Leo was walking in the jungle alone. It was dark without moon tonight. The star light lit the trees, bushes and grass. Leo looked ahead and he walking in the swag.
Leo was not hungry nor thirsty, yet something he missed regretfully. Leo the monster who ate his friend and buddy camara. Camara was swift and heavy.
Six moon phases ago Leo was hungry and battered by lack of deers in the jungle. Camara came to rescue and helped to calm his anger. That night the monster in him saw that no one was in the hot terrain. Leo fought in anger and almost killed Camara. Next morning Camara’s carcass was devoid of blood as white as snow.

Today Leo was in good condition. He was roaming between the woods and feeling the cold breeze in the mane. The ruffle of the winds and eerie silence reminded of a voice in his head. He roared loud and heard the echo. The sound of his roar subdued the voice till the trees lined up to a fathom. Beyond the empty field where he came across in dark star light the voice reappeared. Leo tried to roar but this time the echo did not come back. What Leo heard was a moan simple like a meek mice terry. Terry crossed Leo’s path many times from left to right and right to left. Leo just followed terry. Terry had vanished on the river side. Leo was moving towards the valley. He was walking down the ravines of a mountain. Leo could see the snow clad mountain in the sun. It was far but not too far.

Camara would have galloped him and Leo would have followed to the top. As he remembered the snow, Leo realized that the voice he was hearing was of his deceased friend and mate camara. The beast killed his friend. The ghost of the angel was coming to remind of his failure to keep a friend for long. The monster would never be accepted as King of the jungle. His bad habit of catching prey in his own friends one by one had made him an evil beast.

Leo’s den was far far away. He could do is muster courage not to think of Camara and walk. He was walking but he couldn’t avoid Camara thoughts. The ghost of Camara demise by his hands were whispering to call. Leo felt the cold as it got darker. The stars lit more bright in the cool air. In the midst of thought he took a wrong turn. The path was longer but he had to go back to the same where crickets chirped whole night. As he walked the eons progressed. Suddenly he reached to the path which used to be laid by crickets.
He saw none. Leo used to dance around the hustle bustle of the crickets as he would progress towards his den.

Leo was looking on the grass in the dark to find any one still hiding in silence. There was no echo or sound of the crickets as they have left for the trees. Leo looked into one of the star twinkling. “Camara can you see me from there?”, asked Leo. He kept looking at the star. “Camara answer me if you are hiding in that star. Camara please come down and find me I am waiting for you.” Leo just saw the star twinnkle sometimes bright sometimes dim. No echo but complete silence. Leo thought Camara is gone. Camara will never come back for me. I have devoured Camara in one fit of rage one hungry night.

Leo thought even if Camara is watching up there in the star Camara will never come back again. Leo got disappointed as he had to walk the sullen path alone. Looking down in disdain and walking in the steps of silence. Leo was feeling cold and hungry as the trees lining the path were ruffling in the cold in silence. Some fifty steps ahead Leo saw something shiny. He thought it might be a alabino grasshopper. He charged in a hurry towards the grasshopper. He laid his paws over the shining white silvery grashopper. Leo looked here and there to see if he wasn’t surrounded by hyenas.

No there were none. Leo could have noticed the eyes of the hyenas if they might be hiding. Slowly he nudged the silvery grashopper with its paws. The grasshopper laid dormant without moving. Leo again looked in caution if stupid hyenas might have set up a foolish plan for getting on to the nerves of Leo for playing. The silvery shiny object was not at all moving. It wasn’t grasshopper either. Leo put a nose over it. The shiny object seemed to be metal. Leo plucked the object in his mouth and moved ahead. As he has tasted this object for the first time Leo could not recognise what was it. Still it was in his mouth exploring with his tongue. The taste was odd.

Few steps ahead there was a water hole. The stones and ember surrounding the hole was still lit up in the dark. The star light was reflecting from the embers and the water was shining bright in the glow of the ember and shiny stones. Leo stood there watching the water shine in the dark. His mane ruffled with the cold breeze. He let his left hind paw sink into the ground. His other right paw was scratching the mud and the grass blades. Leo just crushed the grasses with his right paw and gwnawed the blades into the mud. Leo looked down. He made sure the spirits of bears shining over the water hole would know Leo was here.

Leo was lost in the display of water hole, embers, spirit of bears stoic standing still in this cold night. No animals were in this water hole. Leo felt the urge to sit and see the embers in the waterhole. Leo felt the agony of loneliness to not have his friend Camara. The urge to sit and see the embers and the waterhole died in loneliness.

Suddenly he heard sounds of galloping from his rear. Leo’s ears twitched. Leo made a note of galloping emerge louder and louder. Leo started to move. He began in the direction of his den. Leo turned his head around. THere was a herd of mountain sheep. Leo was outnumbered by the herd as they came running from behind. There were dozen of them galloping and there was one peculiar female sheep in the herd. The herd had the storkiest in the front leading them. Behind the storkiest leader was this sheep which seemed like Camara.

Leo’s heart fluttered and sudden blood gushed in his throat. Leo felt his lips and throat parched. He could not believe his eyes in the dark as the light of embers fell upon the herd. The only female in the herd was like Leo’s friend. Leo stopped his gaze and reminded himself what if these herd had stomped the silvery grasshoppper for him before they knew Leo would find it.

“What do you think Leo”, Leo groaned lighly. Is the sheep sent by Camara or is She Camara in disguise. Soon the herd tailed Leo and one of the sheep maimed a loud voice at Leo. Leo heard the peculiar sound made from one in the herd close to his ears. Leo groaned in a loud voice which travelled towards the huge stone few steps ahead. Leo groan was such that he lifted his head full of fluttering mane from bottom right to right towards the temple in the air. The echo of his roar from the stone reached his ears. He listened to his own roar as he noticed that the Camara like sheep stood behind him. She was waiting for Leo to follow her towards starlit waterhole as her heard galloped ahead of Leo.

Leo was excited to find the embers shining in the eyes of the sheep asking Leo to follow her to the waterhole. Leo felt Camara like sheep wanted to look the spirit of bears with him.

Leo heart pounded as he probed in his mouth the grasshopper he thought was a metal piece. The female sheep he was looking at was not his friend Camara. She might be the one sent for Leo from the stars he was looking before. Leo taste in his mouth of the silvery shiny object and camara like sheep felt oddly disappointing. Leo had this one chance to revel something magical in the waterhole tonight inspite of Camara.

Leo felt strange. Camara like sheep stepped slowly towards the waterhole alone. Leo saw none from the galloping herd noticed that one of them was alone with Leo still standing.

Leo couldn’t bury the feelings of Camara in his heart not even for this one night. Unlike king of the jungle Leo only wanted his friend Camara back from the stars.

Leo let the dual spirit of Camara entering waterhole alone. Leo progressed to his den not only disdained but devoid. Tis how Leo felt for his friend Camara in his lonely heart.


This is end of Black Jack in Bali series indefinitely.

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