The sun had started to rise and the birds began their morning songs after waking from their nightly slumber. Below them, in the bushes and grass growing around the trees, the other forest creatures began to awaken and begin their morning routines.
Not long after the forest awakened to a new day, a warning cry from some birds rang out, followed by a loud and frustrated mew.
“Dang it!” spat the young ginger tabby kitten as he sat underneath the tree, staring at the spot between two roots where the mouse he’d tried to catch had been before it slipped away.
“Don’t worry,” said the long-haired silver cat as she walked up to the kitten. “You’ll get the hang of it soon enough, Rusty. You’re doing fine. You just need more practice. Remember what I’ve taught you. Now, stand up.”
“Yes, Misty,” said the kitten, doing as he was told.
“Good. Now, listen closely. What do you hear?”
The kitten was quiet as he listened to the forest. “Birds are chirping high in the trees,” he said after a few moments. “There are some squirrels chattering in some trees nearby.” He paused a moment and focused his gaze on a bush close by. “There’s something moving under that bush.”
“Good. Now, sniff the air and see if you can catch its scent and identify it.”
Rusty did as Misty instructed. “It’s another mouse,” he said.
“Good. Now, remember what I’ve told you about stalking and pouncing, and get ready. And don’t be so impatient this time.”
Rusty crouched low to the ground, making sure his belly and tail didn’t drag and make noise. He slowly made his way towards the bush, keeping his pawsteps light and noiseless on the ground.
“Good, good,” Misty said softly and encouragingly as she watched her pupil.
When Rusty got close to the bush, he paused and watched for the mouse. The leaves and grass near him began to move, and Rusty crouched and prepared to pounce, his back end moving slightly as he adjusted his legs just so to give him the correct strength and lift.
The unsuspecting mouse darted out from under the bush, and Rusty made his move.
The mouse never knew what hit him.
Rusty looked down at the mouse caught in his claws and purred.
He picked up the mouse in his mouth and carried it back to Misty, his tail held high in the air.
As he dropped the mouse on the ground at Misty’s feet, she purred and said, “Well done, Rusty. As I told you, practice makes purrfect. You are going to be a fine hunter.”
This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “practice/practise”: