Trying times.



*a conversation continued from the last diary entry.*



Tigger released Whitie’s paw.

      “I know Snowy isn’t all bad,”  Tigger said, “but she’s territorial, and can be quite venomous in her comments towards others.  Stifftail, I am sorry to say, is also of that mind.  I hate to say this about your sire Whitie, but I am a plain speaker, and speak how I find.  Stifftail holds abominable views about you and your sister’s life chances.  I still get upset whenever I think of what he wanted to do when you were first born.  How could anyone think of it?”  Whitie sensed Tigger’s distress.

       ~”I know,”  she said, “but that’s all over now, all ended.”


Elsa watched Whitie and Tigger’s interaction.  She thought they had some kind of understanding between them, and now she knew why the tiger and the snow leopard cub were so comfortable together.  Elsa knew Tembo hated Whitie and Blanche, and had refused outright to talk to the lynx cub.  She knew also that when Clarence’s eye fell on her, he’d be asking her to teach the cubs.

      “I’ll have a go,”  Elsa replied to Clarence’s unspoken request.

       “I’m not getting involved,”  Tembo spat.

      “You will get involved!”  Elsa snarled, “if you don’t, I’ll wallop you so hard you won’t be able to sit down for a week!”  Tembo grumbled, but subsided into silence when he realised he wasn’t getting very far with his complaints.


Elsa grinned at Tigger, who took her paw in his and wished her good luck with teaching the cubs.


Later that day, Elsa called all the cubs to her and told them about their first structured lesson.

      “today we are going to find out about different species.  Here we are lucky to have a secure home, where we are well treated.  We have no need to fight, no need to cause each other problems.  We are no longer in danger, no longer in fear of our lives.  You cubs have a place for life here, so there’s no need to exclude anyone.  I think you know what I’m getting at.”  Tarker spat at Whitie.

      “who told Elsa what we really think?”  he asked Tembo, “Whitie must have overheard something, she’s the brains of the trio, the other two, Blanche and that dam lynx cub don’t have a brain cell between them.”

      “I don’t think it was Whitie,”  Tembo replied, “My suspicions fall on Candy.  That polar bear cub is so tight with Whitie it’s almost too much to cope with.  Word has it she’s asked Whitie to teach her to play how blind cubs do.  I ask you!  Who would want to learn how to play with a blind cub?  Run away from them is what I say, don’t play with them!  They don’t deserve anything!  Whitie shouldn’t be allowed any autonomy at all!  That snow leopard cub is getting too big for her paws!  She thinks she can change the world!  Now I’ll bet she and Candy are on a crusade to change the minds of us cubs!  Tigger, that stupid tiger, has taken the idea, and instead of killing it, has added his own two pence worth, and now we have my mum and sire involved, and everything’s going the way those two spoilt cubs want!”

       “lovely views you have,”  Blanche said to Tembo, clouting him with one hard forepaw.  Tembo, surprised any cub, let alone a blind cub, would dare hit him, stared open mouthed at Blanche.

      “I’ll murder you!”  he yelled.  Suddenly Tembo found himself on the floor, with someone sitting on him!  This was a heavy animal, with massive paws!  Pippa, one of the larger Bengal tiger cubs, sat on Tembo, her huge forepaws pinning his to the floor.

      “You touch a hair on the head of any other cub, I will rip your ear off!”  Pippa warned.  For good measure, she took Tembo’s left ear between her teeth and pricked it.  Tembo wailed with fear.

      “Don’t hurt me!”  he wined, “don’t do it Pippa, please!”  Pippa released Tembo’s ear and looked into the lion cub’s face.

       “Remember what I say,”  she said, “for as you have seen, I’m heavier than you, I can do you much harm.”  Tembo whimpered with fear and Pippa left him.

      “Disgusting brute,”  she muttered, returning to her place.  Elsa had observed all, and, while not condoning Pippa’s outburst, almost clapped her paws with delight at the affect her actions had on Tembo.

     “Thanks Pippa!”  Blanche called, only to feel a large paw take hold of hers.

       “I’m here,”  Pippa purred, “no need to shout.”  Blanche nearly leapt into thee air with fright!

      “I wish you wouldn’t do that!”  She mewed, “You nearly caused me a heart attack!”

       “I’m sorry for scaring you,”  Pippa replied, “but I didn’t think you should be alone, not with Tembo in one of his moods.”

      “but, but I didn’t hear anything, you made no sound when you arrived, no sound of paws on carpet or anything!”

      “I am light on my paws, and I have big, soft, padded paws, here, feel my left forepaw.”  Blanche explored Pippa’s paw, it was huge and the sole of her paw was very well padded.

       “You do have big soft paws Pippa,”  Blanche agreed.  Pippa curled the toes of the paw Blanche was touching, enfolding Blanche’s tiny paw in hers.

       “I won’t let Tembo bully anyone,”  she said, “it’s terrible what he does.  Bullying poor Tembi like he does drives her round the twist, I know it!  She’s had enough of it!  Tembo’s had her in tears many times, and I’ve had enough of his insults and general low level violent behaviour.”

     “But you’re only a cub,”  Blanche replied, “Pippa, you can’t take him on single pawed.”

     “No,”  the female tiger cub replied, “but I have allies.  Not all the cubs are with Tembo and Tarker on this one.  Some of them, Tolstuka, her Brother Ben, and the common leopard cubs, can’t stand what Tembo does to his sister.  I am trying to extend that to the way the cubs treat you blind cubs too.  To make that as unacceptable as what Tembo is doing to his sister.  Tolstuka knows you and Whitie well, and will play with you if you ask her, though she’s a little shy of asking herself.  Her brother Ben though, he won’t play with any blind cubs, no matter how Tolstuka begs.  We have a lot to do blanche, and we’d better start now.”

       “What is this I’m hearing?”  The large Bengal tigress asked, “Pippa, you are the most disruptive cub in my family!  Always messing about.  Now you are coming over all serious and sober?  What is the meaning of this?”

      “Mum,”  Pippa said, “I might mess about in the family place, but now this is serious stuff.  Blanche, Tembi and the others are having horrible things said about them by some of the other cubs, some of whom are my brothers and sisters!  I can’t let this go on!”  The Bengal tigress, named Tinka by her mother, as she’d been disruptive as a cub, didn’t know what to say in reply to Pippa.  Tinka looked at Hop Along, who grinned:

      “Pippa’s right,”  he said, “This can’t go on any longer.  Tembo and Tarker, in fact anyone else who harasses or is guilty of walloping or verbally abusing those who are weaker than themselves need to be told what is what.  Tigger’s idea of using a scarf to blindfold the cubs and show them how it is is a good one.”  Tembo spat at Hop along, who ignored his antics.

      “So who’s going to get the scarves we need?”  Pippa asked.

      “I’d sooner use the scarf to tie Tembo’s paws together,”  Tembi remarked.  Tembo glared at his sister.

       “And why would you want to do that?”  he asked.

      “because you’ve been jabbing at me with a paw for ten minutes now!”  Tembi yelled, “I can’t get away because there’re so many cubs here now, and you took advantage of that!  Just leave me alone Tembo!”  Tembo ignored her.

        “Crying like a newborn cub,”  he scoffed to anyone who’d listen.  Tembi pushed her way through the assembled cubs and escaped into the hallway, where she scrambled up the stairs.

      “Don’t go up there!”  Elsa commanded, but Tembi ignored her mother.  Reaching the top of the stairs, Tembi turned left and padded along to the place where she could just about see a snow tigress lying on the floor.  Crawling towards her, Tembi came face to face with Snowy half tail.  The snow tigress looked at the female lion cub.

       “Can I stay here for a bit?”  Tembi asked, wondering who this white tigress was.  She’d heard of snowy half tail, but had never met, “’er with the big paws,”  which was Sparky’s name for Snowy.  Snowy looked Tembi over from ears to paws.  She’d heard of the tiny lion cub, but hadn’t ever entertained the thought she’d ever meet her.  Snowy, realising this might be a time where she could redeem herself in the eyes of the other animals, took Tembi in her paws and hugged her.  Tembi felt snowy half tail’s large paws embracing her, and it felt wonderful!  Snowy began to groom Tembi from nose to tail, purring as she went about her work.  Tembi snuggled closer to snowy, enjoying the feeling of the snow tigress’s thick warm fur.  Snowy’s cub joined in, stroking Tembi’s paws while his mother groomed her.  Tembi felt the cub’s paws enveloping hers, and they were soft and warm.  Tembi felt safe, and knew she could easily sleep where she was.  Snowy’s contented purring, and the warmth of her embrace made Tembi feel sleepy.  Snowy’s cub was also helping by massaging Tembi’s paws, something guaranteed to send her to sleep.  After the grooming session, Tembi gave up the fight against sleep, curling up beside Snowy and closing her eyes.  Snowy’s cub kept stroking, stroking, stroking Tembi’s paws, and Tembi enjoyed every minute of it.  Snowy half tail took Tembi in her forepaws once more, and, closing her eyes, tenderly embraced the lion cub.  Relaxing totally, snowy drifted to sleep.


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