The man roars at me in a language never meant for my ears. He forces me to perform some macabre ballet. Not right for a beast like I. God did not give me claws to dance and fangs to sing.
Pine needles crunched under my feet as I crept through the forest. I made a mental note to try to learn to creep silently. But that is so hard under the blanket of night. Every ripple of my movement can be detected by closed eyes.
The scent of rain freshly fallen invades my soul and drenches my being. Only the clouds know the starry darkness; for as, they reveal only their shadows to me.
Gloom. That is all that I will ever know.
I wake up and stretch my age-worn body as far as the cold iron bars will allow. Oh, how I ache! What a wonderful dream that I had. How sad, that even in my dreams, I am cast into a dark place.
I try to stand up but my over-trained legs wobble and finally give out under my massive body. I can't believe that I have been reduced to this. I've disgraced my family. My existance has disgraced me.
In cramped half circles, I try to turn my body. Back and forth, forth and back until the drool falls from the corner of my black lips and touch the dirty bare wooden floors below.
A man comes and my body suddenly becomes heavier. A costume. I hate these things. They pinch my legs when I try to take a step. The man roars at me in a language never meant for my ears. What is he saying?! What is he saying? A fierce cracking noise whips through the air just above my right ear. I must remember... step.... step.... *roar*
He forces me to perform some macabre ballet. Not right for a beast like I. God did not give me claws to dance and fangs to sing.
His roaring will not stop. I can't understand...
My organge and black coat has been tainted red. The whip has met its mark. It has met me. Has it truly tamed me? What does it mean to be tamed? Has God himself stepped in only to reduce my roar into a frightened purr?
Step...step...jump onto the ball and *roar*
I perform the routine as though in a trance. I want to be back and roll in those pine needles. Even if under the eternal black sky. Better to exist in darkness than to suffer beneath lights.
The man is coming at me again. A beast like I am not supposed to cry! Why are my eyes stinging? Has the whip cracked before them? I feel my face pull back and my teeth jet forth. *hiss* I stretch my right arm out in front of me and spread my claws and paste my ears to my head. I mean business.
Oooooohhh, the whip has delievered its vengence onto my flesh. I wobble in the wooziness and my legs are refusing to support me. One last breath... I fall onto my left side.
I can feel the breath jetting out of my nostrils into the dirt. I can see the little dust clouds and even feel them jumping into my eyes. The man's roaring continues. I give up trying to understand.
I wake up. Back behind those iron bars. At least the heavy costume is off of my body. That was more than I could bare. A thin scrap of meat has been tossed just beyond my reach. I look at it and huff a breath from my nostrils. A few flicks of my tail reveals my discontent.
After the smell of meat has turned rancid, someone kicks it inches from my mouth. I snatch it up and am thankful. Even though the portion is small and turns my stomach. In starvation, they're so good, I can't stop eating them. That is, if I were to be given more, I wouldn't be able to stop eating them.
The darkness fades as the lights come up. Smoke is riding the air along with theusual nausiating smells that usually come with THEM. Those who travel here to see me. Those who roar and whine around my ears.
My cage is wheeled out before their eyes. If only they knew how I longed to close my eyes forever and just sleep.
The heavy door is flung open and the man from before is back. He looks different. He looks fancier.
I can't stand it.
I run in painful circles looking for a way out. My ears are twitching and my eyes are glazed. There has to be a way out of here. They're everywhere.
More men come at me with those heavy nets. No. Not this time. Not ever again.
*roar* One last roar and I feel my heart yawn and make its wish for sleep known as well.
I lay down and submit to my captures. Little do they know that this is the last that I will perform.
After an entire lifetime in this darkness, I have learned one word of their language... "Circus"
Pine needles crunched under my feet as I crept through the forest. I made a mental note to try to learn to creep silently. But that is so hard under the blanket of night. Every ripple of my movement can be detected by eyes closed. A beam of light breaks through the monotony of the darkness and lights my tiger's skin. *ah* I never knew the joy running. Just running.
And that's why I never go to the circus. Maybe you were a tiger in one of your past lives. Keep writing so more people can feel the pain that we put our animal friends through. It wasn't meant to be that way.
I thought I would stop by and "Tiger's Eye" caught my eye. I must say that I became that poor tiger as I read your short story. You wrote well from a tiger's point of view. It must be horrible for an animal to live in a cage, to be trained by a whip, and have perform for people. This is a wonderful story. Hope there's a heaven for animals, too.