Land Of The Sabre
Aidan Annis-wade, Grade 6S
As the predator slowly crawls through the wide savannahs of prehistoric South America, she waits for the perfect moment to strike. She has been hiding in the long grasses for hours, waiting for the Marauchenia to lower its guard. The Marauchenia grazing nearby suspects nothing. Drool slips from her mouth and falls onto the dry grass. The Smilodon knows this will probably be her only chance for hours. She pounces, and her teeth stab into the unsuspecting animal’s neck. The animal’s limp body drops to the ground – dead! Two Smilodon cubs tumble out of the scrub. The cubs are still on their mother’s milk. Though they do not eat meat yet, the mother knows that killing this animal has saved her cubs, for she needs food to produce milk. Food is scarce as her prey dwindles and soon only the Doedicurus will remain, untouchable due to their thick armour and spiked club at the end of their tail. One bite out of that shell would snap her sabre-teeth. A male Smilodon comes out of the bushes, attracted by the smell of blood. It sees the cubs and advances slowly. The mother will not tolerate this. She bounds away from the Marauchenia corpse and prevents the male from reaching her cubs. The male is not their father, meaning it would kill the cubs without thinking, possibly gaining the mother as a mate. But the cubs are still alive and she guards them viciously, swiping a clawed paw at the male. The mother lashes out and scars his face. He bellows in pain as the mother goes for another swipe. The male retreats to heal his wounds. The mother is triumphant. Her cubs nuzzle up to her and drink her milk before they starve. The mother spends the rest of the day feeding before resting near the corpse. The next day the cubs move on to eating meat, their mother pulling flesh off the corpse for them. It’s been eight hours since the rival male was here and that male was in a nearby cave, tending the gashes in his face and his side. A new enemy confronts the mother, though it’s not a rival male. It’s another female Smilodon, though her cubs have been killed already. She eyes the corpse with a mad hunger in her eyes. She has gone a day without food and was willing to fight for the corpse. She roars a mighty roar and the cubs hide behind their mother, frightened of this new intruder. The mother could fend off males, but this female is angry about the loss of her cubs. The mother retreats, not wanting to risk the lives of her cubs. As the mother bounds away into the scrub everything will reset itself, and the mother will go back to hunting the last of the Marauchenia so that her cubs can survive until they are ready to hunt for themselves on the wild plains of prehistoric South America.