Panthera Leo*

SYNOPSIS: In the African savannah survival favors the lucky. A new flash fiction long enough to be more than a meme and short enough to be comfortable with the limited attention span of modern society.

Hoofprints, fresh droppings, trampled grass and a bovine scent; the herd cannot be too far away. 

Something is closer, probably thinking it has camouflaged itself behind the low barrier of bushes. With a leap she could be on it in no time at all but it smells bad, like rotten vegetable matter steeped in sour sweat and also like death, fear, and deceit. She had never tasted one, she had heard from her mother and her older sisters that its kind taste as bad as they smell; only when they are old-kill do their flesh sweetens somewhat, that and maggots, help make them digestible when no better things can be found. Sometimes an older, injured male would specialize in culling their herds, but serious hunters are too proud to touch such living carrion. She takes another whiff, she founds the smell revolting, she cannot imagine any time in which she would stoop to eat something so foul. The wind changes, she can hear her sisters switching their tales excitedly in the yellowing tall grasses, she smells it too, the herd is closer now; the hunting sisters move quietly and lazily in the direction of their scent in a roundabout way in order to hide their own odors from their intended prey. She brings the rear, she hears the smelly creature on the bushes exhale ever so slightly, she stands still, alert, with her tale pointing up in an arch that reveals her playful interest; it could be done in a second, the thing doesn’t stand a chance. 

One of her sisters looks back at her, “Why are you wasting time?” she seems to say. She forgets about the stinky bipedal creature and walks on to take her position among her hunting pride.

*Note: Panthera leo is the scientific name of lions.