Naming Arki’s cub.
Arki woke slowly, luxuriating in the warmth of her mate Sam’s embrace, his scent reassuring her as she surfaced from a deep sleep. Looking to her left, Arki saw her cub, who was still sleeping peacefully. Arki examined the cub from nose to tail, thinking hard about a name for her. For months Arki and her adopted cub had known each other, but the cub hadn’t had a name. Arki took the cub’s tiny forepaw in hers and thought hard.
“Candy seems a nice name for our cub,” Arki thought. Arki looked at Sam, who, like his cub,, was still asleep.
“I love you dearly Sam,” Arki thought, stroking Sam’s paw with hers. This woke the male polar bear, who yawned and stretched his paws, in turn waking his cub, who did likewise. The two polar bears looked at Arki.
“Morning already?” Sam asked, rubbing a paw over eyes witch, for the moment refused to see anything properly.
“yeah, think so,” his cub replied, yawning and stretching. Arki watched them, enjoying every minute.
“I’ve got something to talk to you both about,” Arki said.
“Can we wake up first?” the cub asked. Arki, impatient to put her question to her cub, suppressed her eagerness to proceed.
“Arki’s got something important to say, I can feel it,” Sam said.
“Even if she has,” his cub replied, “I’m still waking up!” Arki unconsciously started drumming on the quilt with the toes of one forepaw. Her cub noticed this:
“stop drumming on the quilt!” She snapped.
“Sorry,” Arki said, clamping her forepaws tightly under her chin to stop herself from repeating the offensive action.
“Right,” the cub said after five minutes, which to Arki seemed like five hours, “now what was it you wanted to say to us mum?” Arki looked at her cub and then at Sam.
“I was thinking of a name for you little one,” she said.
“I was wondering what her name was,” Sam said, “I have known her for months but never knew her name, as my former mate never named her, for obvious reasons, and now she’s here, and safe, we should think of a name for her.”
“I was thinking of the name Candy,” Arki said, “how would that be?” Sam was smiling broadly, he obviously liked the name, and the cub nodded:
“Candy I am then,” she said. Arki hugged both Sam and Candy in turn.
“I love you both,” she said. Sam and Candy enthusiastically returned Arki’s hug, each embracing Arki and stroking her forepaws, something both knew she liked. Arki smiled, relaxing into the quilt. Candy, feeling mischievous, tickled Arki’s right hind paw. Arki squealed with surprise!
“Candy!” She yelped, “don’t do that!” Sam rolled onto his back and waved his paws in the air, laughing helplessly at Candy’s actions.
“Go Candy!” he encouraged. Arki glared at him.
“Don’t encourage her!” Arki snapped, but Sam knew she was enjoying every minute of contact with her cub.
“I’ll stroke your paw if you like,” Candy said to Arki, massaging the pads of Arki’s hind paw. Arki grinned at her cub.
“I love you Candy,” she said. Candy left Arki’s hind paws and took hold of both her forepaws. Arki looked into her cub’s eyes.
“let’s go downstairs and meet some of the other cubs,” Sam suggested.
Once they were downstairs, Tembi, along with other cubs such as Tarker, Winifred’s cub, embraced Candy in turn. Tarker wanted to show that otter cubs and polar bear cubs could play together, and very soon, he and Candy were playing together on the carpet. Whitie and Blanche played with Tembi, who delighted in tickling the snow leopard cub’s paws. Whitie fought back, giving Tembi as good as she got. Arki, Sam, Clarence and Amber watched their cubs playing. Clarence swallowed hard, trying to suppress an urge to burst into tears. His emotions welling up, Clarence watched Tembi playing with Whitie. Sam too swallowed a huge lump in his throat as he watched his cub playing with an otter cub.
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Martin Wilsher © 2005
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