Meeting real power.



Fleur woke slowly.  She at first wondered where she was, but then, as the touch of several paws on her body made itself felt, she remembered.  She could feel paws holding both her forepaws, then there were two paws on her tail, and even one tiny one resting on her left hind paw.  Fleur wondered if all these paws were there to hold her down, had she thrashed about in the night?  Fleur then remembered her birth, and how difficult that had been.

     “If I did thrash about,”  she thought, “it’s not surprising.  Fleur explored the sensation of the paws on her body, they were warm, and all had retracted claws.  She tried moving a paw, picking up her left fore.  The paw holding hers suddenly tightened its grip!  Fleur instantly felt fear, mewing with terror! She fought to free her paw, waking the whole cubbing den, as it seemed everyone had their paw, or tail, or whiskers in contact with her.

       “ay? What?”  Leo grunted, “is something wrong?”  Fleur was terrified and angry.

      “I wanted to move my paw,” she mewed, “and the owner of the paw holding mine didn’t want me to move it, so they held on tighter!  I got scared, fought them, and now this has happened!  Don’t you want me to move? Am I to stay in the same place all the time?”  Perdy, who’s paw it was that had tightened on Fleur’s, embraced her frightened cub.

       “I’m sorry,”  she mewed, “it was my fault.  I felt your paw move, and instinctively held onto you as I thought you were having a nightmare.  I won’t do that again.”

      “How did I end up waking the whole den?”  fleur asked.

      “Well,”  Theo replied, “Leo had his paw on your tail, so did I.  Leona rested her paw on one of your hind paws, Elsa and Perdy’s whiskers, and Perdy’s paw were touching your forepaws and face, and Tigger’s paw was on your right forepaw.  Other cubs had their paws or whiskers touching you.”

         “I don’t know whether to be glad I had so many looking out for me or upset that you think I would ever think of running away,”  Fleur mewed, “where could I go?  Nowhere!”

      “We’re all sorry if we made you feel trapped,”  Elsa mewed, touching Fleur’s cheek gently with one paw, “but we all love you dearly fleur, and we didn’t want you to come to harm.”  Fleur knew of the goings on surrounding her birth in the wood, and knew there were many animals who witnessed it.

      “I do feel very safe here,”  Fleur mewed, “but I would rather not be pinned down by paws in the future.”

      “You are so precious to us,”  Theo said, “not just to your mum and Tigger, but to all of us.  We all love you dearly fleur,”  Petra said.  Leo smiled at Petra and patted her paw.

       “If loving me means pinning me down, I don’t want it!”  fleur mewed.

      “No, it doesn’t mean that!”  Perdy replied, much hurt by her cub’s words, “we don’t mean to restrict your liberty, but we don’t want you to get into trouble, so we put our paws on you to reassure us you were still there, and to reassure you we were there too Fleur!”  Fleur knew she’d upset her mother with her words.

      “I’m sorry,”  Fleur said, “I know you love me, and I would go mad without the love and protection of all of you, and I love you all very much.  This is awful!  I didn’t mean to say it like that!  It’s, well, that I don’t want paws holding me down, and I thought you were saying that was what loving me was.  I know it’s not just that.”

     “This conversation is too deep for me this early in the morning,”  Aslan yawned.

        “I didn’t mean to upset anyone!”  Fleur mewed, now close to tears.

       “We know,”  Perdy replied, “but you don’t know what you were saying when you said what you did.  It hurt us fleur!”

      “for heaven’s sake!”  Elsa yelled, “wait a minute, take three deep breaths and calm down everyone!  Fleur’s only a day old!  If you woke to find paws on you, and you didn’t like it, but were told that these paws were there because the owners of those paws loved you, wouldn’t you associate the word love with restraining paws?  If you didn’t like paws holding you down, you would say you didn’t like what the owners of those paws called love, for that was the reason for them holding you down, and being held down was what you hated.  So you would hate this love thing, no matter what the real feelings were behind the whole thing.”

       “and I’ll bet you tightened your grip on Fleur’s paw when she tried to struggle Elsa!”  Perdy snapped.

      “No, no Perdy, Elsa didn’t,”  Theo mewed, “she woke and looked round to see where fleur was, but she took her paw off the cub’s.  Elsa knew her cub wasn’t going anywhere where she’d be in danger.”  Perdy looked at Elsa.

      “thank you Elsa, for explaining that to us, great scholar!”  She spat.  Elsa’s paw landed with a smack across Perdy’s face!

      “Now you’re getting tiresome!”  Elsa Snarled.  Perdy whimpered with shock.  Even though Elsa’s paw was safe, which meant her claws were retracted and could do Perdy little harm, the slap still stung.

      “Now Elsa, please!”  Theo pleaded, “Perdy’s a new mother, and doesn’t understand these things.  We have to teach her, and slapping her with your paws won’t achieve anything!”

      “I explained it as best I could,”  Elsa mewed, “and Perdy tore into me for trying to help her!  she’s being dreadful again!”

       “This is going to be a rough ride,”  Petra thought, sighing heavily, “Elsa and Perdy are on a collision course.”

      “That was a big sigh Petra?”  Theo said.

     “It’s nothing,”  Petra replied airily, though her heart was heavy with worry, “nothing at all Theo.”   Theo saw the concern in Petra’s eyes, she might be able to disguise it in the way she spoke, but her eyes never lied.

       “It’s a little local difficulty,”  Theo said gently to Petra, “your mum and Perdy are having a bit of trouble understanding each other.”

       “A bit of trouble?”  Perdy asked, “and what would you know about that Theo?  Why is it you’re talking to your cub about a problem which concerns me and Elsa only!  That’s our business, not hers or yours!”

      Petra is perceptive,”  Theo replied, “she knows and understands more than you give her credit for.  She’s worried about what will happen to fleur if you and Elsa come to blows.”

       “come to blows?”  Perdy snapped, “I’ll rip Elsa’s head off!  She’s interfering in my cub’s life!”

       “I told you this would happen,”  Petra mewed pitifully, curling her toes into the rug for support, “Perdy’s going to explode!”  Perdy leapt to her paws and screamed at Petra!

      “Will you bloody well shut up!”  She snarled, “my cub is mine alone to do with what I wish!”  Tigger roused himself, getting to his paws.

      “Fleur’s my cub too Perdy,”  he reminded her, “and I say you will treat her, and anyone who cares for her with respect!”

      “You can shut up too!”  Perdy yelled, “I’m not taking orders from a blind tiger!  You are so clever when it comes to others cubbing, telling them what to do, but when it’s me, oh no, you let me go through hell!  You know how to pull a cub, I saw it in your face when Theo mentioned it!  You wanted me to suffer!  Saying you didn’t know what to do when I was fighting for mine and the cub’s life, that was rubbish! You knew Tigger, oh yes, you knew, but you weren’t telling, why was that?  Because you wanted me dead!”  Tigger flung himself down on the rug, burying his face in his paws.

     “How can you say that!”  he sobbed.

      “You made no attempt to pull the cub!”  Perdy yelled, “that’s how I know it!”

      “My mind was full of other things,”  Tigger wept, “I couldn’t remember a thing about how to help during a cubbing!”

      “Tigger’s mind was confused Perdy,”  Theo said, “it’s not his fault.”

      “How the hell would you know!”  Perdy yelled, “the cubbing was hell, and this, this useless tiger did nothing to help!”


Petra, sensing Fleur’s distress, padded over to her, took her paw and then, because she could see the huge cub was in need of stronger reassurance, dropped Fleur’s paw and hugged her.

     “I’m scared Petra,”  fleur mewed.  Petra patted Fleur’s paw:

       “We will leave here and find some other animals to talk to,”  she said.

     “But, but I’m hungry, and my mum and Elsa, the two who have given me milk, are close to tearing each other up!”  Fleur sobbed.

       “I will make sure they don’t,”  Petra mewed, “now, get a drink, and then we’ll leave here.”  Fleur approached Perdy, who pushed her away with her paw.  Elsa saw Fleur’s distress, and let her drink from her milk.  Once she’d drunk enough, fleur grabbed Petra’s paw and almost dragged her from the den.

     “I know I will soon want to sleep,”  Fleur mewed, “but I don’t want to sleep in the den, anywhere but there!”  Petra and fleur fled, their paws scuffing and thudding down the stairs to where snowy lay.

       “Snowy’s gone!”  Petra mewed pitifully.  Indeed, the rug where Snowy usually lay was empty.  Fleur began to shake with fear.

      “Has something happened to her?”  the cub asked.  Petra didn’t want to share her fears.  Snowy was very unwell, and might have crawled away to die.  Petra and fleur ran all over the house, finally finding snowy half-tail on the quilt.  She looked dreadful.  Her breathing was laboured, and the look in her eyes told Petra she was in great distress.  The other animals who lived on the quilt were cowering in fear.

      “Snowy!”  Petra mewed.  Snowy looked at her with terrified eyes.

      “I’m not too good today Petra love,”  she said, “I’m, I’m finished, this is the end for me.  Give my love to Fleur if you see her.  I love you all.”  Petra then noticed two tiny snow leopard cubs, Whitie and Blanche cuddled close to snowy, touching her with their paws.  Petra didn’t know the story behind their love for the snow tigress, but she could guess at it from seeing how Snowy adopted Fleur.

     “What’s happening?”  Fleur asked.  Now Petra was torn between sending Fleur back to the cubbing den into a situation which she didn’t like, or Fleur staying with her and witnessing whatever might happen to Snowy.  Suddenly Snowy’s breathing slowed, and the two snow leopard cubs snuggled close to her, weeping pitifully.

      “We love you Snowy,”  Whitie mewed, her tears wetting the tigress’s fur.  snowy didn’t reply, for she couldn’t.  Suddenly Snowy’s body trembled, and she cried out with fear, a desperate, heart rending sound, which brought the occupants of the cubbing  den flying into the room!  Most of them were too late, for Snowy’s paws briefly reached for Whitie, the snow leopard cub cuddling close to the tigress.  All too soon, Snowy’s body relaxed and  lay still.  Snowy half tail was dead.


“What the hell’s going on!”  Leo yelled.

      “Snowy’s dead Leo!”  Petra sobbed.  Leo fought his way through the crush of animals, which was growing as those downstairs reacted to the sound of Snowy’s dying cry.  Leo stood over snowy, looking down at her lifeless form.

      “Snowy, snowy!”  Leo cried.  Elsa held Leo’s paw as the huge lion wept into Snowy half tail’s coat.

       “What’s happening!”  fleur asked.

      “Snowy’s dead,”  Aslan said gently.  Fleur became still, remembering the snow Tigress’s soft paws, and the way she’d laughed when fleur tickled her paws.  Fleur then realised it had been Snowy who’s paw had taken hers when she first entered the cubbing den.  Fleur could still feel the tigress’s huge fat, warm  paw enveloping her own.  Fleur found herself weeping for a tigress whom she’d hardly known, but had taken her in her paws without reservation to love and protect her.  Whitie and Blanche held Snowy’s paws, greatly upset by the death of their foster mother.

      “Rest in peace snowy,”  Whitie sobbed.  The two snow leopard cubs kissed Snowy on her nose, before crawling away together, paw in paw.  Leo watched them go, knowing Snowy was loved by almost everyone in the community.


Theo didn’t know what to do.  Things had changed so dramatically in half an hour.  Noone knew the seriousness of Snowy’s condition, or did they?  Why wasn’t he warned she was gravely ill.  These questions had to be faced, but not now.  Theo’s mind thought of his responsibilities as leader, but also he was dreadfully upset.  He remembered being stroked by snowy in the early days of Leo’s and her relationship, when she’d introduced Leo to paw massage and Leo had asked her if he might bring his brother for a paw massage.  Snowy had agreed, and Theo got his massage.  Now Theo was trying not to cry, but inside his heart was torn in two by the death of the snow tigress.  The community had always known Snowy’s medical condition could kill her at any time, but as with all things like that, they’d pushed it to the back of their collective mind and carried on.  This was partly why Snowy’s death was such a shock to all.  Despite knowing he should take charge, Theo couldn’t.  Instead, no longer thinking of the community, but only of the gentle snow tigress who’d helped him all that time ago, Theo buried his face in his paws and burst into tears.


      “You should be leading us!”  Tarker snapped, whacking Theo with his paw.  Theo, furious with grief, turned on Tarker and attacked him!

     “No Theo No!”  Elsa pleaded, leaping at Theo and trying to restrain him!

     “This otter needs to be taught a dam good lesson Elsa!”  Theo sobbed, “and as my first act as Leader, I’m going to bloody well teach him it!”  Theo clawed and ripped at Tarker, the otter screaming with fear and pain!

       “No Theo no!  Leave him!”  Leo begged, but he knew Tarker was for it.  Theo drove Tarker out of the room, along the landing and to the top of the stairs.

       “No Theo!”  Winifred yinnied, as she realised what the young lion was about to do, “don’t, don’t do it!”

     “This Tarker,”  Theo snarled, “is for Aslan, for Petra, for Leo, and mostly for Snowy!”  With that he picked Tarker up in his mouth, shook him, and with a screaming yell of rage and pain, threw the otter cub hard down the stairs!  Tarker’s body smashed into the wall, then slid down the stairs, gaining speed, until it became airborne, and he tumbled the rest of the way, his body landing with a thud at the bottom.  Theo stood and watched, numb from his nose to his toes.

      “You killed him!”  Winifred yinnied.

      “I don’t care,”  Theo snarled, “that otter cub had it coming to him!”

    “But you can’t just murder at will!”  Elsa mewed, racing to Theo’s side, “you can’t do that Theo!”

       “Elsa, my dear sweet lioness,”  Theo growled, still pent up with fury, “you don’t know what that cub has done to the community.  You have no idea my sweetheart, no idea at all.  One day I will tell you, but now, now, let’s,”  and with this Theo’s anger subsided until he was crying, “let’s go and deal with poor snowy.”  Elsa took Theo’s paw, it was shaking, and she saw Theo’s whole body was trembling so much he could hardly stand.  Theo cried out with pain, his grief acute and tearing him apart.

      “come,”  Elsa said gently, “you must be strong for the community Theo, I know you don’t’ want to be strong, but you must.”  Theo hugged Elsa tightly, his tears wetting her fur.

       “I loved that Tigress Elsa,”  he sobbed, “she was so gentle to me.”  Elsa stroked Theo’s paw:

     “Now do what you can for her,”  Elsa said gently, “take her and bury her in the wood with all the ceremony which befits a great cat.”  Theo hugged Elsa desperately, then released her, padding back into the bedroom, where the animals had mostly left to go back downstairs to allow Theo and whomever would help him to do their thing.”

      “Fleur, and you Petra,”  Theo said, “go back to the cubbing den.  Perdy won’t harm either of you.”  The two cubs left quickly.

      “What are you going to do with snowy?”  Whitie sobbed.

      “I will bury her in the wood,”  Theo said gently to the snow leopard cub, “you can help choose the place if you like, for I know you and Snowy were very close.”  Whitie wiped her eyes with her paw.  Whitie and blanche’s eyes had opened, but they were still blind, their eyes not forming properly.

      “I can’t choose a place to bury Snowy yet!”  Whitie sobbed, “she’s only been dead half an hour!  Oh Theo, I can’t do it!  Not yet!  Blanche and I have just lost our mum, and I can’t consider where to bury Snowy yet, please, let me do it in my own time!”  Whitie pleaded.  Amber spat at her cub.

      “How can you say that Whitie!”  She demanded, “I am your mother, snowy wasn’t!”

      “You gave birth to us,”  Blanche snapped, “any snow leopard can do that!  Snowy picked us up when You had to leave us, and cared for us for a long time.  Then, then, when you found us, you hated snowy so much you did horrid things to her, and, and now, now she’s dead, and you’re asking why we’re saying things like this?  Snowy never hated you Amber, but you, you not only hated her, you did horrid things to her!”

       “I won’t have you talking like this Blanche!  Do you hear me you disgusting cub!”  Amber yelled.

      “No, “no I won’t stop talking like this!”  Blanche sobbed, “because it’s true, it’s all true I tell you!”  Amber crawled over to Blanche and walloped her with all her force!  Blanche cried even more, which angered Amber further.

      “I think you’d better leave Amber,”  Theo said firmly, “go!”  Amber shuffled away, Blanche snuggling into Theo’s fur for protection.

      “She’ll not trouble you again,”  Theo growled.  Blanche and Whitie hugged each other tightly.  Theo next went to Leo, the huge lion still crying into Snowy’s coat.

      “She’s still warm,”  Leo choked, “Snowy’s not dead!  She can’t be dead!”

      “Leo,”  Theo said softly, “she’s gone, it’s just her fur keeping her body warm now.  She’s left us my brother cub.”  Leo mewed with misery, holding desperately onto Snowy’s paw.

       “I never, never got to say sorry to her for how I’d been over the Elsa and Simba thing either,”  Leo cried, “she was furious with me for my stupidity, and I never got to apologise!  It will live with me forever Theo!  I never made things right between us, and now I can’t, and it’s not fair!  Why does a tigress who’s done nothing to harm anyone have to die before her time?  I used to believe in a higher power, but now it can go stuff itself!  If this higher power is meant to be benevolent, it wouldn’t take good kind beings before their time, like it’s just taken snowy!”  Theo held his brother’s clenched paw, Leo furious with grief.

      “I can’t go on any more!”  Leo sobbed, “knowing that I didn’t make amends with Snowy for what I said.  She said my rantings made her want to die of boredom, and then she wasn’t serious.  Now though, now she’s really dead, and I didn’t apologise to her for what I’d said about Elsa and Simba!”

     “Maybe if you went into the wood and settled down in a clearing, closed your eyes and thought about Snowy, you might be able to, even now,  let her know how you feel,”  Theo said to his brother.

      “I can’t!”  Leo sobbed, “for that would mean coming into contact with a force whom I don’t believe in!”   Theo smiled.

     “Ah Leo my brother cub,”  he said, “but you do believe in that higher power.”

     “No I don’t, I don’t!”  Leo yelled.

      “go into the woods,”  Theo said, “lie down, close your eyes, and see who comes to you my brother.  Don’t be afraid of what you might see, for nothing and noone will hurt you.  You are between the paws of the higher power, but you don’t know it.”

      “You’re going crazy Theo!”  Leo sobbed, “I can’t do anything like that!  Our mother told me and you about Eohippus, the dawn horse, who was said to be the mother of all creatures, even those who would kill her own kind.  This horse was so open hearted she understood why millions of her own kind had to die to feed the lions and other carnivorous animals she’d created, and gave her own kind swiftness of foot and a gentle spirit so they might show the lions and carnivores how to behave properly.  The story went that the carnivores would eat the horses and other prey animals, but there would be a time when we will all be eating plants and things, leaving the prey animals in peace.  Until that time, the prey animals would have the gentility and spirit to forgive us carnivores for our so called natural instincts.”

       “You don’t realise what’s going on do you Leo, you can’t see it can you my brother cub,”  Theo replied.

     “If you’re so clever, you tell me!”  Leo snarled.

     “Go into the wood,”  Theo said, “there you will learn all.  As I’ve said, you’ve been between the paws of a higher power already.  She doesn’t look like much at the moment, but she’s here, and she’s adhering to the laws Eohippus set down at the dawn of time when she roamed the planet.  Go to the wood my brother cub, go and see what you learn there.”


Leo left the room, Theo watching him go.  Going downstairs, Leo left the house and ventured into the wood.  Lying down in the same clearing as fleur was born, he closed his eyes and thought hard.  Leo, after a lot of thought, could get nowhere.  He was about to give up when he saw something coming through the trees, a tiny white mare.  Leo’s instinct suddenly kicked in, and he wanted to bring the mare down and eat her, but when he looked into her eyes, his belly became full, and he no longer wanted to eat the mare.

      “Leo, Leo?”  The mare nickered softly, a sound so sweet it brought tears to the lion’s eyes, “do you know me?”  Leo stretched out his paws to embrace the mare, for he suddenly felt he wanted to hug her.  This mare was only a few feet tall, if that.

    “You’re Eohippus,”  Leo sniffed, for he was crying now.

       “I am,”  the mare replied.

      “I thought, thought you were fictional,”  Leo sobbed.

     “No,”  Eohippus replied, “I lived at the dawn of time, but was only given form when life on earth got to a level where I could assume the form of an animal who has the bravery to join battle, and the intelligence to understand why others more uneducated than itself may want to do it harm.  I am an animal who will help humans, but will also put my life on the line for another animal.  I am a horse.”

     But, but you’re not real!”  Leo sobbed, you’re not here!”  The mare walked closer, and Leo could hear her hooves on the grass.  Then she lay down beside him, and touched his whiskers with her soft muzzle.

     “I’m here,”  she said, “and now, now I will give my life to you Leo, you can eat me as you wished to when I first appeared through the trees.”

      “I can’t eat you Eohippus, I can’t!”  Leo sobbed, “I was hungry, and my instinct told me to make you as food for me, but I can’t do it!”

      “You can’t do it, because you asked yourself in those few seconds if you really could kill and eat a horse.  You decided you could not live with yourself if you did that.  I saw this, and made your belly full so you would no longer feel hunger.  You will be hungry again, but for a different food.  Now I have something to say to you.  I believe you’ve been having some problems recently,”  Eohippus said.

      “yes,”  Leo replied, “the community have had some problems,,”  he stopped for the mare had raised her hoof.

       “Not the community, you Leo,”  she said.

      “Yes, I have,”  Leo said miserably.

      “I believe you have also lost someone dear to your heart too,”  the mare continued.  Leo hesitated, fighting with an urge to weep for snowy, for he’d been weeping with fear at what was happening to him until then.  The mention of his dead mate’s name tore Leo apart.

      “You can cry for Snowy, it’s not wrong to do so Leo,”  The mare said.  Leo rested his head against the mare’s neck and cried for snowy.  Suddenly he felt the mane against his face changing, it became fur, soft warm white fur!  Leo suddenly felt paws holding him.  Wiping his eyes, he looked, and there, holding him in her paws, lay snowy half tail!

      “Snowy?”  he asked softly.

      “Yes Leo,”  snowy replied.

       “Please, I wanted to say how sorry I am for what I said about and tried to do to Elsa and Simba.  I know it hurt you a lot.”  Snowy’s spirit hugged Leo tenderly.

      “Now,”  Snowy said, “you will have to help those members of the community who need it most,”  the tigress said, “You don’t know this yet, but Eohippus lives here on earth, even as we speak.  You know the stories of Eohippus don’t you Leo.”

      “yes,”  Leo replied.

      “Tell them to me,”  snowy purred.  Leo did, and when he was finished, snowy touched his nose with hers and said softly:

       “does Eohippus remind you of anyone currently living in your community?”

      “No,”  Leo replied, “Brydy maybe, because she’s a horse,,,”  Snowy raised a well padded paw to stop him.

       “No,”  the tigress replied, “the similarity is less obvious.  Do you know anyone who looks like, even lives like Eohippus did?”

     “You mean a white animal?”  Leo asked.

      “yes,”  Snowy said, “a white animal indeed.”

     “it was said that Eohippus was white from her nose to her tail,”  Leo replied, “but there are no animals who are like that in our community.”

       “None at all?”  Snowy asked, “are you sure about that?”

      “There’s Petra,”  Leo said, “but she’s got a black nose, and black pads on her paws, I’ve seen them, I’ve tickled her paws!  Her pads are not white.”

      “Tell me about Petra,”  snowy enquired.

      “You know her, you’ve hugged her Snowy.”

      “even so, tell me about her,”  snowy replied.  Leo, knowing he had no choice, thought for a minute.

     “She’s a female lion cub, almost a lioness sometimes,”  Leo said, “got white fur from her nose to her toes pretty much.  Petra’s got a black nose, blue eyes, and black pads on the soles of all four paws.  Her paws are soft, and very strokable.  In fact, the whole of her is.  She loves being stroked does Petra.  Petra loves having her paws tickled too.”  Snowy’s spirit smiled:

     “Anything else?”  She asked.

      Petra’s got a meat intolerance, she has to eat vegetables the whole time,”  Leo replied.

       “Now,”  snowy said, “what’s similar about the two animals, don’t get put off by the fact Petra’s a lion cub.”

     “Nothing!”  Leo replied, beginning to think Snowy’s spirit had lost her way, “there’s nothing similar about them, one’s a horse who lived thousands of years ago, and the other’s a lion cub who lives in the house!”

      “What’s similar about them?”  snowy asked again, infuriating Leo.

      “Nothing!”  he roared, “nothing at all!  Look, if I knew I was going to get the grand interrogation here, I’d not have come!”  Now I’ve apologised to you Snowy, I’m off!”

      “No you’re not!”  Snowy snarled, extending her claws and pricking Leo with them, “you will stay here until I’ve said what I have to say.  Now, I want you to tell me the similarities between Petra and Eohippus.”

      “They both eat vegetables or plants, and both have white hair or fur.”  Leo replied, “They both are white from their noses to their tails, from their ears to the soles of their feet.”

      “Good,”  Snowy said, “now tell me this one last thing.  What did Theo say to you before you left the room where my earthly body died?”

      “He said that I should not be so sceptical about a higher power, for I’d already been between the higher power’s paws,”  Leo replied,” it all sounded very strange, I thought he was going mad after Snowy’s, I mean your death.”

     “My death?”  Snowy asked, “if I died, I’d not be here now. Anyway, we’ll let that pass for the moment.”

      “Theo isn’t talking about himself is he?”  Leo asked, “about himself being the incarnation of a higher power?”

     “Not himself,”  snowy replied, “though he’s the only one to realise who the white cub really is.  He treats her no differently from any other of his cubs, but he knows who she is.”

      “The white cub,”  Leo replied, “but that’s what we used to call Petra before she had a proper name.”

     “yes,”  snowy replied, “the stories of Eohippus told that every now and again, the equine who gave life to every non human animal would have a representative born to a member of a community, without warning.  This representative of Eohippus wouldn’t be eohippus herself, but as close to her as possible without necessarily being a horse.  Petra doesn’t know how to read the thoughts of other animals yet, but Theo will teach her.  Petra is eohippuses representative living among you.  She doesn’t know her station yet, but she will learn it.  She already knows to seek beauty within, for it was Petra who first said Fleur was beautiful while the rest of you were wondering if she was or not.  You were looking at her fur, not at her inner self.  Petra saw Fleur’s beauty, which wasn’t in her fur, but in her mind.  Petra and Theo will grow together.  For it is they who will lead the community now.  Elsa will nurture Petra, but it will be the white cub, along with her sire, who will lead the community.”

      “What if the others don’t agree?”  Leo asked, “Petra’s not liked by all.”

      “No,”  snowy replied, “those who do not like her hate her because they don’t know her.  I know these animals, and there are two.  Amber is one, and Stifftail the other.  There were three, but Theo lost his temper and killed Tarker.  The otter cub met his destiny, for he was poisoned in the mind, as Theo said to Aslan once.  Theo’s only young, about three years old.  He will learn to lead the community well.  Petra will learn too, but she will be a mother to all cubs, the protector of all lost creatures.”  Leo’s eyes filled with fresh tears.

     “Like, like you were,”  he sniffed.

     “Yes Leo my love,”  Snowy purred, “now I must leave you forever.”

     “No Snowy, no!”  Leo begged, “take me with you!”

     “Where I am going, you cannot yet follow,”  Snowy replied.

     “but I want to!”  Leo sobbed.

      “You cannot follow me to the other side,”  snowy replied, “not yet Leo.”

     “but please!”  Leo cried as Snowy got up to leave him, “let me talk with you again!  I must talk with you again!”

       “I will be with you always,”  Snowy replied, “if you want to see me, come to the clearing at midnight.  We can talk then for about half an hour.  Now I must go, but I have one last thing to say to you.  If you see a white tigress, please help her.”  With that Leo watched Snowy’s spirit walk into the trees, her short tail being the last he saw of her.  Leo lay on the forest floor weeping for his mate.

      “I want to hold you in my paws again snowy!”  Leo cried, “I want to love you like I used to, stroke your fur, massage your paws!  Now I can’t do any of that, and I so want to!  I’m lonely snowy!”

      “I would love to be back with you Leo my love,”  snowy purred in Leo’s ear, “but I can’t be with you in your world any longer, and it breaks my heart to say it.”  With that, Leo knew for certain snowy had left him.  Leo cried for a long time.  His tears dried eventually, and with heavy paws, he made his way back to the house.


Meanwhile, Theo was trying to arrange Snowy’s funeral.  Tarker’s body was buried by Winifred, who didn’t want the lions to help her in any way.


Theo told the rest of the household what had taken place, and the question about the leadership soon arose.

      “I think Theo and Petra aught to take over,”  Leo said straight off.

     “Theo yes,”  Amber replied, “but why Petra?  She’s a cub!”

       “I can’t say why,”  Leo replied, “but I think she should be the one who helps Theo out.”

       “I can’t think of anyone else for deputy leader,”  Kalahari said.

     “Anyone got any objections?”  Leo asked.  The animals all looked at their paws.

      “right,”  Leo said, Theo and Petra it is then.”  Theo looked at his cub.

      “I’ll have to start treating you like my second in command now Petra love,”  he said.

      “the day you stop playing with me and tickling my paws I’ll be most annoyed Theo,”  Petra replied.  Theo hugged her.

     “Before we get to that, we have to bury poor snowy,”  Theo mewed sadly.  Petra squeezed her sire’s paw.

     “Why would you want to bury me?”  someone asked.  Theo looked up sharply, straight into the bright eyes of a young snow tigress!

      “We’re not burying you, we’re burying Snowy,”  he said, “she’s, she died earlier today.”

      “Did I?”  Snowy asked, “well, I’m not dead now, and I feel better than I have for years.”

      “it’s just like what Snowy’s spirit said in the wood!”  Leo mewed, “she said that if I was to see a snow tigress, I should help her!”

      “I don’t understand this!”  Theo mewed, “how can snowy come back from the dead!”

     “I told you she was not dead Theo!”  Leo mewed, “I told you!”

       “how can you come back from the dead!”  Theo yelled at Snowy.

      “I think I went into a deep coma, my body shut down until I was barely breathing, and my heart barely beating.  Something happened to me during the time I was under this spell, and when I woke, I felt alive, and full of cubbish energy!”  snowy said.  She reared onto her hind legs and clapped her forepaws together, making  Leo laugh helplessly.

      “but my dream,”  he mewed, “if that was a dream.  Well, Snowy came to me in it, she told me that I could not go where she was, not yet.”

       “I was very nearly dead,”  snowy mewed, “but not quite.  My body had shut down to such an extent I was all but dead.”

      “But if you knew this,”  Theo asked, “why all the dying words bit, and that horrid desperate cry you made before you passed out?”

      “I didn’t know then that I wasn’t dying,”  snowy mewed, “it was only later, when I woke on the quilt that I guessed what had happened.  Now I am here, and I’m in cub too!”

     “How can you be in cub?”  Theo asked.

     “My sister was killed by hunters,”  Snowy replied, “and the powers that be gave me her unborn cub to look after.  I will be cubbing in a few weeks Leo.”  Leo looked at his mate.

       “How did this happen!”  he asked, running to Snowy and throwing his paws round her neck.  Snowy snuggled up to Leo, purring enthusiastically, with no hint of the respiratory problems she used to suffer from.

     “You sound like a young cub!”  Leo mewed.  Snowy mewed like a cub, rolled over and let Leo tickle her belly and paws.  This display had all the other animals, except Amber and Stifftail, laughing fit to bust.


Amber was scared.  How could Snowy have not died?  She was desperately ill, and Arki, who’d woken to find the tigress sprawled panting for breath and mewing with fear on the quilt, had confirmed her illness.  It was only when snowy was dying that Arki retired, letting fear overtake her, and leaving Snowy’s care to her cubs.

       “I can’t believe you’re alive snowy!”  Amber snarled, “I hate you!  I want you dead!  You were dead!”

      “You want me dead?”  Snowy asked, Why Amber? What have I ever done to you?”  Amber spat at the tigress.

     “You stole my cubs!”  Amber snarled.

      “she did not steal us!”  Whitie sobbed, “snowy looked after us, and to whomever’s playing such a horrid trick on Leo, stop it!  For you’re playing it on me and blanch too, and we can’t see you, and we’re grieving for a tigress who’s voice  sounds just like yours!  Don’t do this to us!”

       “Grieving for a tigress who sounds like me?”  Snowy asked, rolling onto her paws and padding across to Whitie, all trace of her previous immobility now gone, “come, touch me, smell me, feel my whiskers, touch my paws Whitie cub,”  Snowy said.  Whitie’s nostrils were suddenly full of her foster mum’s scent, though it was not quite hers.  It was the scent of a younger tigress, maybe a scent that Snowy had when she was young.  Whitie, mewing like a cub, snuggled up to snowy half tail.  Snowy took the now weeping snow leopard cub in her paws and embraced her.

      “I love you Whitie cub,”  Snowy mewed, “now, do this for me little cub, bring your dear sister cub to me.”  Whitie called:

     “Blanche, Blanche! Come here! It’s okay!  Snowy’s here!  She’s come back to us!”  snowy then heard a sound she truly loved, the scuffling and swishing of tiny paws on carpet.  Then Blanche was with her, cautiously touching her with one tiny paw.

      “Mum?”  Blanche asked,”  Snowy touched blanche with one paw, Whitie with another and began to purr as the two snow leopard cubs rested their heads against hers.  Amber spat at her cubs, angry they’d gone back to snowy.


“Are you real?”  Blanche asked, for she’d sometimes thought she’d felt animals touch her in her dreams, an wondered if this was such a time.

     “I’m real Blanche,”  Snowy purred, “here, take my paw, touch it, stroke it, tickle it.”  Blanche took the offered paw, it was soft and warm.

     “I’ve got something else to show you both,”  Snowy said, rolling onto her side.

     “What’s that?”  Whitie asked.

      “Give me your paw Whitie,”  Snowy said.  Whitie gave the snow tigress her paw, and Snowy placed it flat on her belly.  Whitie’s sightless eyes widened as she felt something kick against her pads.

     “You, you’re in cub!”  Whitie mewed, “You’re in cub snowy!”

      “yes Whitie cub I am,”  Snowy purred, “I have been given charge of my sister’s unborn cub, as she was killed by hunters during my sleep.  The higher power gave me my sister’s cub so it could be born into the world.”

      “You are the protector of all lost cubs Snowy,”  Petra mewed, “for I cannot for fill that role.  You can, and I am glad of it.”  Snowy purred as Blanche took her turn to feel the cub kicking inside her.

      “I’m looking forward to having this cub,”  Snowy purred, “for I love cubs, and it would be the best thing I could do for my sister since she couldn’t birth the cub herself.”

    “We will help you when you give birth to the cub snowy,”  Whitie mewed.  Snowy purred contentedly.

      “You know Tarker’s dead don’t you snowy?”  Theo asked, now taking Snowy’s appearance on the scene in his stride.

      “I know that, and I’m not sorry,”  Snowy mewed, “for he was a danger to us all.”

      “I can’t believe you’re in cub Snowy!”  Leo mewed, padding to his mate and hugging her.  Snowy moved position and worked her paws into Leo’s mane.

       “I am,”  she purred, “want to feel it kick?”  She asked.

     “Only if you’re sure,”  Leo mewed.  Snowy took his paw, and placed it on her belly, her cub reacting to the lion’s touch by kicking at Snowy’s belly with it’s tiny paws.

      “It’s due in a few weeks,”  Snowy purred.  Leo’s eyes filled with tears as he thought of this new cub.

     “I’ll be there when you have the cub Snowy,”  Leo sobbed.  Snowy hugged him tightly.


Fleur crawled quickly up to snowy, her huge paws making a swish scuff sound as she crawled.  Snowy saw her, released Leo, and threw her paws round the large cross bred cub.

     “Fleur, my dear fleur, my dear cub!”  Snowy sobbed.  Fleur buried her face in Snowy’s thick warm fur, weeping for joy at Snowy’s return.  Then, purring like an enthusiastic motor, fleur worked herself closer to snowy, the snow tigress’s thick warm fur enveloping her.

      “I’m so glad to see you Snowy!”  Fleur said.  Snowy hugged her.

      “I’m glad to see you too little cub,”  snowy purred.




To go to the list of diary entries:


Click here


To go to the site homepage:


Click here


To send mail



Click here


Martin Wilsher © 2006




This website is hosted by