Making lynx with the community.
Fleur and Jespah made their way back to the house, leaving the pool complex through a back door which led into the wood. Padding through the wood, Jespah and Fleur realised the weather had changed for the worse, rain and wind as well as freezing temperatures having taken a firm hold. Shivering, the two cubs wondered why they’d even considered venturing outside in such weather; they weren’t to regret their decision for long though.
Heading onto the track, Fleur and Jespah padded along, their paws hardly making a sound on the cold hard earth. Fleur, scanning the way ahead with her superb sight, noticed something huddled beneath a bush. Calling a pause in the brisk walk, Fleur held her paw up to Jespah in a silent call for absolute quiet. Fleur pointed to him, to the ground, then to herself, then at the bush, and Jespah got the message. She wanted him to stay behind, while she ventured forward to see what was beneath the bush. Jespah, though hating the prospect of his friend going into a dangerous situation without him at her side, somehow felt it would be useless to argue with Fleur.
Fleur crawled away, Jespah watching her hind paws and long tail disappearing towards the bush, his mouth becoming dry with fear.
Fleur approached the bush, and when she was almost on top of it, checked her progress, pausing to take one last look.
“It, it’s okay, I’m safe, friendly, non lethal,” someone said. Fleur realised the voice came from what she could now see was a very furry animal of some sort curled tightly beneath the bush, which was almost too small to hide it properly.
“Who and what are you?” Fleur whispered, in case the animal took fright.
“I am, or was, a mate to a beautiful female lynx, and she was in cub with our cub, now though, I’m lost, alone, frightened, hungry and homeless.”
“I take it you’re a lynx then,” fleur said. The animal laughed slightly:
“I am,” he said, “but I’m a lonely lynx.” He sniffed slightly.
“I often wonder what happened to Ellie. Did she have our cub, is it alive, and is she alive? I loved her so much, I’d just like to know, and that’s all.”
“My name’s Fleur,” Fleur said, “Can I crawl up to you? You won’t hurt me will you?”
“No, NO I won’t, I promise, I promise!” The poor lynx mewed pitifully.
“All right,” Fleur said, “here, I’m crawling towards you.” The lynx watched fleur come towards him. He wasn’t scared by her markings, or revolted by them, he just wanted to take her in his paws and hug her.
“You, you’re a cub,” the lynx mewed, “fleur, you’re large, but you’re a cub!”
“Well, yes I am,” Fleur said, “why, didn’t you guess I was a cub by the sound of my voice?”
“No, well, not really, for you don’t sound like a cub, you sound, grown up, as if rolling about on the grass and waving your paws in the air was a distant and little thought of part of your life.”
“I can roll over with the best of them, want to see?” Fleur asked, always up for playing the cub she wanted to be.
“Come closer, please,” the lynx begged. When Jespah heard this, and saw Fleur moving closer to the lynx, so she was almost touching him, he sprang forward with an angry snarl, only to be checked by Fleur, who raised a paw to stop him.
“No Jespah, no!” Fleur snapped, Jespah instantly obeying her, for her tone demanded it, “he’s safe. He won’t hurt me.” Indeed, the lynx was weeping uncontrollably, then, suddenly, he grabbed Fleur’s paw and held it with such desperation that she was unsure of what to make of things.
“Can I hug you fleur, please?” The lynx pleaded. Fleur, feeling this was all a bit strange and hardly understanding what was going on, consented, and as the lynx enveloped her in his huge paws, she realised what he was about. He was weak, thin, and very unwell.
“I’m sorry,” the lynx sobbed, “but, but you might be the only cub I will ever hug. I’m dying, I know it, and, and I want to hug my own cub, but I can’t, so, please, let me hug you in my cub’s place.” Fleur knew then that this lynx had endured many horrors in his life, and that she might possibly be the last one to see him alive.
“You keep your mangy paws off my friend!” Jespah yelled.
“Now that’s unfair!” Fleur snapped, “he can’t help how life’s treated him, and anyway, he’s not mangy, he’s unkempt yes, thin too, and unwell also, but not mangy!”
“Do you know where Ellie is?” The lynx asked, stroking Fleur’s paws, “have you seen her?”
“What kind of question is that?” Jespah asked, “Are you completely bonkers?”
“Come home my friend,” Fleur mewed, looking into the lynx’s face.
“Come, come home? What do you mean? You are well fed, well looked after, you wouldn’t want me living with you fleur. No my dear cub, go from here, let me die knowing I’ve hugged you, and, and loved you with all I had to give my cub, for a few minutes at least.”
“Look here!” Jespah snapped, “You talk silly words, now let go of my friend before I bite your paws!”
“No Jespah,” fleur mewed, “don’t talk like that. It’s not this poor lynx’s fault he was dealt a bad hand in life. Is it not our duty and our privilege to help others less fortunate than us? We have a wonderful life, a wonderful home, with a beautiful and kind community behind us. This lynx has nothing to look forward to in life, though he has everything, if only he knew it. We must show him kindness, gentility, and warmth.”
“What do I have to look forward to Fleur,” the lynx mewed, “my mate is gone, my cub is dead, and so’s my mate for all I know, I’m ill, I’m cold, hungry and homeless. All I have is you, and you’re worth more than the world to me now, but soon you will be gone, and then, then, all I have is death, for I will not survive the night.”
“Come home,” Fleur said again. The lynx crawled from beneath his bush, and Jespah waited for him to get to his paws, but it was soon plain that he could not do so. So, with Fleur’s help, the lynx crawled like a cub towards the house.
Once there, fleur asked one of the otters to show her where the food was stored so she could get the lynx a meal. The otter, Winifred, yinnied that she had responsibility for the food, and fleur was most definitely not setting paw in her kitchen. Fleur smiled at the she otter, and Winifred soon had a good meal for the newcomer. The lynx ate little, and then settled down.
“I will eat more in a bit,” he said, “lovely food though it is, I can’t manage much.” Fleur understood. Jespah, still thinking his friend was completely barmy for bringing a stray lynx into their midst, stood guard, watching for the lynx to do anything unusual. The lynx now warm and with his fur drying out, but by no means clean, slept the sleep of the exhausted. Fleur watched over him all the time he was asleep, Jespah watching both of them.
Theo and Elsa soon learned of the newcomer’s arrival, and paid fleur a visit. Theo looked down at the lynx, who had eaten and slept some more, and now lay helpless and mewing with fear at the sight of the huge young lion.
“You need not be frightened of me,” Theo Purred, “I will not harm you.”
“Oh, thank you,” the lynx mewed. Theo then did something which made Jespah turn away in disgust. Theo leant over and kissed the male lynx on his nose.
“That’s wrong!” Jespah yelled, “That’s disgusting behaviour Theo!”
“Don’t you notice anything?” Fleur snapped, “That’s Theo’s way of showing he accepts someone. I’ve kissed Bianca’s nose and paw, that’s the way we do things!”
“I’m wondering about you Theo!” Jespah yelled, “What will Elsa have to say about this little revelation!”
“Absolutely nothing,” Elsa said, deliberately stepping on Jespah’s tail to shut him up, “I know why Theo does what he does, and it comes as part of his tactile nature. It’s a way of showing the depth of love he has for those less fortunate than himself when hugging them, as we would usually do, might not be the best thing to do, as the animal might be injured. Now leave Theo alone!” Theo’s kiss to his nose brought tears to the eyes of the bedraggled lynx, who knew then that he was among a friendly people, a tactile people, who showed their emotions in a manner used before speech communication, who showed their feelings in a different, more concrete way than mere words could ever express. Elsa took her paw off of Jespah’s tail, Jespah flexing it angrily.
“You really don’t get it do you Jespah,” Petra mewed, “the spiritual way is the way we do things here, we touch with our paws, noses and whiskers to show our love for each other. You and Fleur do it, so do Leo and Theo, Salty and Tigger, Clarence and Tigger, Bianca and Shuang, all of them, all of us, all together, as one community. The lynx listened to all this with closed eyes. The sound of padding paws made him open his eyes, and look straight into the eyes of a female lynx, into the eyes of his beloved mate. The male lynx gulped hard, and then blinked, just in case his mate disappeared. Then, when he saw she wasn’t going anywhere, he threw his paws round her, weeping and kissing her nose, ears and paws. Ellie smiled at her mate and then ushered forward a lynx cub, a cub with open eyes, but plainly blind. The male lynx wrapped his paws round the cub, holding him tightly.
“My cub,” he mewed, licking his nose. Pipin smiled and raised a paw to bat at his sire’s whiskers.
“Be careful Pipin,” Ellie mewed, “Nick’s not very well.”
“Why do you call him Nick?” Theo asked.
“It’s all tied up with Saint Nick, when he came into my life, I thought all my Christmas’s had come at once. He’s lovely.” Nick smiled at Ellie, released Pipin and took her in his huge fat paws.
“I love you; I never thought I’d see you again!” Nick wept. Ellie stroked his cheek with her paw.
“Well, here I am, and here’s your cub.” Nick took a deep breath.
“I will get better; I will not let you see me like this!”
“You let Fleur do her work, and you’ll get on very well,” Ellie mewed.
“That you will,” Pipin mewed, “Fleur’s soft and gentle.” Nick looked over at Fleur and smiled.
“You are right pipin my cub,” he purred, “Fleur’s a gentle cub, a real gentle cub. When, when I thought I was dying, Fleur let me hug her, and it, it was lovely!”
“I love fleur very much,” Pipin mewed. Fleur smiled and patted Pipin’s paw.
“So, I think I’d better let fleur do her thing,” Nick mewed. Fleur led Nick to the bathtub and ran a deep warm bath for him. She first showered Nick down, all the mud and filth coming out of his fur and from between the pads and toes of all four of his fat paws. The shower was warm, but Nick was attracted to the bathtub by the scent of the oils which fleur had chucked in by the pawful. Conscious of Nick’s wish to get into the bath, Fleur hosed him down with the shower and then he stepped out onto the tiles, his paws now looking larger as the rest of his fur was plastered to his body. Fleur helped Nick into the water, and the large lynx settled down gratefully into the water’s warm embrace.
“Now Nick,” Fleur said, “you are free to swim about, unstiffened your joints, thrash the water into a foam, all this and more. Nick looked up into her face.
sweet Fleur, would you join me in the water?”
Nick asked, “Could I hug you once more?
For you saved me, you brought me and my mate and cub together, and
Fleur, I love you like I do my own cub.”
Fleur stepped into the water; wading round to Nick’s other side, where
the large lynx enveloped her in a huge hug.
Fleur purred, knowing this huge cat really loved and understood
her. Jespah watched, feeling wretched
about his outburst towards Theo. Elsa
had given him a tongue lashing for his comments, and had cuffed him for good
“Do you now know
why we are as we are?”
“It’s not just
me you’re ignoring; it’s the love of your life, Fleur. She’s got a special touch, you know it, but
you refuse to let her show you. Nick
knows the touch of a true and honest creature as Fleur. He knows he’s safe, that noone can harm him
when he has the love of a community and the individuals in that community. Shuang knows the love, Pakshalika knows it
too, Pipin knows the love, and Bianca knows it too. Everyone does! Now Jespah, let me take you in my paws, and
just let yourself drift. Let your mind
go, feel my paws holding you, and just drift.
Fleur and Nick watched this, Nick holding Fleur’s paw.
“Do you still love him?” Nick asked Fleur.
“I do,” fleur
replied, “and so do Elsa and Theo. We
love Jespah because he isn’t a bad cub, he’s just misguided. We will put him on the right path.” Nick knew he was on the right path from the
moment he’d met fleur. Fleur Knew Jespah
was changed by his talk with
Jespah padded past Fleur and Nick, glancing briefly at his long time friend before leaving the room with his tail and head drooping miserably.
“One very upset lion cub,” Nick commented.
“Yeah, he’s that,” Fleur mewed. Nick shook himself, obviously feeling a lot better than he had only a day previously. He was by no means as well fed as a lynx should be, but he was a changed lynx from the thin, weak thing that had crawled through the door a day ago.
Nick looked at Fleur. It was plain to her he loved her as much as he loved his own cub.
“I shouldn’t feel so attached to this cub,” Nick thought, his thoughts plain to fleur through the expression in his eyes.
“Why not?” The touch of Fleur’s paw asked as she rubbed his paw with hers.
“Fleur, I want to love you like I do Pipin, but I can’t, it’s wrong, so wrong of me to think like this!” Nick said his voice cracking.
“It’s okay to love Fleur,” Theo said, wandering into the room, “she’s everyone’s cub, not just mine.” Nick impulsively hugged Fleur. Fleur purred contentedly as she felt Nick’s huge warm paws envelope her.
“Fleur never lies,” Theo mewed. Fleur snuggled into Nick’s hug, the huge lynx holding her tightly. She felt his toes gripping her fur, his pads rough but gentle.
“Nick’s a lovely creature,” Ellie mewed, gazing upon her mate with the never ending deep warm love she’d always felt for him.
“I love you from your ear tufts to the pads of your paws Nick,” Ellie mewed. Nick purred as he stroked Fleur’s paws. Ellie smiled at him as she watched him stroking fleur.
“Big softy,” she said to nick, swiping playfully at him with her paw.
“Let’s both tickle Ellie’s paws!” Fleur mewed. Nick sprang upon Ellie and held her down, Ellie mewing with surprise while fleur tickled her paws! Ellie wriggled and twisted, laughing helplessly.
“Leave my paws alone!” She mewed, but her eyes told fleur and Nick she was enjoying every minute.
“I, I’ll, I’ll get you both for this!” Ellie mewed, while Nick tickled the pads and toes of her left forepaw, Fleur assaulting her right hind in much the same manner. Nick and Fleur were up for this, but wondered how Ellie would manage to tickle the paws of two animals at once. They’d forgotten about Pipin, who listened a short way away and was ready to help his mother out in any way he could.
Ellie put an end to the assault on her paws and belly, Nick and Fleur letting her recover.
“I think it’s now time I paid both of you back for that,” Ellie mewed, her eyes shining with merriment, “Pipin, help me tickle the paws of these two until they’re as helpless as I was.” Pipin went for fleur, bowling her over, as he was a large cub, and tickling her paws, Fleur laughing and letting him get on with his work. Ellie tackled Nick, the huge lynx rolling over and letting her stroke and tickle his large fat paws.
Meanwhile, Fleur and Pipin were having a fine time, each tickling the other’s paws and belly until they were exhausted.
Pipin found Fleur had large, fat, thickly furred paws.
Embracing her, he buried his face in her thick, warm coat.
“You have soft fur Fleur,” Pipin mewed. Fleur smiled and kissed his nose. Pipin purred softly while Fleur held him tightly.
Nick looked at the two cubs.
“Pipin’s fallen for Fleur I think,” he mewed.
“I think we all have Nick dear,” Ellie replied, “the community changed for the better the day she was born.” Hearing this made fleur want to die of embarrassment. She’d never thought of herself in these terms. She knew what others thought of her, or she’d done so ever since she’d met the strange cub which looked, or so she supposed, like she herself did. Fleur was just the way she was, and that was that.
Nick settled into the routine of the household, enjoying all it had to offer, making friends with everyone. Arki and Allie loved Nick on sight and they would often be seen playing together. Nick reserved most of his time for his mate and cubs, and He, along with Ellie, Pipin and Fleur, could often be seen playing together in the pool.
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