The sun has just set. The animals of the jungle scurry away in the darkness, finding sanctuary, wherever they can.
The mother of the beast's son nurses her new cub.
He will hunt tonight!
He stretches, the powerful shoulders gleaming in the moonlight, as he makes his way out if the den, where he has rested for many moons.
His damaged foreleg has healed from a previous battle, which had left him helpless to hunt effectively. The neck muscles are tight, but manageable.
All is well now, as he leaps down upon the trail, making his way into the brighter light of the well-beaten path.
The scent is powerful now, and his cry breaks the silence of the night, and all who are near, fear the great striped cat.
The mighty elephant, enjoying the grass and foliage, shudders, then makes his way opposite of the roar of the beast.
The monkeys head for the highest branches, screeching and howling, as the powerful legs are once again moving him quietly through the jungle.
His eyes are shiny and clear, as he has waited in great anticipation for this day. His mate and young cub have fled and the hungry Tiger's angry roar is felt near the pounding of the ocean's constant surf.
Soon he will be stalking the unsuspecting prey, that congregate near the watering hole and the sand. They seem all too vulnerable, as they have grown complacent, with the large beast staying in his den, for so long now.
Perhaps they thought he had moved on.
This is his favorite hunting zone, where he has chased down even the faster creatures, with stealth and surprise in his favor.
All the animals are at a disadvantage facing this beast one on one, and few can survive the power and ferocity of the sudden attack. Few ever come away unscathed.
The Tiger hunts once more, and all will fear his power and dominance.
Tread lightly upon his path and stay in the shadows and out of his light, or he will devour you!
The hunters become the hunted this weekend.
Thomas Kipling Moreland