Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)
- TITLE: Hunting
By Allen Scovil
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I had let him out earlier, and was keeping a casual eye on him as I worked. Distracted now and curious, I got up from my desk slowly, trying not to disturb the tableau unfolding outside. Moving to the window, I looked to see what he was after, and spotted a squirrel, foraging about some fifteen feet away from the base of our big maple tree.
Tyrone had it in his sights.
I wondered how long it would take for the prey to notice the predator.
With practiced grace, Tyrone crept forward a step, one black paw carefully going in front of the other. When the target didn't seem to notice, he took another, steadily closing the gap until he could make the fateful lunge. His head never wavered.
The squirrel sat up as if sensing something. Tyrone froze, moving only the very tip of his tail, which was hidden from the squirrel by his body. When the squirrel returned to its nosing around, the stealthy advance resumed.
Suddenly Tyrone drew his paws in, coiling, ready to spring. The squirrel looked up again, then went perfectly still except for his tail, which he flicked nervously. The two of them eyed each other, waiting for the other to make the first move. A robin flew above them and landed on an overhanging tree branch, but they ignored it.
I held my breath.
In the blink of an eye Tyrone pounced, but the squirrel was just able to dodge and rocket up the tree to safety. Tyrone hung on for a moment to the trunk where he had ended up, his tail still going. Then, accepting the obvious, he dropped to the ground, his lost prey jeering at him from well out of reach.
Not being sure whether to cheer for the squirrel or feel bad for my cat, I sat back down in front of my computer screen and examined what I had written. I was getting close. Would I be able to catch the prey I was hunting?
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