The Tall One


Ch’ali stirred from his slumber.

He stood on his four legs arching his back, his spine flexing.

With a little shake he stretched out his front paws dipping his head and shoulders down, straightening his spine and flexing his tail.

He then pulled his hind legs under himself sitting and begun the cleaning ritual his mother had taught him when he was a cub.

After about 10 minutes of acrobatic poses intermixed with licking and combing of his fur Ch’ali was ready to take on the day.

Looking around he surveyed his domain.

The tall one that fed him and provided extra heat was standing at a panel that was adorned with lights and images.  As usually she had shed her fur.

Ch’ali did not understand why the tall ones shed their furs so much.  He had investigated her fur the first time she had shed it, sniffing and marking his scent on it so she would know who the Alpha was.  He had decided it must be normal behavior for her.

Her fur was not soft, nor lose, but appeared to be tightly interwoven within itself.  She sometimes would pull her fur back onto her body.  The whole thing was quite strange.

Ch’ali’s fur only came off in small bits when he cleaned himself.  He once tried to put his fur “back on”, but alas… it never felt the same.

The tall one purred and meowed out a melodic tone of song.’

He recognized his title amongst the song and his designator as well.  It warmed his heart that she had the gratitude of his being and the politeness of his order to so correctly address his position.

He sauntered over to her hind legs and rubbed his chin against them remarking his scent.

She was one of his family and she had to be constantly remarked as she thoroughly cleaned herself every 15 hours or so.  It was infuriating that he had to remark her so often.  How else would anyone know who she belonged to.

He purred and squeaked the commands that triggered the tall one to prepare his morning food.

The food was sufficient.

Although the tall one never let him kill his own food, which he missed, she was able to remove it from it’s protective shell.

He had grown accustomed to it.

He had not sensed any prey in this domicile.

She was definitely an adept hunter, removing and somehow preserving all the prey into those small grey hard shells.

He sniffed and tasted the prey.  It was indeed dead, and the freshness of blood and flesh had been removed.  He sat and looked up at the tall one and let out a long query.

She addressed him by his title and designation.

He queried again, then sniffed the plate and turned around in circles in the dance that signified he requested she obey his query.

She ignored him.

Then another song, this one cold and disembodied rang out.

Ch’ali sensed the tall one stiffen, her pheromones changing instantly.  She was now alert and ready to hunt.

Ch’ali’s heart increased its beating, he tensed and listened, he quickly started to look for prey, trying to find a new odour amongst the familiar.

The tall one sung out to the disembodied melody and then turned and sprinted across the room to the egg.

She climbed into the egg and disappeared as it swallowed her whole.

The first time he had seen her eaten by the egg it had terrified him.  But after she had emerged unharmed he understood she was in command of the egg and it would not permanently consume her.

Ch’ali sat back down at the dead prey meal and begrudgingly consumed it.

He would have to hunt the elusive melody that called to him yesterday.

He would find it and silence it today.

Today he would hunt.