eye of the tiger

when Indian girl Indonesia becomes friends with a full grown tiger, she has an epic adventure running away from a team of expert tiger hunters to save her friends life

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1. sign of danger

when i was a girl of four or five, my mama and papa were killed by a ferocious tiger, a beast from its own world, its golden eyes and dagger like teeth, it almost killed me too, but it ran away, since then friends have helped raise me, but i have no home, no one will take me in, i sleep under giant leaves in our small village, and at thirteen, i have learned how to make spears, a bow and arrow, and an effective sling shot

"Indi, come help me" Eli calls, he is my older brother who has a home, he has begged to get me a home, but no one would give me one, so some nights he would come out and sleep with me when the coldest or hottest nights came around, or have me come inside until the common predator wanders by

"coming brother" i call back to him, i run over where he is trying to lift a heavy branch that fell during the harsh storm last night, i help him carry it out of camp, it weighs a good hundred fifty pounds and is thirty feet long

"thank you, how are you doing" he says putting a safe arm around my shoulder, my tiger skin top warm and comfortable, and my kakis from a neighbor, they were meant for my brother, but he gave them to me, my hair is down, long down to my butt, but it is pretty easy to handle, it doesn't frizz, or tangles easily

"your welcome, so, how much food does the village have left" i pant from moving the heavy branch

"not much, and no one wants to hunt with the tiger around" he says, my green eyes sparkling with an idea

"i can go hunt, im smaller and quieter than all of the other hunters, and i have the most effective kills" i say, my brother looks down at me, he is sixteen, his black hair just like mine but curly and short, but not that short, he is half of a foot taller than me, very tall for his age, he is the chiefs assistants, because he is so strong, and handsome, and smart, he is every young girls dream boy

"i know, but i wont let you, i have already lost ma and pa, im not losing you too" he raises his voice slightly and backs away from me

"please, we are running out of food and no one else but me is brave enough to go out there" i say pointing to the forest

"but i wont let you go, do you understand me, i love you too much" tears well in his eyes and i feel terrible, it is a great shame to be caught crying in the open unless you are being eaten alive or someone you know has just died

"im sorry, i wont go out" i lower my head to the ground and play with my fingers

"no, i shouldn't have gotten mad and yelled, im just concerned you will run off and get lost or killed" he hugs me and people start to stare, but i don't care if he doesn't, he pulls me in tighter as the chief walks up behind me

"what is the meaning of this Eli" the chief says in his low intimidating voice, his short black hair wetted back his seven foot staff decorated with teeth and claws of his kills as a child and young adult

"we were just having a conversation and got a little emotional sir" he says and releases me, i turn to the chief, a fresh scar on his right cheek protecting his wife and thirteen year old son, who is sick, i have visited him before, only because i bring him water and food from the campfire, he talks to me a lot when he can, i have a feeling he likes me, and i like him

"Indi, i need you to catch fish at the river for William, then cook them at the fire tonight and get them to him" the chief commands, i nod and run to my fort that Eli helped me build, its where i keep my weapons and fishing poles, i grab a fishing pole and my knife and run to the river as silently as i can, i sit on a high rock

"whats my catch today" i whisper to myself and go into total concentration mode, i toss the line in the water and wait

about half an hour later i have caught and skinned five fish and put them in my bag, im standing up to head back to the village when i hear the snap of twigs and something moving behind the trees, i freeze, then i see orange and lack charging for me, i dart away from the village and away from the tiger, i run for ten minutes and finally lose the tiger past the river

i walk back half an hour to the village, when i get back it is almost dark and everyone is at the campfire, my brother next to the chief, there is a smaller fire where some of the children are, but only two or three, i sit down with the kids and cook the fish, then i take them to the chiefs son William, but everyone calls him will, he smiles when i walk in with five cooked fish and water, i help him sit up in bed and he eats hungrily and starts to chug his water

"don't chug" i say and hold the glass

"why not" he asks, his hazel and green eyes confused

"one, you might choke, and two, its just not good to drink water quickly when youre sick like you are" i say, he nods and puts the wooden cup down on the small table next to him

"thanks" he says after a long silence

"for what" i ask, feeling a little dumb

"giving me food for so long, dealing with me" he coughs hard and puts a hand on my shoulder and i feel watched, like im being stalked by a predator, and i see it...

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