Branded by Tears tells the story of a heartbroken mother lioness, Mauja when she takes in an orphaned cheetah cub.
Genre: Adventure/Fantasy, anthropomorphic fiction
Setting: Gashaka-Gumti National Park, Nigeria, Africa
Release Date: TBD; (coming soon) – be the first to know by following our Patreon!
Branded by Tears
As the young lioness walked through the tall grass, her mind went to the cheetah, the mother who was now food for the crocodiles. Then of her own lost cubs. A mother loses her cubs, she thought, throat tight. Cubs lose their mother. Get over it, Mauja! That’s just how things are-
Just then, her paw came down on something soft and giving.
She jumped back at the noise. Her ears came up in surprise once she saw its source. A spotted cub with long gray fur down his back was crouched at her feet. He was hissing and spitting with his fur on end. The display would have been impressive, had his scent not betrayed his fear.
Mauja chuckled, then sobered. You poor thing. “Shh,” she said in a soothing tone, reaching out a paw and pulling the cub close. “Shh, I’m not going to hurt you.” She licked the top of his head once, then again and again until his breathing slowed down.
He snuggled tight against her and mewed. He only stopped when he found her milk-swollen teats and started to nurse.
The feeling of the cheetah cub feeding shifted something in the lioness. What am I doing? I can’t… the kindest thing to do would be to…
WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING.
But Mauja couldn’t bear the thought of him lying still. Not with the memory of her own cubs… If the guards find him… if anyone finds him… Mauja pushed him away from her belly and opened her jaws.
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