M is for Markhor

M

So yesterday my Little Penguin post was mobbed by comments and it has truly inspired me to keep going with this challenge! I’m still not quite sure how it happened (or why), I seem to have missed something, but I can certainly say that this challenge has become one of the best things I have ever done. So please continue to support all the participants and writers by visiting their blogs and websites, all of which can be found on the website of the challenge itself. http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

There was a strong wind building, one that crashed and pushed against the stone, it buffeted the tiny kid working its way up the thin edges. Above he could hear his momma calling to him. Though her voice was getting lost in the wind, he could still make out the faint directions she called to him. He placed a hoof and twisted, the whole world spiralling sideways for one sickening second. Once he had regained his balance he leaned aginst the cold stone.

“Momma!” he called, “I’m scared!”

“Don’t be, little one, you’re nearly at the top!” she said. He could see her head peeking out at him, he knew that there wasn’t much further to go but with the wind and his shaky feet he feared ever getting there. Then he made the silly decision to look down. He had thought that seeing how close he was to the top would make him feel better. Instead he saw the twitching tail of a mountain lion. Above him he heard his mother curse.

“Momma!” he cried, scrambling sideways in an attempt to put some distance between him and the lion.

“Don’t worry! Don’t worry! Just climb a bit faster, you’ll be ok. You only need to get to me.” Above him he heard her scrambling, trying to make it down to him. Rocks flew past him as she dislodged them; it was easier to get up than get down. “Just keep climbing, there’s a good boy. Left, now right. You can do it.” He eased forward, slowly going up.

But behind him there was a snarl. No wind could hide that sound. His mother’s scrambling grew frantic. He climbed faster. Left. Right. Left. Right.

There was the sound of claws scratching rock. The wind pushed him sideways, away from the safety of the ledge. Left. Right. Left. Right.

“Keep coming, little one!”

He was trying! The ledges were getting smaller. His soft hooves were struggling. Something sharp brushed his back. There was hot breath on his neck. Left. Right. Left. Right.

There was the top! There was his mother. She was stretching towards him, trying to reach out and grab him. Teeth caught his back leg, biting deep. He cried out and slid backwards.

His mother clambered down, reaching past him. There was a snarl and he was released. He pushed past her and collapsed at the top. His leg was pulsing in pain, and he could see blood. Behind him there was another snarl from the lion as his mother caught it under the jaw with her horns. It backed off a little, giving her the chance to climb back to the top herself. Here she had an even footing and a lot of anger. The mountain lion paced below, tail twitching in anger.

It could see no way past his mother though, and so, injured or not, he gave the kid up as a lost cause. She waited until it was definitely gone before coming to him. She curled around him and licked his wounds, keeping him safe and warm.

“You were very brave. I’m very proud of you.” She said as she licked his ear, he snuggled closer to her and tried not to think about his leg.

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M is for Markhor

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