up with lions was not what bears were put on this earth for, and now she’s gone and ingratiated herself with a pride of lions! Who the hell does she think she is?”
“Just because you wish you were there,”
Nanuq said, “Bruin, you’ve withdrawn from this community more than any bear
here! We work together;
“It was only a joke; I didn’t mean to
harm you!” He pleaded.
“You chose the wrong bear to attack,”
“Now get to your paws, slowly,
“Now walk towards me,” Samson said. Bruin took his chance and ran at Samson!
“You’re dead Samson! Bloody dead!”
Bruin yelled. Samson looked
“Out of my way Samson! Get down and stay down!” Nanuq yelled, shoving the lion leader hard to
the floor and scrambling over his body, before beating Bruin into
submission. Samson lay on the floor,
rapidly getting used to the idea he’d just been saved from a steamrollering by
a brown bear and been run over by a polar bear in the space of ten
“You thought you could attack me just
because you hated my way of life!”
“I think a spell in the wood would not be a bad idea,” Samson mewed, “and Nanuq, thanks for saving me from a kicking.” Nanuq grinned at his leader. “No problem,” Nanuq replied, “sorry for the aggressive stance, but I needed to get to Bruin before he got to you.”
“You nearly steamrollered Samson
“So that’s how you did it,”
“Drag them away,” Nanuq replied, “they can’t be treated like that. In this instance though, the cubs weren’t in danger.”
“I think a spell in the concrete prison would be a good idea,” Samson said, “noone attacks, then swears at me and gets away with it!” Bruin got to his paws, squaring up to the lion.
“Come on pussy-boy!” Bruin challenged, running at Samson, “You’re dead meat!” Samson knew when he was out gunned, turned and fled!
puss! Puss! Puss! Puss! Pussy-boy,
Pussy-boy Samson!” Bruin yelled. Samson’s paws could not take him into the
house fast enough. Really frightened for
his own life, Samson ran into his lie up, his whole body shaking! Meanwhile,
“Shall we kill him now?”
“Yes, for noone goes after our leader unpunished. Bruin meant to kill Samson!”
“He would have done if we’d not stopped
him,” Nanuq replied.
“What happened to time inside?” Bruin asked.
“Time inside for attempting to kill our
leader is too easy for you,”
Meanwhile, Samson lay in his lie up, crying into Fleur’s fur. Fleur had watched the video of the confrontation with Bruin and cradled her mate’s head as he wept.
“Bears aren’t good news when they’re angry,” Fleur mewed. Samson, crying like a cub, wiped his eyes with his paw.
“I want him locked away,” Samson sobbed, “Keep him away from me! Keep him away from me!” Fleur stroked Samson’s paws and kissed his nose, trying to soothe him. Samson choked on his tears, actually vomiting onto the rug. Fleur cradled him tenderly, the lion shaking with fear.
“It’s okay Sammy, I promise it’s all over,” fleur mewed. Samson closed his eyes, but could not dispel the image of Bruin running at him.
“I should have faced him down,” Samson mewed, “but I have a mate and cub, and I can’t leave you!”
“You won’t be seen as weak for running from danger,” Fleur mewed, “for you have a family, and are not stupid. Bruin is stupid, for he doesn’t hold his life as dear. He needs to learn a lesson.” Samson looked down at his vomit covered paws.
“I’m sorry for vomiting,” he mewed. Fleur shook her head.
“Let’s get you cleaned up, and then we’ll see what happens with Bruin.
Samson let fleur wash him, and
then she cleaned the lie up.
“How are you Samson?” She asked. Samson looked down at his paws.
“I am feeling embarrassed and weak,” the
lion admitted, “I should have faced Bruin, but, but, I have a cub
“I love you Sammy,” she said softly,
Samson burying his head in
“Nanuq saved my life,” he sobbed.
“Noone blames you for running away,” the
bear replied, “You have a cub to think of, bruin doesn’t, so he has nothing to
lose. I have cubs to think of too, but I
know I can break Bruin under my paws.
Nanuq was a great help though.”
Nanuq padded into the lie up and hugged
“What’s next,” he said, “ah yes, I
suppose we’d better go find older Leo and
Indeed, Leo and
“Nanuq and Kamchatka will be back as soon as they’ve finished with
“But Samson was nearly killed!” Little Theo mewed, “if, if that bear hadn’t
forced him to the floor, I would be without a sire now.”
“Nanuq’s a good bear, as are most of the
bears here,” she mewed, “Bruin’s a bit
of a loose cannon,” she mewed, “he’s
going to be sorted for good now though.
He’s not coming back.” The sound
of heavy padded paws entering the lie up made
“I’m weapons free!” She declared.
“Weapons free would mean you had your
claws and teeth removed,” Leo mewed.
“Come and give us a hug,” Leo said to
her. Kamchatka crawled to the lions,
“She’s soppy,” Theo mewed. Kamchatka released the tiny toes of the two
cubs, the cubs crawling to her forepaws and touching them, feeling them holding
“I love you all,”
“It might be generally held that grizzly
bears are the most aggressive bears about,” Leo mewed, “but
”And so say all of us,”
Meanwhile, back in Samson’s lie up, Nuru and Samson were having an intense discussion about Bruin. Samson showed Nuru the camera footage of the goings on in the lie up, asking Nuru to give his opinion on it.
“Bruin wanted to kill you Samson!” Nuru mewed.
“For that he should be killed,” Samson replied, “but I can’t do it. I can’t kill that bear, for he’s too dam big! I’d be killed, and that’s what he wants.”
“Bruin’s violated our laws just because
Nuru padded back to the lie up and told Samson what he’d done.
“You are braver than me,” Samson mewed.
“No Sammy,” Nuru replied, “your thoughts were for your cubs, mine was all of how I hated Bruin. I wanted him dead more than anything in the world. You dear Sammy are as soft and gentle as a cub, you can kill food etc, and you can fight your corner, but if noone’s wronged you personally, you hold out the paw of reconciliation, and bruin wanted meat, not to shake paws. Sammy you are becoming what Theo was, you talk a good fight, but you can’t fight really.”
“I just didn’t want to be crushed under the paws of a huge and very pissed off bear,” Samson replied, “I have a cub here Nuru, a very newborn cub. You don’t, maybe that was your edge on me. Little Tess is no longer so little, and you know she’s safe without you. Little Clarence though, what would he do without me or fleur?”
“Good point,” Nuru mewed, “Okay Sammy.” Samson smiled at Nuru and kissed his paws.
“Kamchatka is lovely to Leo and
“Little Theo is your cub Samson,” Nuru reminded him.
“I know,” Samson replied, “but it’s
easier if I keep paws off, let Leo do it all.
“Is paw playing the newest craze?” Samson asked. Nanuq smiled at the lion.
“If only you cats could play with your hind paws like we bears can,” Nanuq replied, “that’d be so cool.” Samson grinned.
“I wish I could,” he replied. Nanuq patted the sole pad of his right hind paw with the toes of his right fore.
“That’s nice isn’t it,” Samson said. Nanuq smiled.
“Can I stroke your paws Nanuq?” Samson asked. Nanuq grinned:
“I wondered when you’d ask that,” he replied. Nanuq crawled over to his leader and lay down beside him. Nuru looked uneasy, for He’d not been as close as this to a polar bear before, and the bear was enormous!
“You have big paws Nanuq,” Nuru mewed, shrinking from the sight of the bear’s enormous forepaws which lay relaxed within Samson’s reach.
“Fore or hind paws first Sammy?” Nanuq asked. Samson took Nanuq’s left forepaw in his and began to stroke the bear’s pads and toes, Nanuq unable to hide the pleasure this gave him. Cuddling up as close to the lion as he could, Nanuq closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation Samson’s paw massage was giving him. Nuru watched this:
“Which paw is you’re most sensitive?” He asked Nanuq.
“My right hind,” Nanuq replied dreamily. Nuru had never massaged a bear’s paws before, but taking his life in his paws; he reached for Nanuq’s right hind paw and began to massage his pads and toes, the bear pressing his toes into Nanuq’s paws.
“I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve two lions massaging my paws, but it feels wonderful!” Nanuq said softly. Nanuq pressed his right hind paw hard into Nuru’s forepaws, the lion smiling and releasing his hold, then kissing the sole pad of Nanuq’s hind paw. Nanuq grinned as Nuru’s paws recommenced playing with the toes of his right hind paw.
“You like playing with my paw don’t you Nuru,” Nanuq said softly. Nuru smiled:
“That I do,” he replied, lightly stroking the large black, rough and rather wrinkled sole pad of Nanuq’s paw. Nanuq curled his toes, the pad bunching under Nuru’s.
“You’re tickling my paw!” Nanuq laughed. Nuru looked shocked, and then began to rub the pad furiously.
“Now paws off for a minute,” Nanuq said, “come on Nuru, take your toes off my paw.” Nuru did, and Nanuq sat up, took his right hind paw in his right fore and began to rub the sole pad back to normality.
“I messed that up,” Nuru said miserably. Nuru wiggled the toes of his left hind paw.
“Have a go with that one,” he said, “go firmer this time, no tracing the pad with light touch, trace it, but with a firm touch. That way you don’t tickle my paw.” Nuru saw a sudden light in Nanuq’s eyes.
“Here, let me have one of your paws, and I’ll show you where you went wrong if you like Nuru,” Nanuq said. Nuru looked at Samson, who shook his head.
“Better do what Nanuq says,” the lion leader said, “for you tickled his paw.” Nuru reluctantly let Nanuq take his feline right hind paw in his huge padded bear like paws. Nanuq, cradling Nuru’s right hind paw in his left fore, gently touched the pads on the sole of the lion’s paw with the toes of his right fore. Nuru knew what was coming and clenched his teeth. Nanuq gently traced the pads of Nuru’s paw, the lion curling the toes of all four paws and trying not to laugh.
“That’s how not to do it,” Nanuq said, “Now try this.” With that he rubbed his toes firmly over Nuru’s pads and toes, the lion soothed by the massage.
“I’m not rubbing hard, I’m just committed, and definitely not tickling your paw,” Nanuq said smiling at the lion. Nuru knew now where he’d messed up. Nuru relaxed totally, the polar bear’s paws working their magic on his right hind, and then left hind paws. Resting his head on his forepaws, Nuru concentrated, but not too hard on what his hind paws was telling him. Now Nanuq’s toes were touching the pads on the sole of his left hind paw, now they were touching the toes on the same paw, the bear’s toes gently playing with Nuru’s. Nuru couldn’t remember the last time anyone had played with his paws, but he knew he had missed the sensation, so he must have had his paws played with before, and liked it.
“Feels good doesn’t it,” Samson said. Nuru smiled with cub like pleasure.
“”it does,” he mewed. Samson smiled, thinking of how Allie had played with his own paws only the previous night.
Their paw play had been wonderful, it was his turn to start the game, to play with her paws, first her fore, and then her hind, for the bears seemed to enjoy having their hind paws played with more than they did their fore. Maybe it was to keep their forepaws free to massage the fur of whomever was massaging their paws, Samson didn’t know. But he remembered touching Allie’s forepaws with his fore, and her hind with his hind. Then she’d taken his hind paws in her fore, and he her hind paws in his. The paw play was a time when Samson could let go and play like a cub, much as he could with Fleur when she wasn’t working, which wasn’t often these days. Samson was determined not to be caught out like Simba was. His job would never come before his family, Samson was adamant about that.
Nuru pressed the toes of his hind paw into the rough wrinkled sole pad of Nanuq’s forepaw, loving the sensation of rough pads against his.
“You can really play with one’s paws,” Nuru mewed. Nanuq smiled and patted the pads on the sole of the paw he was playing with.
“Want to try massaging my paw pads again?” The bear asked. Nuru hesitated:
“Can I try playing with the toes of one of your hind paws first?” He asked, “Then, well, then, and only when I get it right, I might try touching the pads on the soles of your paws Nanuq. The thing is, you’ve had years of practise at this paw play thing, I haven’t, for in my previous life, paw play never came into my head.” Nanuq was content with that.
“I’ll just sit down, and you pick the paw you want to play with, okay?” Nuru smiled:
“Hind paws only, right?” He asked. Nanuq smiled:
“Yes, please,” he replied. Releasing Nuru’s paw and sitting back on his backside, Nanuq closed his eyes, waiting for the touch of Nuru’s forepaw on the toes of one of his hind. Nuru, scared now, gently took hold of Nanuq’s left hind paw with his right fore, then began to play with the toes of the bear’s paw with his own left fore. Nanuq’s toes were large and strong, with long claws. Nuru, now up close to the bear, was surprised that Nanuq’s scent was hardly noticeable. The bear smelt unlike a bear, but of the same herbal stuff they all used to wash their fur and paws. Nuru knew the bears took as many baths as Samson did, which were very many indeed. It seemed to him the bears liked the water, staying in it until their paw pads became wrinkled like prunes. Nanuq smiled encouragement to Nuru as the lion stroked his toe pads, then without thinking, began to massage the sole pad of the hind paw he held. Nanuq relaxed, and Nuru felt it.
“I’m doing okay now?” The lion asked. Nanuq curled his toes round the lion’s, holding them tight against his bunched pads.
“Does that tell you what you want to know?” Samson asked, watching all. Nuru sighed with relief. Nanuq smiled and released Nuru’s paw.
“A lion stroking a bear’s paws is not so strange then,” Nuru mewed. Allie padded in then, waved her paw at Nanuq and then crept up to him, whispering into his ear. Nanuq’s smile told the two lions she’d told him something which either amused or delighted him. Allie padded away, lifting a hind paw and wiggling her toes at Nanuq in a kind of good bye signal. Samson recognised the raised hind paw and wiggled toes as a throwback from the wild times, a time when to have eyes peeled for danger meant a bear could not turn his or her head and raise a forepaw in farewell. Nanuq raised a massive forepaw to Allie and wiggled his toes back at her, a brief smile from the female polar bear visible as she disappeared down the passage.
“What did she tell you Nanuq?” Samson asked. Nanuq grinned and put his paw to his lips.
“All this subterfuge,” Nuru mewed. Nanuq grinned, just as Allie, who’d been listening all the time, padded into the room, stood on her hind paws; spread her forepaws wide, her eyes shining.
“I’m in cub again,” Allie said. Samson wanted to run to her and hug her, but restrained himself.
“That’s wonderful!” He said, curling his toes into the rug to stop himself from running to her and hugging her. Allie dropped onto all four paws, then went to Samson and let him hug her, Samson embracing her with all the love he felt for her.
“Sam?” He whispered. Allie nodded, and then squeezed his paw. Samson smiled:
“Did he?” The lion asked. Allie grinned:
“All the paw contact and hugs I could ever want,” she said. Samson waited for Allie to release his paw, and then he embraced the huge polar bear’s paw which had held his in both his forepaws. Samson squeezed Allie’s paw tenderly, his eyes filling with tears.
“I’m so glad for you,” he mewed, his voice cracking. Nuru and Nanuq smiled at Samson and Allie, Samson kissing Allie’s nose, wanting to embrace her properly.
“Come on Sammy,” Allie said, “hug me, just like you want to.” Samson dropped Allie’s paw and Allie lay down beside Samson, on his other side to where Nuru lay. Samson turned and embraced Allie with his forepaws, wrapping his paws round her neck as far as he could, kissing her nose and paws, as if he were the sire of the cub. Samson glanced up as Sam padded into the lie up, the male polar bear grinning at his mate.
“I knew he’d be as pleased as us,” Sam said. Samson kissed Allie’s nose unashamed of his feelings for her. Fleur, padding in, grinned at Samson and looked at Sam.
“Allie and you are big news all over the community,” she said, “I’m so pleased for you both, and so is Samson, though I don’t need to tell you that.” Allie laughed merrily; cuddling up to Samson and kissing his nose and paws like he’d done hers, then getting to her paws and dancing on her toes. Fleur, Sam and Samson laughed helplessly.
“One happy she polar bear,” Samson said. Allie rolled onto her back and waved her paws in the air.
“Allie, Allie, you, you’re so funny!” Fleur mewed. Allie sat up and took her left hind paw in her left fore, beginning to massage her pads and toes with her right fore., Allie’s smile telling Fleur how much the paw play gave her pleasure.
“Right,” Sam said, “now the news is out, what do we do?” Nanuq looked at him.
“I don’t know,” he said, “play with our
own and each other’s paws?” Sam
laughed. Lion Leo and
“What the hell is a baboon doing here!” Samson yelled, apoplectic with rage.
“My name is Babi, and I’ve got a friend, Ratty!”
“Someone like you would have a friend named Ratty!” Samson screamed, “What kind of a name is? Babi anyway?”
“It’s the name of an Egyptian baboon god,” the poor baboon whimpered, “me, Ratty and I, we came into this house through an open door, and, and, Ratty’s not a rat, she’s a ratel! A honey badger!”
“Oh shit,” Samson groaned.
“We wont’ are any trouble, I promise!” Babi wailed, “We will keep out of your way!”
“How did a baboon and a ratel come to be within the wood, let alone the house?” Samson asked.
“Panja told us of this place,” The baboon gabbled, “he attacked me and Ratty, and, and we held him hostage until, until he, he told us of this place!”
“Panja, I’ll kill him!” Samson growled.
“Ratty and I, we just want a home, we won’t harm anyone!”
“Babi, you are a baboon, the Bain of the lives of lions,” Samson snarled, “You will keep your hands off our cubs and adults. Babi nodded:
“I will, I will!” He exclaimed. Samson looked the baboon over from nose to the soles of his feet. He knew this was a primate, and the closest creatures in intelligence and dexterity in the community he knew to rival the baboon were the bears. Samson saw the way Baby’s hands gripped his paw. The baboon’s strong fingers gripping his toes with strength.
“Where have you come from?” Samson asked. Babi was about to answer when Nuru padded into the kitchen. The huge lion looked at the Baboon, ran to him, and almost swept him up in his paws.
“Hello Nuru,” Babi said, Samson confused and becoming angry.
“You know each other?” He asked.
“Yes, Baby’s from the safari park I once existed in, and so is his friend Ratty.”
“So you two came into the wood, then Panja attacked you, you held him hostage until he told you of this place?” Samson asked.
“Yes, look, I’m sorry!” Babi protested, “I’ll go, and so will my ratel friend.”
“No,” Samson growled, “You won’t go, Panja will, the stupid snow leopard should know better than to attack wandering creatures! Inform security yes, but not attack. What did he do to you?” Babi held his hands up, the palms deeply bitten and scratched and nails broken. He then showed Samson his right hind foot, the lion seeing deep puncture wounds on the sole and toes of the baboon’s foot where Panja’s claws and teeth had scratched and bitten him.
“Let me investigate this,” Samson said, “Nuru, go get Panja!” Babi looked scared:
“How will you investigate the fight?” The baboon asked.
“We’ll check to see if our cameras saw anything first,” Samson said, “then, if not, we’ll get Panja to show us his claws and teeth. We can match up the potential bite of Panja’s teeth to the wounds on your fore and hind paws Babi.”
“Fore and hind paws?” He asked, “Is that what you call them? Samson, I know them as my hands and feet. My forepaws are my hands, and my hind paws my feet. You have fore and hind paws, but we primates don’t, well not like you do. Ratty has fore and hind paws too, and she gets confused with it all.” Samson picked up the kitchen phone and had Kodiak check the backup discs for any activity in the wood. He saw everything. Samson asked him to relay everything to his lie up, and motioned to Babi to follow him. The baboon limped along, his fresh injuries giving him hell.
“Get on my back,” Samson said quickly,
wondering how on earth he’d come to giving a baboon a ride. Babi clambered aboard, trying not to dig his
fingers and toes too hard into Samson’s fur.
Samson padded to his lie up, and lay down, the baboon sliding off his
back and flopping onto the rug. Samson
quickly viewed Panja’s attack on Babi and the ratel who the baboon called
Ratty. Samson was determined to think of
another name for the ratel, from what he was viewing on the screen, he thought
torus might be a good nick name for the honey badger, as she went at Panja like
a bull in a china shop. Indeed, it was
only when Babi, bitten and bleeding, had tied Panja’s paws together that the
badger gave up biting and clawing at him.
Panja came in looking very shame faced, plain to all he’d just been
released from Baby’s trap in the wood.
Panja spat at Babi and was thrown to the rug.
“I understand by your reaction to Babi that you’ve met him before Panja. Panja spat at Samson.
“Just piss off and leave me alone!” The snow leopard snarled.
“Now now, come, we don’t need that kind of talk,” Samson said, sounding like anyone’s favourite uncle, “all I want to do is to confirm where Babi got his injuries. Panja, extend your claws, please.” Panja knew Samson could do things that would make him comply, so he did not resist. Babi got himself into a position where Samson and fleur, who’d padded in on hearing of a medical case, could see the soles of both his feet. Fleur made the connection instantly between the marks on the soles of the baboon’s feet and Panja’s claws. The marks on the baboon’s hands were from the leopard’s teeth and claws. Panja swore viciously.
“He attacked us!” Ratty yelled.
“She looks mean,” the bear thought.
“We can see he attacked you,” fleur said
gently, “now it’s time for us to get, um, Babi is it? Treated.”
Ratty ran after Brunetta and
“Wait for me!” The ratel yelled, her paws skidding on the tiles of the passage. Falling over her own paws in her haste to follow her friend, the honey badger ended up rolling most of the way, to Samson and Nuru’s huge amusement. Nanuq looked down at Panja pinned beneath his right forepaw.
“Tear him apart,” Samson said, “I don’t want him here any more Nanuq.” Nanuq gripped Panja’s head in his forepaws, brought a hind paw forward to place on the leopard’s body, and broke Panja’s neck. With that, Nanuq slung the dead snow leopard over his shoulder and walked out of the lie up to bury his remains.
“So much death,”
“I’m sorry,” Samson mewed, “really I
Meanwhile, in the bathroom, Ratty ratel was looking rather rattled. She’d never seen bears working for the good of baboons before, and there had been two carrying Babi and now just the one, a huge brown sow bear, who was busy tending to his wounds with gentle care. The ratel, whose real name was Nyegere, looked at Babi’s face as the baboon’s wounds were treated. The bear began to stroke the sole and toes of Babi’s right foot, the baboon relaxing into the water. Nyegere wanted a paw massage too, and told Fleur as much. Fleur grinned and helped the honey badger into the water, beginning to massage Nyegere’s paws. Laughter from the baboon told Nyegere that the bear had begun to tickle Babi’s toes. After both Baboon and honey badger had been washed from nose to tail, the two friends splashing from the water with fleur and Brunetta, the Ratel and baboon quickly dried by Brunetta and Nanuq. Nyegere realised the brown and polar bears were mated, and the realisation made her smile.
“This is a very strange community,” Nyegere said to Babi as they were led down the passage from the bathroom to a place where they could get food. Babi, having entered the house from an open door had explored a little, so knew the ground floor quite well. He was sure the security team had left the door open on purpose, for all he’d had to do was open it and he was in. Nyegere had followed soon after, hiding away while Babi loitered in plain view eating his sweet corn and waiting to be discovered by whoever came near.
The truth was, Allie had been watching the goings on in the wood, and had left the door open for Babi and Nyegere and noone else. Once the two were inside, Allie had locked the door and noone unknown to the community had been allowed in.
Babi and Nyegere were fed and settled in their own lie up next to Nuru and Androcles den. Babi and Nyegere settling down comfortably. It was then that a huge bear came padding into the lie up with something in her paw. It was a jar full of a cloudy substance. Opening the jar, she left it on the rug and left. Nyegere’s nose started twitching.
“I think this is a treat for us,” she said. Babi sniffed at the jar, and then grinned at the honey badger.
“Just don’t eat it all at once, leave me
some,” he said. Nyegere touched the jar
with her nose, it was slightly chilled, the contents slightly hardened. Dipping her paw into the jar, she scooped up
a paw full of her favourite food.
Samson, watching on the screen in his lie up, grinned as he saw the
badger getting into the jar of honey
Babi and Negara finished off the honey then settled down to rest. Negara looked up at a screen on the wall, the screen showing images of Kamchatka’s lie up, where the grizzly bear was in a world of her own, holding her right hind paw in her right fore while massaging her toes with her left fore. Nyegere nudged Babi.
“|Look at her,” the honey badger said, waving her paw at the image of the grizzly bear.
“She looks at peace,” Babi said.
“But what is she doing to her right hind paw?” Nyegere asked.
“Massaging the sole of her paw and
playing with her toes,” the baboon said, “bears like doing that, in fact I used
to play with my toes when I was young.
Now here’s a secret, I sometimes still do what
Nyegere and Babi settled down quickly, the other community members accepting their presence without much comment.
Kamchatka and her lion family
settled down after the run in with Bruin,
“Don’t put your paw near a bear’s mouth
“Play with my paws, but don’t put your
paw over my mouth,”
“Playing with the paws of a grizzly bear
no longer seems strange to me,” he said.
“It’s lovely,” she replied, “and even
“I love that,” Leo mewed, kissing
“You are so gentle
“I wish I was as big as you and you were
a cub, then I could get you back!” Theo
“Come on both of you, get hold of my hind paws and blow on my pads if you want,” Little Elsa and Theo did just that, Theo letting little Elsa control Kamchatka’s right hind paw, and when she had as firmer hold of it as her tiny paws could get, Theo blew on the bear’s sole pad and toes, Kamchatka laughing merrily.
“You two are so funny!” The bear laughed.
Meanwhile, in Nuru and Androcles lie up, Younger Tess was playing with Androcles, the lion’s massive paws giving the young ligeress a good target to tickle and play with. Androcles loved it when anyone played with his paws, for he was as tactile as they were, enjoying lots of paw contact. Younger Tess tickled Androcles fore and hind paws in turn, the lion squirming and rolling about, the ligeress not letting his paws out of her reach. Snarling and growling in mock anger, Androcles crawled and rolled attempting to get away, but the ligeress had him pinned down, and would not leave his paws alone, much to Androcles delight of course. Once she’d thoroughly tickled, stroked and explored his paws twice over, it was Androcles turn to play with younger Tess’s paws. This game was not so much a game of chase as before, for Androcles encouraged rough and tumble games, but the ligeress made sure her paws were always accessible to the lion, not quite trying hard enough to keep them out of his reach. Androcles ended the game by stroking younger Tess’s fore and hind paws, his toes working over the soles and pads of her paws. Younger Tess loved this, and often curled her toes round the lion’s, holding them tightly against her paw pads, pressing his pads hard against hers, the lion often helping by putting pressure on his trapped paw and moving the heel of his paw in circles, massaging her pads. Younger Tess loved all this, mewing and purring with pleasure.
“Your paws feel lovely pressed against mine,” the ligeress mewed. Androcles smiled and kissed the toes of the ligeress’s forepaw holding his forepaw.
“I love the feel of your paw pads under my paw,” Androcles mewed, kissing Tess’s nose. Younger Tess smiled, for she could see the cub in Androcles, even though he was much older than she.
“If I let go of your paw, would you take the toes of my paw in yours?” Tess asked. Androcles smiled:
“Try and stop me,” he mewed. The ligeress released the lion’s paw and Androcles curled his toes round Tess’s hind paw.
“Hold my toes tightly, go on, please!” Tess mewed. Androcles did as she asked, and the ligeress pressed her paw hard against his.
“I would like more of this, much more of this paw play!” Tess mewed. Androcles was up for that, and he thought Tess already knew it. Androcles kissed younger Tess’s nose, then the pads of her fore and hind paws, finishing off with the paw he held in his. He gently released his hold, the ligeress mewing in distress, as if his paw was her lifeline. Once her toes were free, Androcles removed his paw by sliding it backwards, his toes running over younger Tess’s toe pads and the pads on the sole of her paw right to her heel pad. The ligeress smiled and relaxed as Androcles kissed the toes and pads of her right hind paw which had been covered by his left fore.
“I want, no, more like need paw contact Androcles,” younger Tess said, “it’s like a drug, I had it, then I wanted more, but now I need it so much!”
“An addiction to paw contact never endangered anyone to my knowledge,” Androcles replied, “so you can have all you want dear Tess.” The ligeress smiled broadly.
“What of your feelings in all this?” She asked.
“Follow your paws my dear,” Androcles replied, “they’ll tell you my feelings on the matter.”
“Yes,” Tess said, gently touching the toes of his left forepaw with her right fore, then kissing the furry top of his left forepaw. Androcles returned the kiss to the toes of her right forepaw, the ligeress sighing with pleasure.
“I feel so happy, so secure,” younger Tess said, “my small rather thin paws like your large soft paws holding them.” Androcles smiled:
“Your paws will guide you Tess dear,” he mewed. Younger Tess, now a year old, smiled at Androcles.
“We can play like cubs,” she said. Androcles grinned.
“I never had much of cubhood,” he said, “so yes, we can play like cubs. Stroking paws, tickling pads and toes all that. Rolling on the rugs, fighting to get at each other’s paws sounds the most wonderful pass time in the world.” Younger Tess grinned:
“It is,” she replied. Androcles drew Younger Tess close, really close, and the ligeress cuddled up to him, pressing her body against his, gripping his left forepaw in her right fore with desperate strength.
“I’m so excited I don’t know what to do!” Tess said. Androcles smiled and waved his free paw.
“How does tickling each of my paws and playing with my toes sound?” He asked. Younger Tess looked at the paws under discussion:
“They look ticklable,” she said, “and feel Strokable too,” Androcles grinned and kissed her nose:
“How about it Tess?” He asked, “Are you scared of my paws?” Tess kissed Androcles left forepaw which she held in her own right fore.
“Hi you two,” Nuru said padding into the room. Tess looked up at her sire.
“Hi Nuru,” she said, “Androcles and I were just playing, just playing.” Nuru had seen everything and understood the play for what it was.
“I’d recommend trying paw massage in the bathtub next time,” he mewed. Tess was embarrassed.
“I know Androcles is older than me Nuru,” she said, “but his paws feel so lovely when our pads touch. I’m addicted; I can’t get enough of it!”
“It’s no issue,” Nuru said, “age doesn’t matter. Androcles is a big cub really. Touch his paw and you find a cub inside the body of a half grown lion. Androcles would love nothing more than to roll onto his back and wave his big fat paws in the air.” Androcles smiled and hid his eyes behind a massive forepaw.
“Don’t hide away,” Nuru said, going to Androcles, grabbing his paw and pulling it down to the carpet, “show us Androcles, come on!” So the lion did. Smiling, he rolled onto his back and waved his paws in the air, Nuru and Younger Tess smiling highly amused.
“Go for it Androcles, kick the air with those paws!” Younger Tess mewed. Androcles smiled and increased the pace; putting his soul into thrashing the air with his large well padded paws. Within five minutes the lion was exhausted.
“Can’t thrash the air any more,” he gasped, “I can massage your paws forever Tess.” Nuru smiled at Androcles and took hold of his right hind paw, tickling his pads and toes, Androcles laughing helplessly.
Meanwhile, back in
“Let’s get these cub’s paws wet.” She said.
Theo, now nearly two weeks old, crawled towards the sound of the water. Before
“Theo can’t swim!” She screamed.
“Your eyes have just opened for the
first time,” Kamchatka said to the lion cub, who’d tightly shut his eyes, “Open
your eyes again Theo,” Theo did, and saw
“Everything’s so strange,” she said. Little Theo hugged her hard.
“We’re safe here,” he mewed.
“I’m going to the slide, anyone joining
me?” The two cubs crawled quickly after
their ursine friend, Scared,
“You’re too small to be riding the
slide!” She yelled. Kamchatka turned at the top of the slide and
waved her paw at
“I’ll carry one cub at a time,” she
said, “they can ride with me, or, or you can use a raft.
“So we go down the other one?” She asked.
“You’re taking her down, good,” he
“That was wonderful!” Theo mewed.
“Hang on tight,”
“I don’t know about you,” she said, “but
I’m going for a shower.”
“You cubs would find this a lot easier
than having a bath,”
“That looks nice,” Elsa remarked to Theo. The cub nodded and smiled:
“I’d do anything to get the horrid smell of whatever they use in the pool off my fur,” he mewed, “it smells disgusting!”
“Would you wash me too?”
“You were in another world,” the bear said, kissing the lioness’s wet nose.
“I, I’m sorry,”
“She really loves us you know Elsa,” Theo mewed. Elsa smiled.
“There you are,” older Leo said,
padding into the shower room. Kamchatka
smiled and released
“Do you want a wash too?” The bear asked.
“Um, okay,” Leo replied, uncertain what
would happen if he refused. Once
“Why the long face?”
“That was amazing!” The lion mewed, “I’m just sad it’s all
“You’ve done enough here,” he mewed,
“come, lie down, we’ll ask Brunetta to get us some food.” Brunetta was contacted and soon arrived with
food. Grinning at Kamchatka, Brunetta
set down the grizzly bear’s food, and
“Sleep for a while,”
The bears slept late into the
next morning, not rising until lunchtime.
Padding out of the lie up,
“Stop!” Elsa screamed with fear!
“We’re sorry!” Clarence mewed, trying to run away.
“You’re sorry for what?” The bear asked. Clarence, seeing the bear’s angry eyes, shivered with fear.
“Sorry, sorry for playing in the passage!” Elsa mewed.
“You know that’s not allowed!”
“We’ll go,” he mewed, “we’ll leave here
now and play in my lie up!”
“Fleur and Leo tell those two time and
time again not to play in the passages and they’re always at it,” Brunetta
“There’s nothing scarier than an angry grizzly bear,” she said, her eyes shining. Clarence ran into his lie up, burying his head in Fleur’s shoulder and crying.
“What’s the matter?” Fleur asked. Clarence told her everything.
“I told you not to play in the passages,”
fleur mewed, “
“She was angry, really angry!” He whimpered.
Fleur nodded, for she’d seen everything on the screen on the wall of the
“She’s forgotten it now,” fleur said gently, “but remember her warning, don’t play in the passages.” Clarence promised her he’d never forget that. Little Elsa cuddled up to fleur, the cross bred cat touching the female lion cub’s paw with hers. Fleur looked down at Elsa, loving her. Clarence looked at the sole of Fleur’s left hind paw, for his mum was lying on her side and he could just see it. The mud brown fur between her pads had spots on it. Fleur seeing him looking curled the toes of that paw making the spots vanish in furrowed black pads. Clarence grinned hugely.
“I love your paws mum,” he mewed,” fleur smiling at her cub.
“Maybe you can teach me to love them too,” she thought. Clarence saw the expression on his mum’s face change from amusement at his interest in her paw to sudden sadness.
“What’s up mum?” Clarence asked. Fleur swallowed hard.
“Nothing.” She mewed. Clarence touched the pads of his mum’s left hind paw, Fleur relaxing her toes to let her cub touch them. Once his toes were in contact with hers, she curled them again, holding Clarence’s paw tight against her own.
“Soppy mum,” Clarence mewed. Fleur smiled sadly.
“I don’t really like my paws,” she said. Clarence smiled at her.
“Your paws are beautiful mum,” he mewed. Fleur increased her grip on his paw, Clarence smiling broadly.
“I like that,” Clarence said gently kissing Fleur’s toes as they held tightly onto his. Fleur smiled and released her cub’s paw.
“You two are so funny!” Elsa mewed. Clarence kissed his mum’s nose, fleur feeling her cub’s love for her. Samson padded into the lie up, Elsa turning and looking at him. Samson’s long flowing mane covered his eyes and hung down over his neck. Smiling at the large lion, Elsa padded up to him and touched his paw with hers. Samson looked down at the cub’s paw on his, noticing how small her paw was compared to his. Samson leant down and kissed Elsa’s paw, the female lion cub smiling at her leader.
“Clarence and little Theo are wonderful to me Samson,” Elsa mewed. Samson smiled:
“They are wonderful,” he mewed, his eyes shining with pleasure at her words.
Meanwhile Arki and younger Arki played together in Arki’s lie up. The two polar bears rolled about on the floor tickling each other’s paws with enthusiasm and huge enjoyment. Younger Arki loved having her paws touched and tickled, her older namesake only too glad to indulge her. Younger Arki loved massaging and playing with older Arki’s paws, the older polar bear enjoying younger Arki’s attention as much as the younger bear enjoyed hers. Arki and younger Arki crawled round the lie up, each trying to tickle the other’s hind paws, both enjoying the game. Then they sat down and each played the trapped paw game, each pretending their left forepaw was trapped by the toes of their right hind paw. Arki and younger Arki encouraged each other to pull their forepaws free of their suddenly grasping hind paws. Finding, they could not free their forepaws, each shuffled over to the other and used their free forepaw to stroke the pads of the hind paw trapping their forepaws, wrung was the objective all along. Laughing merrily, the bears finished their games and put their paws to their proper and, as far as they were concerned, more mundane use, padding to Samson’s lie up. The bears playfully rolled Samson over and tickled his paws, the lion roaring with laughter. Once Samson regained control of his own paws, fleur and he got the bears back by tickling their paws until they were as exhausted as Samson had been. Arki and younger Arki let Samson stroke and tickle their paws as much as he wanted, most of which time he spent stroking and massaging their pads and toes, much to the delight of the two BEARS.
Fleur and Samson’s cubs watched all laughing at the antics of the bears and lion.
“Samson wants to be a bear,” Clarence mewed. Fleur smiled and nodded.
“I think he does,” she replied. Samson hugged each of the bears and returned to his family. Arki got to her paws and danced a little on her toes, much to the delight of Clarence, Elsa and little Theo, who’d crawled in shortly after Samson had been flipped onto his back by the polar bears. Theo crawled to Samson and took his sire’s huge left forepaw in his tiny ones. Samson looked down at his son cub feeling a rush of emotion which he expressed by kissing Theo’s nose. Theo smiled and nuzzled Samson’s whiskers. Samson lies down and let Theo clamber onto his back, carrying him out of the lie up. Samson carried Theo to Nuru’s lie up where Androcles was playing with Younger Tess and Younger Leo, the two younger cubs using their adopted brother as a climbing frame, much to Androcles obvious delight. Androcles saw Theo and Samson and shook his brother and insister off him, getting to his paws to greet his leader and pride leader’s cub.
“No need to get to your paws Androcles,” Samson mewed, “I’m not worth you stopping your play.” Androcles looked uneasily at Samson.
“But how do I show respect to you then?” He asked.
“You show me respect by treating me like any other lion,” Samson mewed, “you didn’t see what Arki and younger Arki did to me did you?” The long manned lion asked. Androcles grinned:
“Picked you up and flipped you onto your back before tickling your paws?” He asked. Samson nodded.
“I saw that,” Androcles replied, “and there was only one reason why they could do what they did. They knew you trusted them and they could trust and rely on you. They respect your position as leader, but also knew you wanted to play, so they played with you.” Samson smiled.
“I loved having my paws tickled by them,” he mewed.
Kamchatka sat in
“What got you into playing with your hind
“I don’t know,”
“You and Brunetta would be a real couple
then,” she mewed, “Brunetta’s as mad on paw play as you are.”
“I know,” she replied, “Brunetta and I
have played with each other’s paws quite a bit.
We love it. I’ve even played with
Roxanne’s paws and she with mine, though her forepaws are so tiny she can’t
hold my hind paws that well. She enjoys playing with my hind paws and me
playing with her hind paws too. It’s
harmless fun really.”
Allie sat in her lie up playing with her own hind paws, contractions had
suddenly started earlier that day and now she was in real discomfort. Determined to have her cub unaided, she
fought to control her breathing and concentrate on playing with her toes and
stroking the pads of her hind paws. She
coped well until a particularly fierce contraction gripped her and she squeezed
her right hind paw with forepaws, groaning and panting with pain. Crawling from her lie up, she made her way to
the nearest lie up, unable to walk due to increasing contractions. Crawling into
“Your cub’s on its way I see,”
“It started suddenly, so suddenly!” Allie panted.
Ahrhrhrhooahahah!” Allie whimpered, curling the toes of all four paws and clenching her teeth.
“Do you want me to massage your hind
“keep playing with your left hind paw
Allie,” Kamchatka advised, the polar
bear picking up her left hind paw in her left fore, before frantically playing
with the toes of that paw using those of her right fore, massaging her pads and
playing with her toes during the lull in contractions. During the contractions themselves, Allie
moaned and grunted, pressing her right hind paw into
“I need to push! Want to push!
Must push!” Allie screamed,
screwing up her face, curling her toes and straining hard.
“You’re doing well Allie,”
“Massage my hind paw
“You’ve got a beautiful cub,” Rowena
remarked, having padded in and seen the whole thing after
“You can let go of my paw now
“Your cub has large pads on the soles
her paws, just like you do,” Kamchatka said, as the cub had rolled onto her
back and was waving four large paws in the air, black pads on the soles and
toes of all four paws visible to the assembled bears and lions. Allie smiled and motioned to
“Go on Pick my cub up,” she invited.
“Me and your mum love you little one,”
“Go on little one, push against my
“I can guess where she got that from,”
Allie said laughing, “you encouraged me to push against your forepaws with my
hind during contractions
“That was fun!” The cub enthused.
“Allie came to you when her labour became too much to cope with,” Rowena mewed.
“Yes, yes she did,”
“You did a wonderful job,” the lioness
said, “you were gentle but also encouraging too. Getting Allie to help her as
well as you helping her.”
“All the time I spent playing with my own paws was to be put to good use,” she said, “for I had some idea what would soothe Allie when I played with her paw.” Rowena smiled.
“Would you play with my paws
sometime?” The lioness asked.
“When would you like me to?” She asked.
“Whenever you feel you want to,” Rowena
mewed, “and, well, could I explore your paws?”
“I’d enjoy that I think,” the grizzly
bear said. Rowena hugged
“You did very well today,” the lioness said.
“Agreed,” Allie said, emerging from
“My paws are yours
“Allie just told me she had her cub!” He yelled, “Noone bloody came to get me when she went into labour!”
“She wanted to have the cub alone I
2You helped her?” Sam asked.
“I suppose you could say that,” she
replied. Sam ran to
“Thank you, thank you thank you!” Sam cried.
“Leave my paws alone!” Sam whimpered theatrically, though it was
clear he’d enjoyed
“I understand the cub braced her paws
against your forepaws
“She heard me encouraging Allie to brace
her hind paws against mine while she pushed, and the cub wanted to do the same
against my forepaws.” Sam smiled and sat
“That was wonderful!” Sam said.
“Go play with your mate and cub now,” she replied. Sam got to his paws, his face showing boredom at using his paws for their natural purpose.
“Walking on your paws is boring after
that isn’t it,”
“He liked that,” Rowena said as Sam’s rear view disappeared down the passage.
found his way to Allie’s lie up, his right hind paw
still tingling from where
“Push against my paws!” She encouraged, Sam pressed gently against her paws, the cub pressing back with amazing strength for a cub only a few hours old. Sam felt her pads against his and watched as she put everything she had into pressing back against his paws. Sam curled his toes and grunted with imagined effort, to the cub’s huge delight.
“You can’t push back against my paws can you?” She asked. Sam suddenly withdrew his paws, the cub crawling after his right hind paw and taking it in her forepaws.
“I win! I win!” She whooped. Sam lifted the cub up to his eye level the cub letting go of his hind paw. He then kissed her nose. Sam’s eyes filled with tears as he gazed at his newborn cub.
“I name you
at her mate and cub. She gazed at Sam
“Lesson one in life,” he said smiling, “how to play with your paws.” Allie laughed merrily.
“So you had your cub mum?” She asked. Allie grinned hugely.
“I did,” she replied, “I think it was
caught on camera too, so you can see it all.
Younger Arki, your sister’s name is
“Hi little sister,” Younger Arki
“Would you hug me?”
“Your paws are so tiny
“I like this paw play,” Alaska said, Arki curled the toes of her right hind paw, holding onto her younger sister’s tiny forepaws, the cub smiling and leaning forward to kiss the back of Arki’s forepaw, the older bear’s eyes filling with tears.
“I love you little sister,” Younger Arki
“You have four paws I think, just like
“You love my paws almost as much as I
do,” the bear said.
“I love their owner very much too,”
“Allie’s labour was magical
“You did very well helping her,”
“So say all of us!” Allie, Sam, Younger Arki and
Younger Arki and
“Got to love those cubs,” she
said. the sound of scampering paws and
laughter heralded the arrival of younger Tess and Androcles, the lion cashing
the liger into the pool complex, Younger Tess throwing herself into the main
pool, Androcles following her. The two big cats ducking each other in play. Kamchatka let go of Sam’s hind paws and
turned to leave the pool, lifting her left hind paw, which Sam caught in his
forepaws, holding it in his right while tracing Kamchatka’s sole pad with the
toes of his left fore.
“Oh you don’t say!” Sam scoffed.
Allie playfully slapped him with her paw. Sam released
“Kamchatka,” Allie said, “thanks again
for your help during
“I like that!” She said.
“I love you little
sister’s hind paws are a lot bigger than mine!”
The cub said.
“Feel my hind paws
“You are a very special bear
“I love you Arki,”
“Two lovers?” She asked, waving her paw at the bear and
lion. Androcles and
“Let’s play with and massage each other’s
pads and toes,” Androcles suggested,
“Let’s do just that,” she replied.
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