Stalking Prey In The Night

They chose a perfect night. The moon was new and practically non-existent as 7 boys sat noisily around the fire, a beacon in the forest to all hunters that food was there, plump juicy and night-blind. One was speaking and his gutteral enunciations wove a spell over the boys. Their eyes got wide, their bodies stilled, and the tiny snapping of twigs made them jump. Their language was full of varying pitches and hisses and the perfect mask for my approach.

I had to slink low to the ground like a snake and walk with even pressure on all four of my limbs to spread out my weight, but I got close enough to smell their fear and feel the heat from their bodies.

I smelled something else too, competition. It was a female. She was young and inexperienced, making far too much brush move over her. An owl hooted a warning and flew off, startling my prey. She froze. She had no idea I was stalking on the other side of the circle. Should I let her flush them to me, or pounce on the fattest to ensure my take?

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