Danger to Arki.


Arki and her cub were lying on the quilt in the heat of another hot day.  They’d splashed about in the bathtub, and had also witnessed what Bruin and Brunetta had done to Clarence and Tigger.  Now dry, Tigger had returned to the quilt community and flopped gratefully onto the quilt.  Arki’s cub, turned to her foster mother and asked her the one question Arki hoped never to be asked.

      “How did you get here mum?  I know how I got to this place, but how did you get here?”  Arki shivered when she remembered the plastic bag she’d been transported in.  Even now she could feel the old fear rising in her, choking her and causing her paws to become damp with the sweat of fear.  Breathing rapidly, Arki tried to calm herself, but it was no good.  Her cub saw her foster mother’s reaction to her question, and was greatly upset by it.

      “You don’t need to tell me if it upsets you,”  the cub said to Arki, who was staring straight ahead, her eyes glazed and unfocused.

      “I can still feel the plastic clawing at my paws!  This is horrible!”  Arki yelled, thrashing about with all four paws.

      “There’s no plastic near your paws mum!”  The cub said.

      “I can feel it!”  Arki whimpered, “take it away someone please!”  It was Tigger who came to ~Arki’s aid.  He was strong enough to restrain her, and this he did, sheltering her cub from any flying paws.  Tigger held Arki’s forepaws, while the female polar bear cried into his fur.

      “It’s all right Arki,”  Tigger said gently, “it’s all over now, all finished.”

       “I can’t stand it!”  Arki sobbed.

       “you had a panic attack, that’s all,”  Tigger said, “there was no plastic anywhere near your paws Arki.  Arki, still shaking violently, looked down at her own paws.

       “How come my  paws felt all hot and horrible like they did when I was frightened and in that horrible place if there was no plastic round them?”  Arki asked.

      “You must have thought the sweat on your pads meant the plastic was back,”  Tigger replied, “there  were no plastic bags anywhere near you Arki.”  Arki looked at her cub.  Brunetta was having a stern word with the cub.

     “You don’t ask about an animal’s former life, not ever!”  Brunetta yelled, “We’ve all come from stressful places, and don’t want to remember them!  Some of the other animals have told you their stories, and weren’t they a warning to you?  You are a stupid cub!  Don’t ask Arki anything more!”  Arki was shocked at the way Brunetta tore into her cub.

      “Brunetta, Brunetta!  Stop it!”  Arki pleaded, “my cub didn’t know she was doing wrong!  I thought I’d got over my arrival here, but I now know I haven’t.  It’s not her fault!”

      “She aught not to ask silly questions!”  The furball screamed, walloping the polar bear cub with one hard forepaw.

      “Leave my cub alone, both of you!”  Arki yelled.  The Furball bristled with fury.

       “If that cub asks one more question like that, I’ll tear her paws off!”  he yelled.

       “I’m sorry!”  the cub whimpered, “I won’t do it again, I promise!”  Tigger looked into the furball’s face, and realised what was going on.  The large male polar bear didn’t want to look after Arki’s cub, he wanted Arki for himself.  He wanted her to have his cubs.  This cub was in the way!

     “Arki,”  Tigger said, “watch out, keep an eye on your cub.  For the furball wants to kill it.”  Arki looked into the furball’s face.  The polar bear stared back at her.

       “You will be mine Arki, one day, one day you will have my cubs!”  Arki felt sick with fear.  This bear was stronger than she, much stronger.  Curling up Arki buried her face in her paws and burst into tears.

     “You disgust me!”  Tigger yelled at the furball, leaping at him and knocking him off the quilt, both Tigger and the polar bear crashing onto the carpet.  Tigger leant over the bear’s back and placed his forepaws on those of the polar bear, forcing the bear’s paws down onto the carpet.  Tigger felt the huge polar bear kicking and struggling beneath him, and wished he had someone of his own size and weight to help.  Snowy couldn’t, and she was the nearest in stature to him.  The only other animal Tigger knew who came remotely close to his own stature was Clarence, and those stairs weren’t his favourite place in the house.  Tigger banged on the floor with a hind paw, three times, then a pause, then three times more.  His paw hurt after that, but Tigger carried on, thud, thud, thud, pause, thud, thud, thud.  Hoping Clarence would overcome his dislike of the stairs to come to his aid, for Tigger was already tiring.  This bear was strong, very strong!


Clarence heard Tigger’s distress call and made his best speed up the stairs, copying the polar bear he’d seen disappearing up the stairs six weeks previously.  One by one, placing his fore and hind paws ever so carefully, Clarence struggled up the stairs.  Once on the landing, he applied his paws to the carpet, dug in his toes and crawled quickly to his friend’s aid.


Tigger sensed Clarence arriving, and then the lion gripping one of the polar bear’s hind paws in both his forepaws and crushing it.  the polar bear screamed!

       “I don’t know what all this is about, Clarence yelled, “but if Tigger’s got any animal down on the carpet like this, things are bad.”

     “He made, made threats towards, Arki, Arki and her cub,”  Tigger panted, now exhausted.  Feeling the Tiger’s grip on his forepaws lessening, the polar bear tried to throw Tigger off.  Tigger rolled away, knowing he was beaten.  Clarence though, being built like a battering ram, waited for the polar bear to turn his head before cuffing him hard across the nose.  Now Clarence’s paws were a lot heavier than Tigger’s, and he could n’alf slap.  The polar bear lost all feeling in one side of his face, and his head felt like it had hit a brick wall.  Clarence looked down at the paw which had so much stopping power.

      “I wasn’t even trying,”  he said to the bear.  The polar bear snarled at Clarence.

      “I’ll eat you for dinner!”  Clarence sat on the polar bear, and in full view of him, licked a forepaw and began washing his fur.  The polar bear, immobile beneath Clarence, watched him with growing rage.

       “I don’t know what’s going on here,”  the bear yelled, “but whatever it is it’s unnatural!  Tigers calling on the help of lions?  A male lion or tiger calling on the help of a female lion or tiger might be okay, but two males of differing species?  What the hell’s going on!”

      “Tigger was the only animal who was good to me when I was turned out of my pride,”  Clarence said.  Now I’m trying to repay him.  Nothing’s too much.”  Tigger grinned at his friend.

       “Thanks for your help today Clarence,”  the tiger said.  The polar bear was furious!

      “I don’t know what kind of relationship you two have, but it’s unnatural!”  the polar bear screamed.  Clarence and Tigger smiled at each other.

      “I’m not having this!”  the furball yelled, “I can’t stand this!”  Tigger crawled across to Clarence and took one of his forepaws in both of his.  The furball Screeched as if he’d been electrocuted!

       “Good luck to them is what I say,”  Arki said.  Amber covered her mouth with one paw, trying not to laugh at the polar bear’s reaction.

       “Good friends, my paw!”  the furball yelled, “there’s something else to it than just good friends!”  Tigger and Clarence stared at the furball.

       “there’s nothing else to it,”  Tigger said, “we’re just good friends, that’s all.”  The furball knew he wouldn’t be able to prove anything.

       “Now you remember this,”  Tigger said, “you furball, are not to go anywhere near Arki, okay?  If you threaten, harass, or intimidate her or her cub, we’ll do far worse to you than has been done today!”  the furball mumbled his assent to the conditions imposed on him.


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