Chaloo was a male tiger and had lived in the mountains most of his life. Every day he would search for food. Some days he caught a wild boar. Other days he would surprise a deer or a moose. When food became a bit scarce he would rely on rabbits and fish.
Chaloo had learned to be very careful because he had watched a man set traps in the forest. He didn’t understand exactly what they were for until he saw a boar pig caught in one of the traps. Since the pig was squealing and thrashing about, Chaloo decided to take the pig for himself for dinner. When he was pulling the pig he noticed the steel jagged teeth-like clamps attached to the pigs leg. It had nearly severed the bone into so Chaloo knew he had to be careful lest he fall into a trap himself. It was not a pretty picture.
“Why would humans set such traps in the forest?” He asked an old owl sitting on a tree limb.
“Because they have never been caught in one of those ghastly things themselves I reckon.” The owl hooted.
For weeks Chaloo watched a man named Otto set traps all around the mountains. He also saw Otto take tigers that had found themselves caught in these traps. He figured Otto must be hunting them and either selling them for skinning them to sell. Either way he was not a happy tiger.
One day as Chaloo was walking down the side of the mountain he met Otto. Otto was carrying a basket full of meat. Chaloo stood still his eyes fixed on Otto. If Otto moved too close to him he would attack. If not he would simply walk past him. Suddenly Otto took out a sword and began to swing it around his head while making an awful yell. Chaloo’s first instinct was to pounce upon Otto and kill him. He had never killed a human before so he decided to just scare Otto really bad, give him a few cuts and be on his way. After all he had heard that human meat was not very tasty.
Otto dropped his basket of meat took a few swings with his sword and Chaloo swiped him with his paw throwing Otto against a tree. One blow from Chaloo’s mighty paw was enough. He growled furiously showing his four inch teeth and ran on down the mountain.
“I gave him a warning and a second chance. If I see him out here again I will not be so kind again.” He roared angrily.
“I think I will climb this tree and wait for dinner. I’ll just position myself so I can see clearly and rest a spell.” He sighed.
It wasn’t long until a brown bear came rambling along. Chaloo sprang from the tree limb, grabbed the bear from under the chin with one paw and the throat with the other paw. The bear was immobilized. Chaloo bite into the spinal column and killed the bear. It would be bear for dinner this day.
“Hum this fatty meat is delicious. I was fortunate I guess. Had it not been for that human I might not have caught this bear.” He mumbled to himself as he ripped off the meat. “The back, the hams and the groin is my favorite. I will eat those parts and take the rest home to the cubs.
Weeks past and Chaloo kept a keen eye on Otto. Everyday Otto walked through the mountains checking on his traps.
“I have a bad feeling about that man. I think he might be a poacher. You know he is not supposed to be doing this. Perhaps I will have to teach old Otto a lesson on preserving the Siberian Tigers.” He growled angrily.
Quietly he crept from tree to tree until he came within a few yards of Otto. Then without warning he leaped upon Otto’s back. The fight did not last long at all. The sounds of Otto’s screams faded into the mountainous terrain. Chaloo gave no mercy the second time just as he promised.
It would be winter soon and Chaloo was growing his coat for the cold months. His winter fun seemed quite shaggy to him but it kept him very warm. He raised his massive head and sniffed. There were scratches on the trees and he detected the smell of urine. A female was in the area and was looking for a mate.
“Wow I am one lucky cat! I’ll meet up with this chickadee and have someone to keep me warm in my den. We might have a few furry cubs come spring.” He grinned as he changed to his romantic appearance.
With a wink of an eye he was seen caressing a lovely young female tiger. As the snow began to fall Chaloo and Baku snuggled in their den. He would be a great husband and provider for the cubs.
“I don’t think we will have any more problems with trappers.” He whispered in Baku’s ear.
“Hush Chaloo I am trying to relax. It’s going to be a long cold night.”
“Oh come over here and let me keep my sweetie warm.” Chaloo purred. “I will always keep you warm and protect you. Go to sleep and dream of fresh deer meat for breakfast. I’ll be up at the crack of dawn.”
So it came to be that the Caspian Sea and the mountains around it were made safer because Chaloo threw all the traps into the water. He was correct about pouching. It was not allowed by the government because the Siberian Tigers were being protected. If the poachers were given free access to the Siberain Tigers they would be extinct.
Chaloo continues to walk the forest every day protecting his natural habitat and his new cubs are very grateful.
Question: Why did Chaloo attack Otto?
Written by Sybil Shearin
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