Family stresses.



Isaac watched as Leo, having found Sam in the wardrobe, pulled the terrified polar bear out by one hind paw and dumped him unceremoniously on the carpet.  Isaac wondered if his attack on Arki would be mentioned.  Brunetta had come back from her walk in the wood to find Arki in a dreadful state, Kodiak trying to comfort her.  Learning of the goings on while she was away, Brunetta vowed never to leave the room without making sure she had someone she and Arki trusted in there to keep Arki safe.  Isaac was not to be trusted it seemed, and therefore, he should be watched at all times.


Brunetta had been as good as her word, keeping an eagle eye on Isaac, something which the male polar bear had noticed.  He knew Brunetta’s sudden interest in him wasn’t anything to do with a liking for him.  Anyway, he didn’t want to mate with her.  In fact, Isaac wouldn’t have mated with Brunetta had she been the last bear on earth.


Leo dragged Sam down the stairs, the polar bear having to use his forepaws to protect his face as he thumped down the stairs.  Once he was down, Leo dragged him quickly into the living room.  Leo spun round and clobbered Sam with his paw.  Sam wailed with fear and pain!

     “you are a menace to everyone!”  Leo yelled.  Sam raised his paws to cover his face.

      ”Please Leo, just lock me up, don’t hurt me!”  Sam yelled.

    “you are hardly worth me dirtying my paws!”  Leo yelled.  He was rapidly losing it!”

      “calm down Leo, please!”  snowy pleaded.  Leo’s eyes burned with hatred for Sam!

    “I will not stand for this!”  Leo yelled, “how dare Sam attack a tiny defenceless squirrel!”

      “I saw Isaac Attacking Arki,”  Whitie said.  Leo spun round on her.

      “How can you see him?”  Leo snapped, “you’re blind!”

      “you know dam well what I meant!”  Whitie snapped back, her paw landing with considerable force on Leo’s!  the huge lion, surprised by the snow leopard’s sudden attack, stared open mouthed at her.

    “Okay,”  he said gruffly, “what happened?”

     “Isaac crawled into the room, soft on his paws though he was, I still heard him,”  Whitie mewed, “he crawled onto the quilt and put his paw over Arki’s mouth, telling her to be quiet, or he’d do, do horrible things to her, which I cannot repeat.  He then walloped Arki across her nose and threw her onto the floor.  Once he’d done this, he took hold of Kodiak’s paw, crushing it.  Kodiak and Isaac had a blazing argument about Arki.  Meanwhile, Arki recovered a little crawling beneath the bed and hiding there until Kodiak found her and coaxed her out.”  Leo was furious!

     “You are only a cub!”  he snapped, “how am I to believe this!”

       “Because it’s all true,”  Brushtail barked.  Leo looked at the arctic fox.

     ”You are not known to be a storyteller,”  Leo said.  Snowy smiled at Brushtail.

     “snowy!”  Leo demanded, “you seem to know this fox.  I hate foxes, but I will let her corroboration of Whitie’s testimony stand if you say she is of good character.”

     “Arctic foxes, by their nature, are not as disreputable as the red fox Leo,”  snowy replied, “but I also know this vixen from old time, as I comforted her when she was a tiny cub.”  Brushtail spat with disgust at Leo’s attitude.  Leo rounded on Brushtail.

     “You’d better be correct!”  He snapped.  Isaac looked over at Leo.


    “She is correct, and so is Whitie.”  He said.  Leo rounded on Isaac!

      “Are you polar bears ever going to learn?”  Leo asked.  Isaac had the decency to avert his gaze.

    “I will go to the wardrobe now,”  Isaac said, crawling away, his head bowed.  Leo decided to let Isaac go for the moment, because he had to deal with Sam.  Dragging Sam out of the house via the back door, Leo threw him into a shed in the garden.  Leo was careful not to throw Sam into the wrong shed, for one of the sheds was furnished as a comfortable sleeping place, and Sam wasn’t in line for a spell in there.  Throwing Sam into the second of the two sheds, Leo slammed the door on a weeping polar bear.  Leo knew Sam would be destined for a spell in the shed, with a hard concrete floor to sleep on.  Leo knew the badgers who served the food to the prisoners were careful not to make physical contact with them.  Sam would get no contact at all, by eye, or by touch.  This would be worse punishment for him than the hard flooring.  Sam lay in the dark shed, miserably contemplating his lot, which wasn’t a happy one.


Meanwhile, Leo returned to the house, slamming the back door.  Meeting Isaac, he found the huge polar bear making his way to the wardrobe.  Leo stopped him.

     “Isaac?”  Leo asked.  Isaac Looked at the lion through shattered eyes.

    “I don’t want to go to the wardrobe!”  Isaac begged.  Leo looked at Isaac.

      “You attacked Arki though Didn’t you,”  the lion said.  Isaac looked down at his paws.

    “I did,”  he replied, “and I know I shouldn’t have done so.”

     “Have you spoken to Arki?”  Leo asked.  Isaac looked at Leo.

    “do you honestly think Kodiak would let me near her, or that she’d talk to me after what I did?”  He asked.

    “Suppose not,”  Leo replied.  Isaac suddenly said:

    “I love Arki Leo.  I know she doesn’t love me any more, and after me running off with that other female polar bear, I’m not surprised she doesn’t, but I can’t help feeling the way I do.”

    “You should have thought about your feelings towards Arki before you ran off,”  Leo said.  Isaac knew the truth of Leo’s words.

    “There’s more to it too,”  Isaac sighed, “I threatened Arki and Candy when Sam appeared on the scene.  Arki definitely won’t talk to me!”  Leo nodded at someone behind Isaac’s shoulder, and out of sight of the male polar bear.

    “I can’t talk to you Isaac,”  Arki said.  Isaac turned and looked Arki full in the face.

    “I’m sorry for threatening you and your cub,”  Isaac said.  Arki shook her head.

    “I can’t let it go,”  she replied.  Isaac knew his luck had run out.  Padding down the stairs, Isaac tried to make himself scarce..

     “I can’t forgive Isaac for what he did to me earlier today,”  Arki said.

     “go back to Kodiak,”  Leo said, “he’ll look after you.” 

Arki crawled away. 




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Martin Wilsher (©  2005


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