Tembi becomes ill.



Tembi shivered violently with cold.  It seemed the long journey to her new home had taken a far greater toll on her than everyone first thought.  Her head aching, and paws freezing, Tembi shivered constantly, mewing pitifully to herself.  Clarence and Elsa tried their best to help their cub, but all they could do was try and give her warmth, which they took turns in doing, curling round Tembi.  Meanwhile, Winifred, one of the adult otters, grateful to turn her paw to what she’d been used to doing on the riverbank, kept Tembi supplied with sweet drinks to keep her energy levels up.


Clarence was more Anxious than he wanted to show.  He felt Tembi’s body shivering between his paws as he hugged the tiny cub, and wondered if she would survive the day.  She was so small, and so very young.  Clarence cursed Elsa for making her cubs trek across oceans and lands in search of him.  Couldn’t she have waited until her cubs were older and stronger?  Then maybe Tembi would never be strong enough to undertake such a journey of that magnitude.  Clarence stroked Tembi’s head with one huge forepaw, trying to convey his love for her.  Tembi, sleeping fitfully, woke and looked at Clarence with exhausted eyes.

      “I feel dreadful!”  Tembi whimpered.  Clarence stroked Tembi’s back with one paw, the cub shivering with pleasure as she felt his touch.  Clarence watched as Tembi snuggled down and fell asleep once more.


Elsa was dreadfully upset about Tembi’s condition.  She blamed herself for the cub’s illness, wondering if dragging Tembi across the world was the right thing to do.  Elsa couldn’t change things now, but she wished Tembi would get better soon.  Elsa herself had once been in Tembi’s situation, and remembered how unpleasant the illness was.  Aching paws, a raging headache and watering eyes stuck in Elsa’s memory as some of the worst things about the illness.  Elsa looked desperately round her, looking at the faces of the other animals in the room.  Elsa suddenly felt a paw take hers, and looking round, she saw the large husky dog who lived beside her.  He motioned to her that he wanted to help.  Desperate to try anything, Elsa nodded and waved a paw at Tembi.  The husky dog crawled down to Tembi and, holding a restraining paw up to Clarence, began using his paws on Tembi, touching her on various places on her body.  First he touched Tembi’s shoulder, than her hock, then the pads of all four paws.  Tembi visibly relaxed as the husky dog worked on her.  Clarence and Elsa watched, anxious about their cub, but also fascinated by the dog’s actions.  Whatever he was doing made Tembi feel better, that was certain.  The Husky dog finished treating Tembi, and returned to his place.

     “What were you doing to Tembi?”  Elsa asked.  The husky dog touched Elsa’s paw and motioned to her that he wanted her to lie down on her side.  Once Elsa was lying down, the dog started treating her in the same way he had her cub.  Elsa found herself drifting away into a dream.  The dog’s paws were soft and warm, and Elsa found herself basking in the warmth of whatever was happening to her.


Days passed, and Tembi’s condition improved with the husky dog’s help.



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Martin Wilsher © 2005


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