Tegan Palombi, Grade 5
I let my arrow fly. He fell to the ground. Oh well, I thought. He deserved it anyway. I thought back to a week ago. All was good, that was before they murdered my family. I brushed the dirt off my clothes and walked away. I stared at the beautiful sunset. Yellow, orange, pink, rose, magenta and red. It was dusk. One half of the sky was lit up with these beautiful colours. The other half was an ashen, drearily colour. The only one I trust now is Tyler, my hunting partner. Only he understands me, the only one I have left to protect, apart from Sofia, his younger sister, my tiger, Jai, and myself.
Jai brushes himself against my thigh, as if he were a normal cat not a tiger. Now I remember how I met Jai. One cold, dark night, the full moon was up, I was out late hunting with Tyler; a light, easterly breeze blew. All was peaceful, until then, out of nowhere; a shadowy figure emerged from the bushes. I acted fast, aiming my bow and arrow at the terrifying creature. Whatever it is, it’s obviously trying to attack us. I let my fingers slide off the bowstring and my arrow hit the creature. Then, I realized Tyler doing the same thing. I’m serious when it comes to battle. The figure crashed to the ground. I dragged it until I could see what it was in the dim moonlight. It was a tiger. I had killed a tiger. Only it wasn’t dead. It was breathing heavily. I traced the markings on its muscular body with my finger. All was still and silent for some time. Then it sighed. I looked at Tyler, then back at it. It lifted its head and looked back at me with these magnificent green eyes that glowed in the night. His eyes showed vulnerability and defeat. Those green eyes said please, don’t hurt me… I couldn’t watch such a majestic creature die. Of course, I had killed rabbits and other wildlife just to feed my family. But this was different. I had feelings for it. I didn’t take the time to hesitate. I yanked the arrow out of its belly. It moaned in pain. I dragged it all the way home, and my father and I healed it. My little sister, Emma, just watched in awe. As I healed him, I spoke to the tiger. It began to purr. Every time Emma sees something showing affection, she would yell out ‘Jai! Jai!’ and no one had any idea why. So that’s how we named the tiger ‘Jai.’ Ever since that day, he has been my companion, trusting me fully now. I’ll never forget how his eyes glowed that night.
I stare at the place that was once filled with life. A place I used to call home. Now it’s deserted. I stroke Jai’s silky coat.
What is left for me now? What else will they take from me…?