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Karma, The Eastern Cougar
The keen ears heard it once again. It was strange how sound travelled. Sometimes an intruder could be only a few bounds away and you didn't hear it and at other times, like today, the noise from down in the valley was floating up to the sanctuary of the cliffs. She recognized the sound. It was Henderson's hound Houdini. She turned and saw her two youngsters playing; pretending to be hunters like their mother. They were healthy and strong, and perfect in every way; perhaps every mother thought that of her children. A sudden pounce and one knocked the other off its feet and protests and angry growls broke the silence of the glen.
Up here she felt secure, but it never was wise to become too complacent or someone far more dangerous that Houdini, the farmer's dog, might surprise her. She curled her lips and wished she could make Houdini disappear. Once he had nearly caught her. But her ability to hide her trail was still better than his nose in finding one. It was always the way between the animals trained to be slaves to man and those who enjoyed their own domain away from houses, villages and other structures of man.
How long had she watched from the same ledge? She lost track of time; one year merged into another, but she knew she was the reigning queen of the forest. Men were making inroads into her kingdom, but it was not the first time that she and her kind had been challenged. Her mate was a lothario and wandered into other areas that were not his but the territories of other males and females. Why males were always looking for another lady was a mystery, but he had fathered two fine children, and one would become a large male and theother would be like her, and in a few years she'd be another mighty monarch.