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Jaguar Box - Veronica Villasenor

Jaguar Box - Veronica Villasenor


13" x 5.5" x 5.5"


The Green-Eyed Spotted Cat

By Persis Granger


In the days of our beginning, life teemed from the earth. Every manner of beast, bird, reptile and insect erupted from the soil as if to take over the world. Chaos ruled, each fighting for dominion, and none succeeding. It was the elephant who spoke first. He trumpeted, “Silence!” and in the flutter of a gnat’s wing, all were silent.

The elephant went on. “We all want to inhabit this paradise, and we can, but first we must cooperate.” The animals did not know what “cooperate” meant, but the elephant was very large and very loud, so they listened. He continued. “If we fight with one another, we will fail, but if we make a plan, we can succeed.”
The animals’ bellies were empty. “We need to go find food, right now,” said the largest lion. “That wildebeest over there would suit my fancy.” They all grumbled. A king cobra, coiled and stretched his hooded head high. “Sssssssssupper!” he hissed. The animals all began to raise their voices, shouting for food.

“QUIET!” shouted the elephant. He twitched his trunk, thumping a jackal on its head. “I have a plan. We will divide up our world, and each kind of animal will have dominion over one part in which to live and forage. I will select a ruler for each group. Once you have your share, all must agree to obey the rules; no cheating.”

The other animals, eager for a chance to fill their bellies, chorused agreement, and went their separate ways, some to the prairies, some to the forest, some to the skies or to the lakes and rivers. And they saw that it was good to make their homes among kindred creatures. 

One sharp-clawed, green-eyed spotted cat didn’t agree, not at all. No one, not even the loud-mouthed elephant, would tell him where he could hunt, or what prey he could take. With his lightning speed he went where he wanted, ate what pleased him, and moved on to whatever place struck his fancy.

  He roamed the forests and plains, often lurking in tall grass, seeking delectable prey to chase down and devour. He frequented the ocean, river and lake shores, stealing fish and small shellfish. He played not by the rules, but instead sneaked into the territories of others, stole what he wanted, then skulked away to bask in the sun or play ball. No rules applied to this green-eyed spotted cat.

It then came to pass that the other beasts called a council meeting to complain to the elephant. One after another bore witness against him. 

“He invades the dominions of others to steal food!” 

“He lies and pretends he doesn’t.” 

“He watches other animals, follows them on hunts, then jumps in to steal their prey.” 

“What kind of beast is this despicable cat?” bellowed the elephant. 

The aardvark spoke. “We know not. He does not play fair like leopards and tigers. We call him a ‘Cheetah’.”

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