Cheetara's Bedtime Story
Author's note: Yet another sweet, sappy piece of smarm. I got the idea after reading Ayanna's work. Anyway she inspired me, I thought i'd better give her some credit or she'll kill me or my Mary-Sue. Enjoy.
Wilykit, with a blanket draped over
her head, looked upwards at the Third Earth sky and wondered at the myriad
stars that dotted the darkness. Wilykit felt a presence behind her, she
turned and it was her brother, Wilykat. "'Kat, I can't sleep." Wilykat
put his arm around his sister and kissed her cheek. "I can't either,
I don't see why we can't stand a watch sometime!" Wilykit and Wilykat's
complaining continued. Cheetara, walking past, heard talking in their
bedroom from the hall, she feared one of the twins was having another talking
nightmare again, so she walked into the room to check on them. Cheetara
was relieved that the kittens were up and not having night terrors, but
mildly scolded them just the same.
"What are you two rascals doing up?" Wilykit and Wilykat were shocked and turned around. "we can't sleep, Cheetara." Said Wilykat. "Yeah, Cheetara," Said Wilykit. "tell us a story." Cheetara sighed. "You should both be asleep. Young kittens need their rest." Wilykit giggled. "You sound like Snarf!" Cheetara's eyes opened a little wider. Wilykit and Wilykat gave Cheetara pleading looks, then said, "Please?" Cheetara sighed and said, "All right." Wilykit and Wilykat got into Wilykat's bed and Cheetara pulled up a chair.
Cheetara thought for a moment, she thought she might could tell them some Kalvah cheetah clan stories, but some of the legends weren't fit for children's ears, the sex and violence alone would keep the children up, and probably scar them for life. Cheetara then thought about Kalvah and Damkorr tiger clan related stories for a moment, and smiled.
"Okay, kittens. You know that Tygra and Bengali's boots have their heels and toes exposed, right?" The kittens cuddled each other. "Yeah." Cheetara smiled. "Well there is a story behind that, kittens." Cheetara cleared her throat and closed her eyes.
"Once upon a time there was darkness, and the Gods were angry with Thundera's people. The Thunderians had been foolish and thought better than to worship the Gods, and stopped making offerings. The Gods, Thundgardenon in particular, grew angry and brought down a curse on Thundera's people that no more children could be born amongst them as punishment. The people upon hearing this terrible curse upon them set about the task of making amends, but Thundgardenon's anger could not be assuaged," Cheetara looked at the clueless kittens. "soothed, and in fact became greater. The people, not discouraged, arranged a contest amongst the Thunderian clans to find the strongest, most righteous representative of all the combined clans to go to Thundgardenon's mountain and plead everyone's case before the all God himself." Cheetara stopped the story. "You know our Thunderian olympics, kittens?" The kittens nodded yes. "Well, that is the commemoration of the contest to find the champion of Thundera." Cheetara stopped again. "Where was I 'Kit? The all God. Oh, right." Cheetara continued.
"After five days of epic battle, there arose a champion for the Thunderians, Damkorr, the tiger. Damkorr was strong as five men, he could hurl a spear through a tree at ten paces, his intelligence was legendary, as well as his truthfulness, and just nature.
Damkorr was to be married to Givalrah, Kalvah Cheetah clan. The two clans had been fighting for generations, and the marriage between the two would end the violence and hostility between the two peoples for good. Because the peace between the clans was not guaranteed, and neither was Damkorr's return, Damkorr was told that if he didn't come back in a month, his betrothed would be married to another tiger clan male. Damkorr, with a heavy heart, left Givalrah, and set about accomplishing the task before him, finding Thundgardenon and Magala's mountain and begging their favor for all his people again.
It was a perilous journey to begin with, but the task was made even more difficult in that Thundgardenon was adamant about not forgiving his children. Thundgardenon was angered furthermore that his willful children was sending a champion to speak to him, to the God's eyes it was disobeying of his word to do so. The all God was determined to kill Damkorr as an example to the rest of the Thunderians.
Thundgardenon set deadly traps for Damkorr. Damkorr saw the first of those after he had been traveling for three days. When Damkorr reached the Feather Plains, Thundgardenon created a large deep river, and filled it with ravenous flesh eating monsters. Damkorr camped at the riverside for days thinking of a way to get across it without being killed, he had no boat, and his food was quickly running out, but the tiger refused to give up. Damkorr watched the river thinking one day and saw a hoparoo slowly creep towards the river and take a drink, then and there Damkorr watched a hundred of the creatures jump out of the water and devour the hapless animal."
Cheetara had to stop when the kittens said, "Ewwwww!" Cheetara thought for a second. "Do you want me to stop? I will if you're scared." Wilykit and Wilykat begged her to continue.
"Damkorr sat in a tree near the riverside, and for the next few days ambushed hoparoos as they came to the river to drink. When he had enough, he took their blood and poured it into the river, then sent the carcasses of the animals downstream. When the creatures swam to where the animals were to eat them, Damkorr quickly swam across the stream and to the other river bank. Thundgardenon was furious, he closed the river, and bided his time until he could foil Damkorr for once and for all.
Damkorr traveled another day, and came to the face of a large mountain. All Damkorr had left to eat was a piece of bread. Thundgardenon spoke to Damkorr telling him that he could not climb the mountain, or walk around it to get to his palace. Damkorr sat for the rest of the day determined to find a way to get past the mountain without disobeying the word of the all God. Damkorr was hungry, so he reached into his bag and got out the last of his food, as he was going to bite into it, but he stopped, and instead offered it to Magala in his campfire with a prayer for mercy. Hungry, cold, and tired, Damkorr went to sleep." Wilykat interrupted, "But Cheetara how could he..." Cheetara interrupted Wilykat. "Let me tell you the story, please. Sorry, Cheetara. Shut up, 'Kat!" Said Wilykit with consternation. Wilykat pushed his sister and she scratched him. "Now, now none of that!" Said Cheetara. "do you want to hear the rest of this story or not?" Wilykit and Wilykat settled down after they stuck their tongues out at each other. Cheetara sighed, and was grateful that she was an only cub.
"The next morning when Damkorr awoke, he found that his food bag was full of fruit, meat, and bread, enough for the day. Damkorr re-kindled his fire and ate heartily. As Damkorr filled his stomach, he looked up and saw a cave just above his head. Damkorr looked around and saw a tree and climbed it. When he was near the cave opening, a bolt of lightning shot from the sky splitting the tree in two. Damkorr jumped and barely made it inside. After a few moments of rest, Damkorr started to explore the cave, looking for a way to the other side. After a day of travel, Damkorr decided to go to sleep, all of his food was gone except for a piece of half eaten fruit, instead of finishing it, he put it into his small fire and said a prayer of thanks to Magala and went to sleep." Wilykat jumped up. "I bet there's food in it when he wakes up!" Cheetara laughed. "Calm down, Wilykat." Cheetara looked at the kittens.
"Damkorr awoke the next morning and to his surprise, and relief, his food bag was once again full." Wilykat looked at his sister. "I told you so!" Wilykit scowled. "Yeah you're real smart! Let Cheetara finish the story." Cheetara sighed.
"Damkorr awoke the day after that to see a butterfly resting on his once again full food bag, it fluttered around and Damkorr followed it, eventually finding the other side of the mountain. Damkorr had succeeded, and not gone against the word of his God. When Damkorr reached daylight on the other side, the butterfly disappeared." Wilykit interrupted. "Was the butterfly Magala? I don't know 'Kit, we'll see." Cheetara continued.
"Damkorr reached Thundgardenon and Magala's mountain after three more days travel. At the gates of the all God's palace, D'Onyx, Thundgardenon's pet was waiting for him. The panther lunged at Damkorr and for hours they fought, Damkorr had bloody welts and bites all over his body, D'Onyx was about to make his kill bite when Damkorr shoved his hand down the panther's throat and strangled it by holding onto it's tongue." Wilykit made a face. "Yuck!" Cheetara continued.
"As D'Onyx the panther struggled, Damkorr picked it up and threw it on the mountain face, dazing it, and un-sheathed his dagger with the intention of killing the beast." Cheetara looked at Wilykit and Wilykat, both of them had a death grip on her arms, she could see the suspense in their eyes.
"Damkorr stopped, sheathed his dagger and called to the all God." Cheetara smiled when she heard sighs of relief.
"Damkorr said, "I have survived all of your obstacles, and spared your favored beast, would you not show your people the same mercy by allowing us birth again?" Wilykat looked at Cheetara. "Wow! He fought a panther? And won?" Added Wilykit. "Yes." Said Cheetara. "I'm almost done." Cheetara picked up her story.
"For days Damkorr sat at the gates of Thundgardenon and Magala's mountain palace for an answer. At the end of each day, Damkorr placed what was left of his food in his campfire, offered a prayer, and went to sleep. The next days when he awoke, the bag was full of food again. Damkorr knew that his month was almost up, and that his beloved Givalrah would be forced to take the hand of another male for marriage, but still Damkorr sat and waited and prayed to the Gods for an answer.
Damkorr awoke one morning to the sounds of Thunder and furious streaks of lightning, he prostrated himself in front of the gates and begged his Gods not to harm him. Thundgardenon spoke to the tiger again. Thundgardenon told Damkorr that if he could walk inside the gates of the palace shod and unshod at the same time, that he would restore the gift of birth to the Thunderian people. If he did not solve the riddle correctly, the first toe he set inside the palace grounds would kill him." Wilykat looked at Cheetara. "What's shod mean?" Cheetara looked at him. "It means wearing shoes. Oh." Wilykit shook Cheetara's arm. "C'mon, Cheetara finish the story."
"Damkorr sat for awhile contemplating the challenge issued by his God. Damkorr looked at his feet, then got out his dagger and began cutting his boots. Damkorr cut the toes and heels out of the boots, and slowly approached the gate. When Damkorr touched his feet to the ground inside the gate, a butterfly lit upon his shoulder, and he was magically sent back to his clan by Magala, just as Givalrah was being lead to her marriage altar by her father." Cheetara edited and rushed through the rest of the story. "Damkorr married Givalrah and they lived happily ever after. So that's why tigers have their heels and toes exposed, in memory of brave Damkorr. The end." Wilykit looked at Cheetara. "If she was getting married, what about the other guy?" Cheetara looked at Wilykit and said, "I'll tell you when you're older." Cheetara paused. "A lot older. Awwwwwww!" Both of the kittens said as Cheetara kissed them good night and tucked them in. Cheetara turned and looked at the kittens and said, "Good night, kids. Good night, Cheetara." And Cheetara closed the door.
Tygra was waiting for her in the hall, he smiled when she looked at him. "I don't think you quite finished the story, 'Tara. What about the rite of acceptance, and the mate markings?" Cheetara pushed her friend. "You can't tell that to children!" Tygra smiled. Cheetara looked at him and shook her head. "Come get me when my watch time is near, i'm going to be in the sitting room, okay?" Tygra nodded.
Cheetara walked into the sitting room, there was a fire burning. She settled down and rested her head on the arm of the couch and watched the flames lick the back of the fireplace, as she pulled a throw over herself. Cheetara was soon lulled to sleep by the whistles and pops of the burning wood.
After a few hours, Tygra stretched, got up and slowly made his way to the sitting room. Tygra looked at Cheetara sleeping sweetly for a few moments, she had a slight smile on her face. Tygra walked towards her with the intentions of rousing her from her slumber, but he stopped, looked at her again, pulled the throw a little closer up onto her body and whispered, "Goodnight,'Tara." and kissed her forehead. Cheetara looked up in time to see the lights dim, and the silhouette of a tiger quietly walking out of the room. Cheetara sat up, looked for a moment, put her head down and went back to sleep.
Go Damkorr. But Tygra's better. Main page.