I’m dangerous they say. In zoology textbooks and encyclopedias they call me an apex predator and flesh-eating. I’m called fierce. A hunter. A threat. Merciless. Dangerous. Wikipedia confirms me to be the largest and possibly the most lethal in the family. .
Feral. Cunning. Calculative. With an acute survival instinct. Territorial. Powerful. All gone to rust.
A lazy tub of lard. I don’t need to fight for my place on the food chain. I’m fed. Cooked, processed food. I don’t even have to use my teeth. My claws have gone blunt with complacence. Fatted. I've forgotten the smell of blood, and how it coursed my veins with adrenaline. That hunger I used to know when i preyed. The rush of being my own again. Of being answerable to no one but myself. Of knowing freedom, of being in charge. Of being the one calling the shots. Of not having to retract. A change in environment. That’s all it took. To reduce me to this. It's an easy life. Yes it is. Take a girl out of her habitat for long enough, and she's lost on her own turf. Unsteady. Senile. Stupid. Insecure. Ridiculous. Suddenly I'm approachable. He has the nerve to reach out his audacious hand and stroke my neck. And i respond. The shame. The fall from grace. This is my compromise. My compromising position. I'm safe here. But at his mercy.
Respected. Feared. Revered. Now I purr and nuzzle. Playful. And played with. For the sake of a little protection, how much of myself was I willing to trade? For shelter, I have traded my battles, my wounds, my victories. I have surrendered them all. "Just as long as you will take care of me." To be cared for, was that so infinitely important? To yield instead putting up a fight. Unforgiving. And now I'm taken for granted. I was made to be solitary, have my space respected. Now i roll over and let them tickle my tummy. I used to be called wild. Beautiful. Unattainable. Goddess. Worshiped. I lick his hands with gratitude. They take liberties with me now. This leash is almost a comfort. It means security. Of not having to be afraid, a coward's comfort.
I'm dangerous they say. But I wouldn't know. Out here, I’m just tame.
**(as thought by a tigress in captivity)