Friday, April 16, 2010

the jaguar hunter

The family that just came in that is still out of breath said they didn't see the jaguar but saw him in every darkness between the trees in the night-jungle. They said they thought they heard his patted feet behind them but someone else said the jaguar was stalking them just outside the house and they heard him on the roof before the family came and if indeed the family heard one behind them then they brought a second jaguar to this compound and the family said so be it. This house that is the only roofed house on this side of the Amazon that cramped two tribes in fear of the jaguars because two oracles independently predicted tonight to be the night the jaguar kills and two oracles have never been wrong. The people who sit in whatever positions they may in tired fear. The boy who boasts of killing a jaguar on a boar hunt. The villagers' hope in him that intoxicates him.

The moon-shine on his lean arm muscles that gripped the spear denoted something like, this human body that aspires to find that mystical strength that you the jaguar possess innately is as worthy as that of any Greek or Hebrew hero and demands worship from others just the same. As he stepped out he said to the jaguar: I pity you for standing between me and my loves who trust in me.

As he rounded the corner where he swore to himself he knew the jaguar would be, the deranged nightmare-cat's eyes aglow 10 yards ahead. The cat unmoving as he approached. It sat in the open night and looked at him plainly. He told the jaguar that he will slide the spear into his heart unabated like this tragic scene was a dream his will once had. When the boy's spear tip touched the jaguar's hair his half brother leapt from the roof of the compound and pinched the boy's neck shut with his jaws and waited there until the boy breathed no more. The spear laying there like an abandoned aberration of a tree branch.

The sound of the boy's bones in the cats' jaws vibrating in the night along with the hissing wind and the lapping waters. The jaguars heard nothing from inside the compound. Their low hanging belly hairs mingling with the grass as they walk back into the darkness of the jungle where the family swore they saw them and sometimes really did see them.

They watch the people file out of the compound. In their jaguar-eyes reflected this world where the tribes live under the jaguar's gaze and curse them in their manic ecstasies and offer them sacrifices in their sorrows. This strange animal who peers into the jungle with the arrogance of a god knowing the jaguar looks back at him and lays his faults bare to be witnessed and measured by his enemy. Who looks into the jaguar's eyes and sees only his own reflection. Who looks at truth and sees only lies. He wonders how the cat's mind entertains itself in the sameness of the jungle. The cat's mind is concerned with the jungle that is not itself.