Another day, another hunt. It's a living.
Sozont was passing through a glen and saw Bambi
the Deer. Bambi's movie-star days were long past. Now he was
just an old geezer, hanging on to life. It looked like his right hindleg
was broken. He was gamely trying to browse, but the leg kept getting
in his way. He looked thin.
—"Hello, Bambi. Shouldn't you be going
to the hospital?"
—"Shut up!" said the prey to the predator.
"I don't need no doctor!" Bambi moved to another shrub, stumbling and
then wincing from the pain. He took a mouthful of leaves and chewed,
as if he actually intended to eat while a tigrihippostrich was watching him.
Sozont half-bent his knees. A gentle breeze
ruffled his feathers. "Death by starvation is slow and painful, Bambi,"
he said, meaningfully.
—"Forget it! I will not ask you to eat
me. I am a fighter, to the end!"
—"As you wish." Sozont lunged, and chomped
on Bambi's neck, and grabbed his body with two taloned feet and two clawed
paws. Bambi began to — Sozont arched his back and flung his neck and
— Snap! Bambi's carcass fell to the ground, his face now frozen in
a sneer of eternal defiance.
It was a big kill. Sozont dragged it into
the bushes, creating a trail of cervine urine that stank of fear, determination,
and ultimate failure. But it couldn't be helped; doddering old fool.
As he ate, Sozont's intestines rearranged themselves
to make room, which produced a pleasant feeling below his tail that reminded
him of Spike. "I wish Spike were here to help me eat this," he thought.
But Spike's mouth — with that glorious tongue! — had no teeth. This
scene would not appeal to an echidna until the ants arrived. "Aren't
all carnivores really the same, inside?" he wondered.
Sozont ate alone, rich in food but poor in friends.