Based on a true story. The names have been changed but the species have not.
Mike was able to make out the figures of a snow leopard and a tiger on the horizon. They were embracing. Now they were passionately kissing. Mike stayed low, out of sight. The snow leopard waved, then turned and walked away. The tiger sat down regally, watching his love walk into the distance. Mike relaxed. Mike relaxed too much – he lost his grip on the root that was holding him on the side of the steep hill.
As he tumbled down, he let out a curse for his injured ankle. As soon as he stopped rolling, he knew he’d just signed his own death warrant. Tiger was probably still mad at Mike for what he’d done to Icicle. Icicle had been on her way to forgiving him but Tiger was a different story. And here Mike was, lying injured, immobile, helpless. The word “prey” came to mind and in his heart he knew that the shadow of Tiger cresting the hill, silhouetted against the setting sun, would be the last thing he saw.
He didn’t want to see it coming. Mike closed his eyes, “for the last time,” he thought.
“Tiger is very unhappy with you,” the voice growled.
Finding courage from somewhere, Mike cautiously opened his eyes, still afraid of what he’d see.
The injured ferret feebly but evenly explained himself. “Mike would expect Tiger to be very unhappy with him. Mike hurt someone that Tiger cares very deeply about. Mike does these things because he seldom thinks of the impact his actions will have on others. Mike’s trying to work this out. Mike fails.”
Tiger wasn’t amused at Mike’s attempt at cuteness by self-narration. Another growl came. Mike prepared for the end. “Thank your weasel gods that I haven’t tortured you, torn out your throat, and eaten your intestines.” The tiger added, “Yet.” He turned and walked back up the hill.
Mike began to get up, relieved. In the tension of the moment, he briefly forgot about his injury. “Eep!” he yelped as his weight shifted onto the throbbing ankle. Tiger froze and turned slowly back toward Mike.
As the tiger approached, Mike once again feared the worst. “I don’t like you,” growled the felid. “Icicle likes you. Icicle is the nice one. I’m not very nice. You continue to breathe only because she likes you. In a whisker flick, I would snap your weasel bones between my teeth.” “STAY OUT OF MY WAY!” the cat hissed, his boiling rage evident in his bared teeth. With a final lunge, the cat made his point clear to the injured ferret.
After several minutes, Mike was finally able to form a thought: “Holy shit!” He limped away to shower off. Now he was injured and his legs were soaked in his own urine. But he was alive.