There in the night creeps a friendly panther. She knows where she is going and never speaks to anyone. She melts into the shadows like dark butter and when she is around usually you do not know it. She is a listener and she…she feels with her blood, which steams sometime when she is excited. What does she get excited about? The curve of things, the places between doorways where there is no one standing, the glint of light reflecting off the windows, or pouring out from the corner pub onto the alleyway.

Panther, she moves from place to place with private grace. She eats misfortune. What? She eats the debris of people’s troubles that she finds scattered across her path. She eats them up. And then she roars and heads back into the forest to contemplate what she has learned from the trouble she ate.

She is not a service. She doesn’t care. She is just curious and not interested in, in…well speaking. When she is content, she hums and her eyes sparkle green. And then the rest of the forest becomes more condensed in some way. More…tight and together with itself. Sleeping creatures smile with the welcome rush of comfort.

Go to the forest and find the panther in her nook on the low, long tree branch. She will take you to places that only you can find with her. She will lead you to your heart in the thick of wild branches, deep pools, muddy patches and under the ledges. Go there and lie where she leads. Your bones will condense. Your body will drink from the earth and your blood will steam.

She likes the sway in her journeys, the way to get there, the curling into dark crevices. She likes to remind you of your own. She’ll sniff you out and when you are looking for her, engage.

2008 Tasara Jen Stone

[image generated by AI in Adobe Firefly]

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