On Guard

I’m walking down a hill with yellowish brown grass that comes up between my knees and waist. I’m thin, mostly naked and hungry, rather like how you’d imagine a child lost in the wild. My long brown hair was knotted but blowing freely in the breeze.

There is a small lake at the bottom, surrounded by reeds of a similar color to the surrounding grasses. There are a few old and wizened trees about, but which kinds I can’t tell. Perhaps some sort of water tree like willow. There is a giant, fully grown lion lounging on the opposite side of the bank. His head perks up as I come near; no doubt my scent is strong on the breeze. His black eyes narrow as he analyzes the creature before him.

I hasten quickly into the water and can feel the wet, slippery soil beneath my toes as I wade out into the center. There is food floating there, meat of some sort, and I am eager to get it and take it away with me. I know I can’t just eat it all there but should save some.

As I reach the meat, the lion gets up and starts talking to me. Asking me about myself and how I could be so crazy as to come to his lake. I must really be hungry. I am not afraid of him, but my senses are on high alert. It’s not clear if he will try to attack me or not. The lion himself is not so scary, but what he could do to me if he’s in the mood of course is.

I answer back to him, and whatever it is I said made him laugh and reappraise me. I have the meat in my hands and take a couple of small bites to quench my need for sustenance. My eyes are not leaving the lion.

He lets out a small roar of what seems like exasperation and I grab a hunk of the meat and get out of the water and up the hill as fast as I can, but I pause and look back. I know he could easily overtake me if he should wish and that there is really no point in me running away, but I watch as he goes for the meat I’ve left behind in the water instead. Looking up, he shouts up at me something along the lines of how he’ll sit there and wait for me because he knows I’ll be back. I am still not scared of him, just on high alert. He looks annoyed about something, but I can tell it isn’t me that’s bothering him. Our eyes meet and without any word or sign of communication, I clutch the small bit of meat to my chest and continue back up the hill.

We both know he’s right.


Wake up.


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