Shardool – Part 3


Previously: Shardool – Part 2

Since his last adventure Shardool had become quite vary of mirrors. He treated them like a source of evil magic. His body always quivered in front of one.

He was now one year old and was able to fend off for himself, but it would be almost another year before he would leave Venkatesh to find his own place in the wild. The nights were usually filled with Shardool’s territorial cries, which sounded like a bark being sawed. He didn’t have a mother to teach him the nuances of hunting, so he had learned everything by making mistakes. In the wild these mistakes would have cost him his life, but in Venkatesh’s backyard, Shardool could afford to make a few. He hunted small prey like rabbit and birds for practice as the majority of his diet was provided by his foster parent. Mice and rats were not much for practice though as a single swipe of the paws was all that was necessary to have them playing the harp.

Night had fallen over the village. The bark of the street dogs broke the silent of the night.

“They must be fighting again,” grumbled Venkatesh as he shifted on bed.

Next day, he went to check on Shardool. He was greeted by a friendly purr from the bushes. Shardool stretched first his front legs and then the rear ones, before finally releasing his lethargy with a yawn that would have made any hippopotamus proud. The half eaten carcass which comprised the meal last night was neatly packed on a tree branch.

“On a diet, are we?” questioned Venkatesh, while cleaning Shardool’s personal water pond. It was a daily chore and one that Venkatesh didn’t mind doing.

He went out to get some supplies for the household, leaving Shardool snoring in the shade of a tree. Life in the village was quite and without much adventure. He bought all he needed from the village grocer and started back. He took the shorter way back home through the green patch. A strange smell greeted him, it was a dead mongrel.

It wouldn’t have been anything of big concern except for the fact that the creature had bite marks on the neck. Venkatesh dropped the bag to perform a quick autopsy. There was a bite through the back of the neck that had destroyed the spinal cord and another had crushed the trachea. Moreover there were feline paws imprinted on the terrain nearby and the ground revealed that the body had been dragged to the point. It was a leopard kill.

Dog meat is a favourite of leopards. If what Venkatesh was thought was true, then this might be Shardool’s first major kill. He had an eerie feeling. Things were changing and he needed to do something before it went out of control.

A rampaging feline living in the village would not go down well with the locals, especially those having domestic animals and small children. A leopard is like a thief fighting for survival; it would go anywhere, do anything and eat anything.

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  1. […] Shardool – Part 4 This is the fourth and the final part. Previously: Shardool 1, Shardool 2, Shardool 3 […]



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