Brotherly Love

In the back alleys of toronto, mayhem, screams, death rend the black night. Screams and wails rise to a crescendo of vicious fighting high above us in the trees, the leaves hiding the combatants. We stood at doors and windows transfixed, horrified. Suddenly a high-pitched screech tore the air, a sharp claw smashed another through the branch, and a body, furry heavy, fell through long moments of stillness, no branch available this time to latch onto, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing until safe to run along it and away from his attacker. Thud. Not a sound. Laughter broke out: "did you see that?" People went indoors, the injured squeaked, the victor crept down to a lower tree and listened.

A rhythmic purr with clicks and squeaks rose from the ground. The victor huddled down into the v of the tree. After long minutes he put one foot in front of the other and crawled down the tree towards the ground and his dying brother.

The sun rose lighting the houses, the trees, the ground. Birds sung to each other; the tiger lily bud swelled in the light and burst into a firework of orange and yellow; the garden lay green undisturbed, except for the pigeons scratching in the dirt.

That night the victor hunted through the back alleys, alone.