He looked ahead through the trees
Then he checked his right and left.
He nervously looked behind him. Nothing.
Slowly, uncertainly, he shuffled forward through the twigs and leaves. There had to be something somewhere...He had been hungry for two days, surely he would find something today? He'd done his best till now to be the tiger he was at heart, but if today again he was disappointed, well...who knew how much longer he could hold out ? But then again, who cared except him ?
He travelled slowly through the tree, stopping every now and then to ensure he was not being watched and followed. His life was precious, but full of dangers. Sheer primal instinct gave him hope and where there was hope, there would be life. And his life would give others hope too.
Life in the jungle was difficult. It was new to him, but he thought of it as his home. He knew it as his lifeblood, the only reason he survived and thrived. He was brought here by his mother and she would teach him how to live. The dangers of the forest, the pleasure of the hunt, the rewards of success...these were the lessons he shared with his older brother. But these memories...what were they now? Merely instruments to remind him of his present wretchedness. No, he must focus on the present, which was vast and threatening. Noise, breeze, footfalls. What was happening ?
He retreated into the shade of the trees and waited. Every sense on the alert, he considered his options. Bolting for safety would give away his position. Attacking was dangerous as there seemed to be more than one. It was best to creep softly into some sheltered nook and wait.
As he treaded softly on the leaves, he listened. There were many different sounds, but none of them were intelligible. Clicks, bangs, rustling...They seemed alien, but strangely familiar. He was sure he had heard them before and not too long ago.
As he crept along, he suddenly jumped. There were new noises, talking, and they sounded close. His hair stood on end as he realised that the strange two-footed creatures were not far away. As he moved a little faster, he kept listening. They seemed to have stopped and were making their clicking sounds again. Suddenly, there was a bang and he felt extreme pain in his left leg and chest. Blood was seeping out fast and he didn't know what to do. He felt weak, unable to stand and collapsed. The world seemed to be going black and the pain seemed unendurable. Somehow he knew he was dying.
"Well that was easy come, easy go. He'll fetch a handsome price I'm sure. The claws are good, but the pelt will make a wonderful bag. Those strips are one in a million"