Gumdrops would have been better to mark the path. Yet, all she had was a handful of mouse droppings collected from her nest in the corner of the room. The black pellets blended with the gravel giving her a sense of concealment and deception. Or so she thought. The beast knew where she was at all times. It only needed to swoop and lift her in its talons.
She was aware of its presence. It’s eye never wavered. She felt it’s breath. It’s foul stench wafted to her nose. She rushed to the edge and hid under a leaf. Trembling, she waited for it to plunge and dared not exhale.
A rabbit darted near her. It paused to sniff the air. In a flash, the beast plummeted and grabbed the animal taking it away. For a moment, she saw fear and surprise in the animal’s face.
She retraced her steps following the path of droppings, racing down the path, still fearful, until she arrived back at her room. She panted and tried to compose herself. She returned to her nest to sleep.
The nightly struggle complete – beast and prey – she once again transformed into a beautiful child. Darling and meek with an odd habit of rubbing her nose. She would play by the fireplace until night came. Then once again magic would take over, and she would try again to outrun the owl as a small mouse.
© 2019, Michael Shawn Sommermeyer. All rights reserved.
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