untitled as of yet

I like where the direction of this story is going, but I feel that it is lacking something. What exactly is missing, I have not yet been able to decide. Please feel free to give me some pointers.

My life was simple.  My life was hunger, the hunt, and the song.  Hunger leads to the hunt.  The hunt always leads to the song.  My song is mostly about emptiness.  The emptiness of my belly, the loss of half my vision, and the emptiness of a pack-less life.  I am the Singer of Sorrow and my life was simple, until one cold and hungry day during the time of snow.

                After a long hunt, I had finally found some prey.  A long eared bounder was nibbling a bit of winter yellowed grass.  I crept up as close as I could without letting it get wind of me.  As I hunkered down in preparation of pouncing on my unsuspecting meal, a slender tree limb flew out from behind a bush and bit the bounder in the neck.  As the bounder gasped its final breath, I slunk back into a prone position to see what might happen next. 

                I was uncertain of what I should do.  I had never seen a bush hunt before.  The branch was unlike any I had ever seen.  It had feathers attached to its tail as if it were part bird.  It even had a hard black beak that was now buried in my dinner’s neck.  After a few moments of no more movement from the shrub, I began to slowly creep forward to lay claim to my meal.  I again had to shrink to the ground when a creature unlike any I had ever seen stepped from the cover of the bush.

                This animal moved about on two legs much like a bird, but was bigger than any bird I had ever seen.  Its wings were featherless and ended in strangely shaped paws.  This gangly creature also appeared to have mange.  Much of its flat face and its long spindly legs had no fur cover.  As I lay there watching, it reached out with a forepaw and used it like a set of jaws to lift the bounder from the ground.

I followed this unusual new animal back to its lair, where it continued to amaze me with its behavior.  As I watched, it began to peel off the bounder’s skin which it then set aside.  It then tore the tasty innards from the creature and set them aside.  Finally, I saw it use a larger version of the bird-branch to stab the naked bounder carcass.

I began to suspect that this creature was insane.  Removal of the fur makes sense since it is funny tasting and difficult to swallow, but I could not see why it discarded the entrails or saw fit to kill the prey again.  It puzzled me greatly when it built a small enclosure of sticks, and then used some means that I was not able to determine to capture Fire.

It began to feed Fire with more branches and twigs.  I don’t know what I found most surprising; this animal capturing Fire, Fire not attacking it, or it feeding Fire.  I lost all hope of retrieving my meal when I saw what this strange new animal did next. 

It began to tease Fire with the bounder carcass suspend on the flying branch.  I was so startled by this that I sat upright in total shock.  The funny mangy bird creature saw me and gave a startled little jump.  I was in turn spooked and skittered away from this den of madness. 

At this point, the most tantalizing scent reached my nostrils.  It was like meat, only better.  I had to know what it was.  I got down on my belly and crawled back to Funny-bird’s lair. 

Funny-bird was at last eating the bounder like any proper carnivore.  As I watched, hunger and the appetizing smell caused my stomach to rumble.  As my emptiness made itself known again, Funny-bird tossed the entrails and scraps to the edge of its encampment.  I slowly made my way to the gifted meal.

Funny-bird made sudden noises with his oddly flattened face.  Once again, startled, I leapt away to ensure my safety.  This action caused Funny-bird to issue a series of short loud barking sounds.  I felt it best to keep my distance for now.

I then waited until Funny-bird stopped moving and began breathing deeply next to the still hot remains of Fire.  Operating on the idea that Funny-bird slept, I quietly padded in and recovered the offered meal.

I am not sure what Funny-bird and Fire had done to the bounder, but I know that it tasted better than anything I had previously eaten.  I wanted more.

Later that night as I was singing about the day’s experiences, I decided on a plan of action.  I would bring meat to Funny-bird in hopes of a repeat of the Fire spectacle.

I begin my hunt and come across the trail of a young, injured horn-head.  As I neared it, I can see that its rear leg was damaged.  It cannot run, but I can.  I leap in and bite its throat.  I have made an excellent kill and reward myself with a feast of tasty innards before dragging the horn-head back to Funny-bird’s lair.

When Funny-bird sees my offering, he is surprised and looks around until he sees me sitting a short distance from his camp.  He then makes the short barking sounds again and repeats the process of removing the skin, capturing Fire and teasing it until the wonderful smells again permeate the air.

Once again, Funny-bird leaves part of the carcass on the edge of Fire’s light for me.  Today as I approach, he is silent as he watches me eat with what I assume is curiosity in his eyes. 

I sang about having a full stomach.  I sang about this bewildering and fascinating animal I had found.  I sang about it capturing Fire.  I sang about the meat that is better after it has been used to taunt Fire.

And for the rest of my life I sang out to let Funny-bird know that I was flushing prey his way.  I still only have one eye, but I have a pack now, and a belly that is no longer empty.  I am no longer the Singer of Sorrow. 

The End

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