His right of passage had come.
Her night to die had arrived, far too soon.
She meant to do nothing more than grab something to eat.
He saw a opportunity that could not be ignored.
She had no idea he had seen her, or was zeroing in as she ate.
When she did realize he was coming, it was too late.
Running and hiding did not work.
He had above average eyesight, and tracked her no matter where she hid.
Viciously catching her head, he slammed her against the ground.
Rising to her feet with difficulty, she tried to run.
When he followed and caught her yet again, knocking the breath out of her.
She lied there, gasping for blessed air to return to her lungs.
She hoped in vain that all he wanted was sport.
Sport was something she could survive, after all.
Lying there looking up at him, she became angry.
She rose up and fought for her life, though she did not know this at the time.
Had no idea of the horrors yet in store for her.
She fought bravely and with courage, yet he swept her aside as if she were nothing.
Grappling with him, she felt his enormous strength, resolve, and yes, curiosity.
He was not used to this then.
She had a chance.
Then he bit her.
She was so stunned, she did not fight, but instead shivered as shock began to set in.
Seeing his advantage, he threw her in the air.
Pawed at her as she hit the ground, hitting her brutally, over and over again.
Still she did not give up.
She rose up again, dizzy, disheveled.
Found herself on the ground gasping for breath.
Another bite wound, this time on her shoulder.
Her fear became great then.
She could not equal him in strength.
She could not run.
She could not hide.
Yet still, hope survived.
Where there is hope, there is the will to fight on.
Wearily, she drug herself to her feet again.
Launched a counteroffensive before he had time to react.
Swiped at his face, bit HIM out of fury and a desire to throw him off guard.
He leapt back, startled that he could be challenged in such a way by such a small specimen.
Hope flared, and she continued the attack.
Cautious now, he approached from different angles, hitting the most tender areas.
Biting when he could.
She still stood, swaying on her feet.
Just wanting to survive.
Suddenly, as the last of her adrenaline reserves were called into play.
He easily caught her, and the beating, biting, battering continued.
We’ve all seen movies where the good guys win.
Where at the most crucial moment, the heroine finds the determination and anger within to fight.
But this was not a movie.
This was reality.
In the real world, in this small drama that was unfolding.
She lay on the ground, gasping, in shock, and unable to get up.
He stalked around her in a circle, occasionally reaching out for another hit.
Shock has it’s blessings, and this case was no different.
She could not feel his repeated blows, nor the bites.
Could not realize she was being kicked and pummeled, and thrown in the air, time after time.
Unknown to both parties in this ugly, pitiable scene.
A face watched from a window nearby.
This face reflected emotions varying from sorrow to stony indifference.
The scene witnessed, after all, plays itself out countless times over the course of one day.
The mind behind the face knew this.
Knew what it was like to be the cat, strong, curious, powerful.
Had been the mouse many times, struggling to survive, wanting only to eat, sleep, and provide for a family.
For this saga was merely a game to the cat, his rite of passage, his first kill.
To the mouse, it was life or death.
This mouse’s death did not pass unnoticed.
Mine was the face that observed the “game” that proved deadly to the mouse.
I do not confine my observations to humans.
There are so many lessons to be learned from animals.
This was merely a lesson that deserved reinforcing.
Reality dictates at times we are either the cat or the mouse.
The lessons that can be learned from observing the small dramas around us can prove invaluable.
Looking, but not actually seeing.
Listening, but not truly hearing.
Can, as was the case with the mouse.