And suddenly, I felt the fear that I had not felt before. Instead of the slow descent that had been intended, I ran, panicked as he chased me, his silence now more frightening than the low growl that had been emanating from his throat.
I needed to get to Clarence and my buggy. My feet flew over the rough ground, and I was subconsciously surprised that I didn’t stumble. Then I did fall, but that didn’t stop me. I scrambled on all fours, too frightened to stop, or look at my pursuer.
My muscles, unused to such abuse, screamed as I lurched forward, my awkward gait changing, as a vast awareness of power swept through my mind and body.
Suddenly, I was, as I had been in my dream—jaguar—racing on four legs, muscles rippling with new strength, my senses open and alert to the dangers of the night, and all focused on the big cat that followed behind, fear now transformed into delighted acceptance.
I skidded to a halt so quickly, that I sent a shower of fine rocks spraying outward, throwing noise and debris into the air.
A breeze that I had not noticed before carried the scent of burning cattle hair, and the sound of bawling cows. It also brought me the words of the rustlers as though making a gift of them to me. I ignored the big cat that now stood over me, purring as he approved my new appearance.
His sounds of pleasure/joy—both I suspected—intruded, blocking part of the outlaws’ conversation with Olaf Bannister. I butted the cat, enjoying the feel of his muscled shoulder on a primal level never experienced before. Hush… I mind screamed to get his attention.
Sheriff Banister’s words drifted on the wind. Moving them won’t be easy….must be careful…The big cat shoved, impatiently demanding my attention. I slapped him across the muzzle and admired my paw as it flashed out and made contact.
Tomorrow night were the last words heard from the sheriff before a mighty head-butt sent me tumbling backward with a force that left me sprawled in the dust, belly exposed, and a big cat straddling me.