Chapter Twelve

The hot but humid air sucked in the rays of light and made rainbows dance off dew droplets on leaves. Twigs snapped underneath my feet, which were also crushing delicate leaves. A rustling sound came from behind me, just the wind probably. But I didn't feel a wind, strange. All of sudden, the ground collapsed below me and a flattened cardboard box disguised with twigs and dry leaves dropped into a pit. Animal trap! I should've known. A hole dug into the ground with earth crumbling on the sides (from previous captives maybe?) was around two metres tall and one metre in diametre. The rustling came closer, now not only rustling, but also a quiet yet fierce growl. I looked around desperately for a way out. However, whoever built this trap did it well. A dark figure appeared at the edge of my prison. A dark black jaguar. Fangs out, growling for its midday snack. No. I didn't just come all this way through so much near-death experiences just to becomes some stupid food of a jaguar and its family. No way. I edged towards the shadow of the hole, hoping something would work. The nose of the animal sniffed away then grunted.

Plan A, part one. Quietly, I picked up a small twig on the ground. Then, with a scratch I had gotten when I fell into the pit, I covered the twig with a few drops of blood. Throwing it out of the whole and towards the jaguar, I hoped the animal's nose would pick up the scent. And it did. It caught the twig between its teeth and licked away. Part two. Wasting no time at all, I jumped and gripped onto the edge of the pit. Twigs dug into my palms. The earth crumbled away when I tried to climb out. So I gave up.

Plan B. It was time... for the Leap of Faith. Confidence, I thought over and over. It was going to work.

(Probably.) A squeaky sound whispered at the back of my head. The hole was only two metres tall. Surely it wouldn't be that hard to jump over. (Actually two metres is quite tall.) The jaguar just stood there, eyes burning into my skin.

(It's gonna get you.) How else was I going to get the stone?

(You're going to fail!) Shut up.

I took a deep breath. Then I jumped, arms up, towards the top of the hole and onto the forest ground. And.... it didn't work.

Plan C. Waving at the animal, it snapped at my fingers. Good. I put my hand in front of his mouth then drew back quickly. It nearly jumped. I put my fingers up in the air and jumped up and down. The animal growled, stared at it intensely, then lurched for it. Immediately, I put my hand down, and so the jaguar dived down into the pit. As soon as it landed, I stepped on its back, and jumped out of the prison. Tadaa. Two birds with one stone. I got out. The jaguar's in.

The End

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