Kiwi, Snow Leopard, and Alpaca

Kiwi looked up from the water he had been drinking. Snow Leopard was now back and he could continue their conversation. “I do not think it all that bad here in this place. Back home the number of threats have never been worse.”

“I agree with the number of threats increasing,” Snow Leopard replied. “However I need more space to feel at home then what I have been provided with. Further, why could they not put themselves here and let me stay behind. They can survive in a single room with all their technology. I need the space, the thrill of the hunt.”

“Also a good point,” Kiwi responded. “Yet, my home is not as nice as it once was. They brought much with them to the islands. I fear that I would not be safe outside this place. And, I would like to see the sun without shade again, or go beyond a wall if the mood struck me. Yes it may mean uncertainty to my existence, but at least it would be excitement.”

“I would never choose such a cramped house.” growled Snow Leopard. “I want my mountains back. I want my forest, my childhood home, back under my feet. I want to feel real land and not the concrete and predictable landscape. Though I do not feel the pangs hunger encouraging me day to day, I struggle to find reason to get out from the corner I sleep in. I do not wish to entertain those that stare wide eyed at my existence. They say my brethren number less by the day, and yet they do not let us go down with a fight. Some day we will all be gone and I wish to have the smell of a known forest around me and the taste of a fresh kill in my teeth be my fleeting thoughts. I do not like the sound of a pipe leaking or the aroma of prey never to be caught.”

“Young cat,” it was the voice of Alpaca, “You need not waste your breath wishing for your former glory, your lost freedom, or happiness outside of here. You do not have children patting you each day, and should thank that fortune.”

“I would only bite the little hands,” Snow leopard retorted.

“Exactly why they do not. You do not fare any worse or better than those who were domesticated. We are kept and sheered for our hair. You will hear how we must be kept safe from the elements, but as those before us did, I assure you we are quite capable of handling the extremes of a wild life. I was a guard for sheep, yes sheep, before being sent here. Now I am to play nice and let them caress me or let them cut small locks of my hair.”

“But that means you too have felt the freedom of the wilds. You are not native to such enclosures.”

“You are correct and yet I am safe from you here. I miss my herd and the comfort of the group. Yet I am resigned to here being my resting spot. Kiwi is a good friend to have as he will listen, but I warn you to not pine for things outside your grasp. If you are trouble or you attack them, they will not hesitate putting you down.”

“Your words of wisdom are to endure and suffer?” snapped the cat. “I do not lie down, there is no pride in that. I cannot cower at their beck and call. I cannot sit so politely with their brood. They stare lie they hunt me, but I am already caught.”

“I cannot offer you any other advice than that. Come to terms with the life you will now live.”

“There is nothing to come to terms with,” Kiwi spoke up. “It is a harsh life hear or out there. But in the freedom beyond these walls, we both had some say in what would happen. We could each find a mate, asses the risks we wanted to take, eat what and when we felt like it. Now it is regimented, I do not get to taste the sweetest of grub anymore. Snow Leopard can only eat whichever rabbit they choose to feed him.”

“I agree much of our individuality is lost here.” Alpaca responded, “You still have choices to eat or not eat. You can be active when the crowd are around or not. You can lament what is not and how it should be. But what will you do when done with that? Outside your cage would you lament that the prey is not as easy to catch as yesterday?”

“You suggesting I memorize my cage, make routine of the walls and the comings and goings of the humans?” Snow Leopard curled in a corner. “This is not what mother prepared me for.” she mumbled as she started to doze off. “This is not what I want to achieve. This is not all I am capable of.”


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