CLAIM
© 2001 by Wotan

CLAIM - © 2001 by Wotan

The tiger had been killing cattle for seven months now, and the villagers for miles around were living in constant fear. Fear of more losses to the maurading cat than they could afford in their desperate, hardscrabble poverty Fear of loss of their children, wives, or themselves if it should eventually discover the absurd ease of killing a human being.

The villages were located in Uttar Pradesh state, hugged against the rapidly diminishing tatters of India's once great forests. Inexorably, the forests would recede before the rumbling stomach of India. First the impossibly thin cattle would appear where the trees had been, then new villages would sprout like poisonous toadstools. With the villages came goats, and where goats appear, desert soon followed according to the old proverb.

The tiger in question was what once had been a magnificent male, lord of a slice of prime territory, rich in prey, and home to four females who regularly bore him cubs.

His thoughts were of a different sort than what humans would be used to, but were nevertheless real, and included what could be considered problem solving, understanding, a sense of identity, and perhaps what could be called 'intelligence'. The tiger thought of himself as 'Wauan', a sound he could easily vocalise with a soft moan typical of male tigers.

In human terms he was eight rains in age, having been born in the human year of 1992. Forced out by his mother in his third rain, he had been a renegade for a little over a year; patrolling the fringes of other, more powerful males' territories, never being able to obey the commands his surging hormones gave him To spray, to claw mark, to look for a mate

And as he had just unknowingly passed his third rain, his life changed.

Wauan pads through the jungle, early rains beginning. No new smell of tall, thin animals today. Tall thin animals, with unpleasant pungent smell, loud noises, exploding through the jungle like stampeding elephants; not caring who scents them, or sees them. Tall thin animals seeming to have no fear, and limitless power. Wauan avoids.

Wauan stops to sniff at spray of territory male, spray very stale, and faint Maybe days old. Wauan has urge to lift his tail, and cover with his own mark, but does not yet dare. Feels another tingling, and shifting beneath his tail, and gives a soft moan, and sinks to the ground, cocking his leg behind his head. Wauan gently licks at his fuzzy, warm testes, and pointed penis as it peeks out from his sheath. Wauan moans softly as he feels a pleasant heat in his penis, it stiffens, and comes all the way out of his sheath. Wauan licks for a few moments, tongue making scratchy sound as tongue barbs rasp against barbs on penis, then stands back up with a sad moan, and a stretch. As Wauan stretches, still hard penis maddeningly flicks from his sheath once more, and he feels wetness squirt from it, and onto the ground underneath him.

Wauan kept padding along the edge of the stronger male's territory, hoping to soon find an empty territory, or a weak male to drive off. Soon the bad smell hit his nostrils. The bad smell, and the sound of vultures squawking, and fighting. Perhaps a little hungry, a great deal curious, Wauan gives a purring grunt, and starts to move faster towards the smell, and sound.

Wauan quickly approaches sqwaking vultures, and vultures fly away. Two jackals slinking nearby run off as well. Wauan walks forward towards the kill, and sees it is another tiger. Wauan sniffs dead tiger, has not been dead for long, vultures have pecked at some, jackal has torn at stomach, only ripped out some fur. Large hole in the side of dead tiger's head, unpleasant burning smell around hole, blood, and brains leak out of large hole. Smell of tall creatures overlaying dead tiger's smell, jackal's smell, and vulture's smell. Unpleasant stink. Wauan moves to back of dead tiger, and smells that tiger was territory male. Territory male has no sex, penis, sheath, and testes gone, torn away, maybe by jackals, maybe by tall creature. Wauan growls, and squats over dead tiger, urinates on his side. Wauan then walks over to nearest tree, lifts his tail, and sprays the trunk. Wauan then turns, and claws the trunk high up above his new mark. Dropping back to the ground, he gives a mighty roar of bitter triumph.

"AaaaaaaaaoooooooooowwwwwwwwOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!!"

"AaaaaaaaaoooooooooowwwwwwwwOOOOOOOOOOOOH!!!!!!"

The ground seeming to shake at the end note of each roar, and birds fly screaming from nearby trees.

Wauan starts to patrol new territory, and overlays every old scent-mark of dead male with his own. Soon he finds scent mark of each tigress who were mates to dead male, and adds his own there as well.

As first the days, and then the rains pass, Wauan more and more often smells the tall creatures in his territory, sees trees slowly disappearing, and he sees the herds of thin buffalo, and goats slowly moving in, eating the grass, leaving bare patches of dirt. Eventually, Wauan found himself forced to slink through the places where the tall creatures lived at night to patrol his territory, and desperately search for prey as less and less became available. Wauan's hunger slowly grew with each passing day, each passing month, as it was longer and longer between each kill. One day in particular hunger, a much thinner Wauan stole a kill from one of his tigresses. Her kill was one of the thin buffalo that seemed to follow the tall creatures everywhere, and eat everything green in their path.

It was less than a week later that Wauan finds his mate dead in same way that male had been, but Oona's skin is missing, and her claws, teeth, and whiskers gone too. One of Wauan's other mates responds by doubling her territory in her own desperate search for prey, taking territory of Oona.

***

Davinder Chotai looked at what was left of one of his cows, with his throat seeming to clench. Desperately poor as he was, he could ill afford this loss. Things had been marginally better for his family since they had built this new village on freshly cleared forest land. It would bring forth good grasses for the cattle, and the goats for a few years until the soil was exhausted, then they would have to move deeper into the forest. His wife back in the village was caring for their five children, with the sixth on the way. She and the eldest three tended to a large vegetable garden, which kept them all fed, even though not all that well. The cows gave milk, and a little money, and the goats gave meat, and a little more money, which bought some rice, some beans, and other staples. But now Davinder had lost two cattle in the last month to a tiger. The forest ministry had responded with a promise to send out a hunter to shoot the cattle-killer, and an insultingly small handful of rupees for each dead cow or goat. Far below what Davinder thought they were worth. Davinder could barely look the forest ministry people in the eye, as they were obviously well-fed, with better clothes than his entire family wore, and two of the men wore the symbols of higher caste than his own. Men fat off of Government money that few people of Davinder's caste, and lack of education could ever hope to achieve.

Davinder spit on the ground behind their back, cursing a Government, and its workers who drove around in vehicles, machine guns at their side, treating simple people like dogs for the sake of a few tigers.

Davinder remembered secretly cheering when he heard about the peasants around the Ranthambhore tiger reserve rising up, and killing several of the rangers because of their frustration at not being able to cut trees, or graze their cattle or goats on this prime land. Davinder was of the bitter opinion that there were far too many tigers in India.

As Davinder looked over what was left of his good cow, he felt burning anger at everything. At the tiger, at the forest service, at the Government, and at his own lot in life. Davinder set his face grimly, and led the rest of his cattle back home.

Davinder corraled his cattle once he got home, waving to his wife, who was still working in the vegetable garden. He walked behind the hut, to a small lean-to he had built some months before, and he picked up his axe, as well as a few coils of hemp rope, and a machete he kept hanging on the wall. With these tools in hand, Davinder strode back to where his dead cow lay at the edge of the forest, muttering to himself in frustration. As he approached the dead cow, he saw that twenty or thirty vultures were hard at work on the carcass, as well as several dholes who were fighting the vultures for their own share of the meat, which was quickly going over in the oppressive heat of the early afternoon. When Davinder got closer, the dholes slunk into the forest, growling at him, and the vultures took off, sqwaking, and spraying guano everywhere as they took flight. Davinder looked at the cow's carcass again, and seeing that it was little but bones, and skin now, decided to leave it where it lay. He walked a little further into the forest, using the machete to clear away troublesome vines, and tangles from his path, still carrying his tools, and rope; and when he judged that he had walked about a good kilometre into the forest, he sat the axe, rope, and machete down, and took a look around.

Davinder found that he was in a small clearing around which stood several large trees with thick trunks which looked relatively easy to climb surrounding it. Good enough for what he intended.

Davinder chose a nearby tree where the first thick branches were roughly ten feet from the forest floor, and Davinder then used the axe to cut alternating notches in the trunk of the tree to serve as a ladder. Davinder then used his axe to begin cutting small branches, and using the rope to lash them into a crude platform. Davinder then used some more of the rope to hoist this crude platform up to the first thick branches of the tree. He then lashed the crude platform to the trunk of the tree, using several branches of the tree as support for it, as well as cutting several thicker branches from a little above his head, which he used as diagonal supports under the platform as well. After about two hours, Davinder judged the crude machan to be good enough for what he intended to use it for, and his stomach rumbling, he headed back to the village, hoping to be in good time for dinner. Somewhere on the walk home, he found his rage returning, and found that he was not as hungry for dinner anymore. In the meantime, several other villagers had told his wife Manjula that one of their cows had become a meal for the marauding tiger today.

A while later, Davinder's wife Manjula offered him a small bowl of rice curry as he entered the door of their hut, the children already seated on the floor, eating from small bowls of their own. Davinder impatiently waved it away, walked into his bedroom, and removed a long, wooden box from a large trunk in the corner where he kept some of his clothing, and a few of his meagre possessions. He sat on his and Manjula's bed, and he opened the box, which contained an ancient rifle that had once belonged to his grandfather, and then his Father. Davinder did not use it much, but he took good care of it, and he knew it fired true. His father had told him that it could stop an elephant. Davinder did not believe this, but he knew it could certainly stop a tiger. Davinder cleaned the gun, loaded two shells into it, and put about a dozen more into an ammo belt, which was in the box with the gun, as was a large hunting knife. Davinder strapped on the belt, and the knife, and slung the gun over his shoulder by its faded khaki canvas strap.

Davinder walked back into the kitchen of the hut to behold six pairs of dark eyes staring at him with wonder. Manjula stood before him, belly big with their next child.

"You are going to shoot the tiger."

Davinder silently nodded.

"I don't like it, but I can't stop you. Don't make me a widow, Davinder." With that, Manjula handed Davinder a small, burlap sack filled with some rough bread, some dried goat meat, fruit, and a small bottle of milk she had prepared as he cleaned the gun, fully aware of what he had intended to do.

Davinder walked around to the rear of the hut, and took the remaining coil of hemp rope, the axe, which he would also need, he realised he had left back in the forest clearing. Davinder made a loop of one end of the rope, and he slipped it over the neck of one of his old nanny goats, and leading the goat, he walked back towards the forest, his bare feet kicking up puffs of dust from the dry, reddish-orange ground.

Davinder found himself walking for a short while through the scrub, and stumps at the edge of the remaining forest, listening to the thin cattle lowing as they hunted for graze in the dry scrub around the stumps. The skinny goats bleated, and browsed at bushes, and the bark of trees at the forest edge. Somewhere not too far off in the distance, a cattle herder was starting a dung, and scrub fire to cook his own meagre rations for the evening. Davinder silently continued leading his nanny goat on the end of the hank of hemp rope, and soon entered the cooler, darker sanctuary of the trees.

The light of the afternoon was starting to take on the fat, serious quality which tells one that dusk will soon arrive, and objects in this light seem to take on subtle extra angles, and farther off points of perspective. Davinder at last reached the clearing, where he used his axe to cut a wrist-sized branch from a nearby tree, which he then fashioned into a crude, long stake. Using the axe head, Davinder pounded this stake into the ground, and to this he securely fastened the hank of hemp rope looped to the goat's neck. The nanny goat began to contentedly, and nonchalantly graze, and browse around her, occasionally stopping to give a bleat. This suited Davinder just fine, and judging that all was well around him, and that the goat was not likely to escape any time soon, he climbed up into the machan, with the rifle still slung over his shoulder. He settled in, first eating his meagre rations, drinking the bottle of milk, then checking the rifle to make sure that it was loaded, and ready. Davinder then began concentrating on being absolutely silent and still, ignoring the mosquitoes feasting upon his flesh, though it almost drove him mad after a while. Davinder sat without a sound, or word as the light slipped from the day, the first stars became visible in the circle of open sky above the clearing, and he could feel the rough bark of the tree trunk against his back.

***

Wauan's hunger had returned, and he began to pad back to where he had left morning kill. Big stupid buffalo which mills around tall creatures, buffalo which are almost as stupid as tall creatures themselves. Tall creatures with seemingly no sense of smell, hearing, or feeling Tall creatures which Wauan can creep very close to, and don't even notice his presence. Some have strange dholes running around them as well, stupider, and half as cunning as wild dholes, but still able to sense, and smell his presence, and which bayed fit to split the sky if he came near. Wauan was afraid of tall creatures at first, but within several days of watching ones without strange dholes around them sees that they are either incredibly stupid, or incredibly fearless. When he sees one run from a charging bull the next day, he smells acrid scent of fear on tall creature, realises that tall creatures are simply stupid. Stupider than deer, stupider than buffalo. As deer, wild pigs, and other food animals become harder to find, Wauan starts to take big, stupid buffalo. Sometimes tall creatures don't even notice him take buffalo. In these times Wauan easily separates one buffalo from herd, then lunges at for killing neck bite. Usually Wauan can eat for a few hours before many stupid, tall creatures come with burning, roaring sticks. Sticks which smell like holes in dead territory male. Wauan no longer afraid of stupid tall creatures, but still very afraid of burning, roaring sticks, and Wauan is long gone before tall creatures come back. One day Wauan kills very large buffalo, and his mate Luma calls nearby, lusty cries of a tigress in deep heat Wauan calls Luma, shares his kill with her, straddling her in his ecstasy as she nibbles at his kill, her hunger as important to her as the sweet ache in her female parts. Luma squeezing her eyes shut with utter bliss as her stomach, and vagina are both filled at the same time, Wauan's barbed member sending tendrils of energy throughout her as he entered her, and filled her with his seed again and again. Wauan stops between mounts to take his own nibbles off of the kill, and by the time Luma's heat ends as the first of Wauan's sperm take hold within her, the kill is nothing more than hair and bones. The stupid tall creatures did not come with their burning, roaring sticks this time.

This evening, Wauan returns to his kill, and finds that as usual, the dholes, and vultures had made short work of what was left. Wauan finds himself still hungry, and makes a small, mournful moan at the thought of waiting until morning to find another big, stupid buffalo. At that moment, Wauan scents the relatively fresh smell spoor of a goat, and a tall creature leading away from the kill, and into the forest. Intrigued, Wauan pads out of the scrub, and back into the forest, following the smell of the tall creature, and especially the goat, licking his chops.

***

As valiantly as he tried, the fact that Davinder was a farmer, and not a hunter soon began to win out, and he soon closed his eyes without realising it. His body was sleeping, but his mind was in a fugue state where the goat was still visible tethered to her stake, and the night birds could be heard throughout the forest. Davinder's rifle gently slipped from his hands, and onto the logs of the platform with a quiet "thunk" which didn't even cause him to raise his head, or open his eyes, eyes which still believed they saw. It was Davinder's only piece of luck that he didn't snore, and so he was almost completely silent on the machan, what little noise his breathing made being lost in the rustling of leaves, the calls of the night birds, the fluttering of bats, and other night sounds of the Indian forest. And somewhere not far from where Davinder slept, and getting closer; the almost not there sound of large, padded feet approaching, and the panting of a very large cat. The goat heard, and sensed the tiger way off, and bleated nervously, looking up from her browsing, but seeing nothing in the darkness. In his fugue state, Davinder heard this, and his hands tightened on his rifle. In reality, the only movement his body made was a slight twitch of one of his index fingers, the rifle still laying uselessly by his side. And still closer the phantom sound came, seeming even more stealthy, and hard to notice the closer it came.

***

Wauan pads closer to where he can hear, and smell goat, and to a lesser extent tall creature. As he gets closer to where goat is grazing, Wauan makes his steps, and movements quieter, and more fluid, striped pelage now blending in with trees, and jungle vegetation. Wauan reaches edge of clearing, and sees goat is fastened to stick jammed in ground, presumably by tall creature. Stupid creature, stupid goat, too easy to kill. Wauan reasons for a moment, still smells tall creature somewhere nearby, even though he cannot see. Then Wauan hears tiny noise above, and to his right; noise almost not there, noise which does not repeat.

Wauan's pupils widen, and he turns head to sound. Wauan looks up a little more, and sees shadow of tall creature seated high above his head on platform of sticks, and logs. Wauan suppresses a low growl deep within his chest, and sniffs a little harder towards tall creature, ignoring goat for now, which has now smelled him, and bleats in fear again.

Wauan smells object of his fear after a moment Metallic smell of burning, roaring stick beside tall creature. Wauan growls a little more, almost audibly this time, goat bleats again. Wauan stealthily pads over to tree, directly underneath tall creature, and hugs the trunk, huge claws out, straining, biting into the bark, pulling himself upward as quietly as he possibly could.

***

Davinder hears the goat bleat twice more, and in his fugue state raises his rifle, ready for the tiger to break cover, and make a rush for the goat. Davinder finds himself placing slight pressure on the trigger, and squinting his eyes as he looks down the sight. His sleeping body merely moves its left hand slightly, as well as his head, and his clothes make a tiny rustling noise, which is not repeated. A moment later, his sleeping body does not notice a very slight swaying, and trembling of the tree beneath him, and his ears do not process the rasping of claws biting into the bark. In his dream, Davinder is getting ready to fire, when suddenly a large, orange paw lands on the barrel of the gun, and monstrous, yellowish-white, ten centimetre claws hook over the barrel, and pull it easily out of his grasp, like a knife through butter. The rifle spins away uselessly to the forest floor, firing into the trees as it hits the ground. The tiger barely flinches, and continues to haul itself up onto the machan, snarling, and slavering at Davinder. To Davinder, the tiger looked to be all sharp parts daggerlike teeth, and claws like chainsaws; thunderous snarls, and hot meat breath blown all over him. It was at this point where his fugue state rejoined reality, and was also at this point where Davinder's bowels, and bladder simultaneously released, and Davinder tried to scream, but all that came out was a breathy squeak. The tiger hauled himself completely up onto the machan, which then promptly snapped, and cracked under the combined weight of the tiger, and human, tumbling both of them back down to the forest floor. Davinder hit the forest floor ten feet below with his back, the wind knocked out of him, and the tiger landed next to him, on his feet like any self-respecting cat.

***

Wauan pulls himself up to the platform, claws straining, when front paw touches burning, roaring stick. Wauan knocks burning, roaring stick off platform, and hears it explode as it hits the ground below. Wauan ignores as rage builds at stupid, tall creature. Wauan smells stupid, tall creature void both bowels, and bladder, and try to scream. Wauan pulls himself all the way up on platform, hears snapping and cracking underneath him, and is suddenly falling. Hits forest floor a moment later, and is on stupid, tall creature in an instant, jaws readying for killing bite on back of stupid, tall creature's skull. Then Wauan stops as stupid, tall creature makes sobbing noises beneath him Noises which for some reason he understands.

***

Davinder got his wind back just as the tiger pounced upon him, likely to perform the killing bite. For no particular reason, Davinder started to sob, and plead; not thinking that the tiger could never understand human speech.

"Please! Don't kill me! I have five children at home, and a wife who depend on me! Please! I am just a simple farmer!"

The tiger snarled, and growled above him as his claws dug into Davinder's back and thighs, ripping through his ragged clothes, and the tiger's teeth started to press onto the back of his skull. Suddenly the tiger stops, gets off of him, and lays on his haunches, looking at him quizzically.

***

Wauan listens to the creature below him make some noises about his mate and cubs, and Wauan moves off of the tall creature for a moment, and lays on his haunches to listen Wauan growls a little as he understands more of what the creature is telling him, and attempts to make the sounds himself, but finds them quite awkward with his jaw, and throat structure. The sounds sounded strangled, and tortured, missing the sounds human linguists call dipthongs, and plosives, and with drawn out, hissing sibilants.

***

The tiger looked at Davinder, and suddenly began to make strange noises that sounded like tortured, strangled words which slowly became clearer.

"Yooooour maaaade sssdaysss wissssh you affffder yooooou vreed wissssh her? Ledssss yooooou sssssse zuh cuvss?"

Davinder understood this perfectly to mean: "Your mate stays with you after you breed with her? Lets you see the cubs?"

"How can a tiger speak?!?", Davinder blubbered, the acrid smell of his filled trousers coming off of him in sickening waves, "Yes! I have five cubs! My mate is heavy with the sixth! Please don't kill me! They need me to care for them, and bring them food!"

"Ssssveaaaa? (Wauan couldn't pronounce, or fully understand the sound) "Unnerzanning sssounzsss all dygerss can. No need. Sssmell, sssee dell more. Zssduvid, dall creazures sssmell gan'd unnerzand. Muz alwaysss mayg loud noissse."

Davinder begged a little more, still sobbing, still reeking. "Please, I will never bother you again! No one in my family will! Please!"

"Yooou go, more dall creazuress come wiv vurning, roaring sssdiss. Gill me, all my over madesss, and cuvsss. Dake foressd, and even more dall creazures gum"

In the depths of his fear, Davinder realised that there was nothing he could say to that truth. And in that moment, Davinder realised for the first time that the tiger was more than just a stupid animal, but was another being with the same struggles to survive, to thrive that he had. That the tigers had been here longer than he had. Davinder rolled over onto his side, and looked directly into Wauan's greenish-yellow eyes, which had the light of smoking rage dancing within them.

"Doo many sssduvid, dall creazures. No vlaze for dygerss anymore."

Wauan moves closer to Davinder, so that Davinder could feel, and smell his hot, meat breath on his face.

"Yoooou creazures daking away forez, gill my made en cuvss. You zee your made en cuvss. My cuvss mosszlee dead. You creazures gill zem. I ead you now. Nuhzing elssse doo ead. Deer gone, cheedal gone. Juz yooou creazures, en your zduvid vuffalo."

"If you are to kill and eat me, then you may as well do it now", Davinder said with a sigh, realising that he suddenly no longer feared death. Only had some fear left of the extreme pain he was likely to go through as the tiger ate him, as the tiger was now unlikely to kill him slowly. Instead, Davinder felt that the tiger may just decide to start feasting on his stomach, and soft parts while he was still alive. "I am sorry for your mate, and sorry for your cubs too. Sorry for what my people have done to you"

Davinder looked at the tiger from head to tail, and at that moment, realised that the tiger was beautiful. More beautiful than he would have thought possible. What he could see of his coat patterns in the dark looked like natural fire. "If you are to kill me, you may as well let me know what you are called, or call yourself."

Wauan growls again, and looks at Davinder through somewhat narrowed eyes. "My muzzer galled me Wauan. Muzzer gilled by dall creazures, and my lidder bruhzers en zisders." Rage seemed to be building within Wauan again, "I ead you, bud zduvid, dall creazuress zdill gum an gill me an my mades en cuvsss."

Wauan moves over to Davinder again, rolls him on his stomach with one of his large front paws and then put the paw on Davinder's back. Davinder seemed to relax this time, as if serenely accepting the inevitable. Wauan was momentarily disconcerted that Davinder had stopped struggling, lifted it off again after a moment, and the dewclaw snagged on Davinder's ragged shirt. Wauan tugged a little, and Davinder's shirt ripped from his body with a purring tear, exposing his naked back, which was the colour of walnut. Wauan sniffed, then licked Davinder's back, and then his neck; pondering over his killing bite, not used to taking time to play with helpless prey. Davinder finally made another sound underneath Wauan, as he felt the tiger tongue rasping like a warm, wet file over his back, and neck Davinder made a bit of a sighing moan, partly in fear of his situation, and partly at the pleasure of a sensation he had never experienced before, and likely never would again. Wauan straddles Davinder, and takes several more licks, for some reason still taking his time about starting to eat. Partially the fact that he isn't as hungry as he usually was when taking down prey, and partially because he for some reason feels his rage at this creature dying away. As Wauan straddles Davinder, distant memories of his recent mating with Luma spark somewhere back in his brain, and his body reacts to being in the same position once again. Outside of his control, Wauan feels a stirring in his sheath as his rage continues to die away, and underneath, and behind him, the tip of Wauan's penis emerges from his sheath. Wauan is confused for a moment, but then his tigerish version of humour gives him an idea humans would call wicked, and if he were human, he would be grinning from ear to ear. A spark of clever malice danced within his intelligent, greenish-yellow eyes.

Davinder turned his head to look up at the tiger, wondering why he was not being eaten yet. "Are you going to eat me, or will you let me go?" Hope stealthily crept into his voice. The tiger did not respond, but instead hooked his claws in Davinder's pants, and easily ripped them off of his body, leaving Davinder naked.

Wauan rips the remainder of Davinder's outer coat off of him, wrinkling his nose in disgust at the smell which escapes from the cloth he quickly pushes away. Wauan grips the back of Davinder's neck in his teeth for a moment, causing the Tall creature beneath him to gasp once again. Wauan then speaks again. "Sssdand."

"Wha?" Said Davinder, not understanding. A claw sunk into the meat of his back, bringing thin blood, and a searing, burning pain. Davinder yelped, and blubbered some more.

"Ssssdand NAAAAAAAAOOOOOOWOOOOOOOHHHHH!!!!!" This last turned into Wauan's roar which seemed to shake the ground. This time Davinder understood at once, and stood. As he stood, he noticed his rifle on the ground less than three feet away, with one good shell still in the chamber. Davinder weighed his chances at it, but Wauan also sees him looking, and quickly places himself between Davinder, and the burning, roaring stick.

Wauan looks at the dangling penis of the tall creature in front of him for a moment, sees it is open to every injury, every insult, and not within a sheath like his own, or any other jungle animal. Wauan looks into the creatures terrified eyes, and then makes the sounds:

"Ffffollow me, creazure." Wauan then picks up the burning, roaring stick in his teeth, and slowly begins to pad off further into the jungle. With the last of his hope now gone, Davinder followed the tiger without a further sound. The tiger seemed to know the paths through the jungle well, but they were paths meant for, and made by animals, and Davinder was constantly tripping over vines, and roots, and hitting his head on low branches, thorns, and brambles raking over his naked flesh, leaving thin, bloody scrapes. After about fifteen minutes, they came to a river, which the tiger led him along until they reached a deep spot.

Wauan pads along the river, tall creature noisily, clumsily padding along behind him, doing as he is bid, as he knows Wauan will be on him in seconds if he tries to run. Wauan finds deep place along river, and drops burning, roaring stick into water. Wauan pads along a little further with tall creature still following. Wauan finds a favourite bathing hole a few moments later, and then enters the stream. "In water, creazure."

Davinder hears the tiger's latest order, now almost totally reconciled to the fact that this tiger can speak, and he enters the water, trying not to think of the possibility of crocodiles, leeches, or other nasty things which may be in the water.

"Wasssssh yoursselfff, creazure."

Davinder did as he was told, and washed as much of the mess from his back end as he was able. The tiger waded over to where he stood, and sniffed, and licked at the back of his neck. It was also at this point that Davinder may have first had some inkling of what the tiger intended to do to him, and he felt fear like a hot ball of lead in the pit of his stomach He didn't know if he would rather be eaten at this point. But the tiger would not grant him that, at least not yet.

Wauan licks tall creature, and then leaves the river, and shakes himself off.

"Follow."

The creature obiedently leaves the water, and moves close to him.

"Lay down."

The creature makes a hissing noise, sucking in his breath at this, but Wauan growls, and the creature lays down. Wauan pads over to tall creature, and noses, and sniffs at his groin. Creature covers groin with his paws, but Wauan growls, and pushes them away. Wauan sniffs at creature's penis, a little interested at the musky smell emanating from it. He gives it a tentative lick, bringing a moan of fear from the creature, but nevertheless, creature's penis begins to stand up. Wauan also feels hardness at his back end, within his sheath. Wauan flips creature over oh his stomach using his front paw, and runs his tongue up the now clean crack of creature's back end, smelling at his anus. The creature yelps, and blubbers underneath him, but seems to protest more weakly now, as if accepting the inevitable.

"Yooou creazures gill my made en cuvsss, naaaowwww you my new made. Give me no cuvsss, vut I vreed yoou anyway."

To Davinder this last sounded filled with a moan of pleasure from the tiger.

Wauan straddles creature, licks, and grips at the back of his neck, and starts to hunch his back hips, and tread with his back legs as he feels his hard, pointed, barbed tiger penis start to poke out of its fuzzy, white sheath. Wauan moans a little, and feels the tip of his penis touch the creature's back end, and enter the crack. Wauan thrusts a little, and taps the tip of his penis along the crack of the creature's rear end, until the tip of his penis snags against the creature's anus. Wauan moans a little, and his penis shoots a squirt of clear, watery pre-ejaculate which pools around the creature's anus, and prepares to ease his way in. Wauan moans a little more as he feels the tip of his penis enter the creature's anus, and instead of tensing up, the creature relaxed underneath him.

Davinder's first shock was at the tiger's sniffing, and licking of his penis At how the touch was somehow erotic, and started to arouse him, stiffening his penis Even though he knew what was in store, a part of him found himself more than accepting of it, but slowly, surely, somehow looking forward to it He found his fear starting to die away a little more, and when he the tiger told him to lay down, he did obediently, his penis already hard iron against the ground underneath him. As the tiger straddled him, and licked, and gripped at the back of his neck, Davinder was able to sneak a quick peak backwards, and saw the tiger's velvety sheath and testicles swing into view, his pointed, barbed penis already straining from the sheath, pointing forward like an accusing finger. Though he had no idea why this was exciting him, Davinder found himself relaxing as the tiger started poking around the crack of his ass with the pointed tip of his penis, feeling the tip of the penis touch his anus, and the penis pulse, and spray wetness over him back there as the tiger moaned above him.

Wauan shoves his penis a little further into the creature's anus as his sensation builds, and his orgasm begins to approach from a long ways off. He pushes his penis a little further in still, as the sensation continues to mount a little higher, and he strokes his penis within the creature's relaxing anus, inserting it between one half, and three quarters of the way. After doing this five or six times, Wauan's orgasm suddenly explodes through him with awesome force, and he suddenly jabs his penis forwards, ramming it in to the hilt, his sheath bunching up around the base, and his large, fuzzy testicles slapping against the creature's back end. Wauan lifts his mouth from the creature's neck to give voice to an incredibly loud, coughing roar as his penis danced and pulsed within the creature, spraying several jets, of hot, watery, milky tiger semen deep within his bowel. After a moment, Wauan again licks, and grips at the creature's neck, and leaps away, the barbs of his penis pulling, and scraping the inside of the creature's anus, making him yelp a little underneath him. Wauan pads back over to the creature as his orgasm dies away, and he first sniffs, and licks at the creature's anus, and then flips the creature over on his back, seeing his fairly large, thick penis rock hard, and pointing at the sky. Wauan again sniffs, and licks, and as soon as he touches creature's penis, creature suddenly gives a moan, and squirts sticky semen all over Wauan's nose, and mouth. Wauan jumps back a little, grimaces his face, and begins to lick off the creature's semen. Wauan gently licks off creature's penis as it wilts, then he flops down beside creature, cocks his leg behind his head, and licks his own penis off as it starts to retreat into his sheath. As he is doing this, creature pokes his nose, and mouth into Wauan's crotch, and licks at Wauan's penis. Wauan growls, and snarls a little at the creature, but allows creature to keep licking when his soft tongue, and lips make Wauan's penis stand up again. Wauan moans a little, and mouth's at the back of the creature's neck as his penis enters creature's soft, silky mouth.

After the tiger was finished, Davinder found himself looking directly at the tiger's penis and testes as he licked them, and without thinking, Davinder found himself moving over the small, pink penis, drinking in the intoxicatingly masculine musk of the tiger. Davinder first licked, and then engulfed the tiger's penis in his mouth, the barbs which had so recently rasped the inside of his rectum now tickling the insides of his cheeks, the roof of his mouth, and his tongue He got the salty taste of more pre-ejaculate being squirted into his mouth, and then a moan of pleasure from the tiger above him, and another licking, and gripping at the back of his neck by the tiger's jaws. Davinder continued to suck on Wauan's penis, twirling his tongue around the conical head, and the base, and moving his mouth up and down.

Wauan moans a little louder above him as presumably a second orgasm starts to approach, and Wauan's penis pulses again in Davinder's mouth, rewarding him with another squirt of salty, watery pre-ejaculate, which he eagerly drinks. After a few more moments, Wauan suddenly jabs his penis upwards into Davinder's mouth, letting forth another coughing roar which seemed to shake the ground, and his penis dances, and pulses in Davinder's mouth, spraying more tiger seed against his back teeth, and the back of his throat. Davinder drinks in the full taste of what the tiger has to give him, his own penis once again hard iron. Wauan's second orgasm dies down after a few moments, and Davinder gently licks, and sucks the last few drops of milky, watery tiger semen coming out as the tiger penis starts to wilt within his mouth. Wauan pulls away after a few moments, licks himself back into place again, and flops down to sleep, no longer thinking of what he should do to the tall creature he has captured. Davinder falls asleep beside Wauan, his head cradled on his side, in the warm, velvety fur, not even thinking that he now had a golden opportunity to escape. And it was there, and that way that they laid until morning.

***

Manjula waited up for Davinder at first light, and when he didn't come home to herd his cattle, she assumed the worst, and went to several of her neighbours in the village. Several quickly got together loaded rifles, and dogs, and went looking for Davinder. It didn't take them long to find the goat still staked out in the clearing, the broken machan, and the tools laying around. Upon seeing this, they could only assume the worst had happened. Soon the dogs picked up a sent again, and eagerly followed it, baying. The dogs led them along a river for a short while, and then suddenly stood their ground, baying. The men caught up several minutes later, and several dropped their guns in total shock at what they saw. A naked Davinder stood in front of a fully grown male tiger, flapping his arms, jumping up and down, and screaming like a madman.

"THIS IS HIS LAND!!!! THE TIGER'S LAND!!! IT IS NOT OURS TO CLAIM!!!!" One of the men had not dropped his gun, and he raised it, and aimed at Wauan, and fired. Davinder saw the man raise his rifle, and before the shot rang out, he darted and blocked the shot with his body. The bullet slammed into the meat of Davinder's upper arm, making him shriek in instant agony. Wauan responded by giving vent to a mighty roar, and charging at the group of men from behind Davinder. The sole man holding a gun raised, and fired once more, but he had not had time to aim. His shot went way above Wauan's head, and he now had an empty gun. He, and all the other men turned, fleeing, and screaming back towards the village. Wauan only chased them for a short distance, before going back to Davinder, who was moaning, and laying in a spreading pool of his own blood. Davinder looked up at Wauan, eyes filled with water, and bloody mucous running from his nose. "Please! It hurts so much. Please!"

Wauan looked down at Davinder, and said, "Sssoon more come wiv more burning, roaring sdiss, and more dholesss I will be dead sssoon "

Davinder was moaning below him, and holding his ruined arm from which blood was still pouring out. Davinder was starting to feel faint from loss of blood. He looked up at Wauan, tears in his eyes, and said "We are all dead soon."

Wauan lowered his head, and sunk his teeth deep into Davinder's throat, cutting off Davinder's last breath. After a few moments, Davinder went limp, and lay still. Wauan looked into Davinder's glazed-over eyes, and raised his head, and gave vent to a mournful, drawn out series of roars which shook the ground, and caused the birds to fly screaming from the trees.

Wauan began to dispose of Davinder's body the only way he knew how, and several hours later, he dragged what was left under some brush, and covered it as best he could. He then padded off into the jungle, feeling sadness he had never known since his mother weaned him, sadness he would never understand.

***

It took the men three more months to find Wauan. Another month after that, all three of Wauan's remaining mates, and all of their cubs had been shot, and within a year all the forest was gone, covered by villages, herds of buffalo, and goats and more people. In a new village not too far from where Wauan's mate Luma and her three cubs less than a month old were killed, Manjula lived with her new husband, and her six children, which in a little over a year would be seven.

THE END