short story #33: Survival of the fittest…

The clouds kissed the top of the mountains and chased each other as they moved across the skies. They shed their burden as they moved, ushering in the first showers. The parched land lapped up the water, rejoicing at the onset of the monsoons.

A magnificent tigress waited in the shade of the tall bushes, and her cups stated beside her, careful not to make any sound. Their eyes were trained on a herd of deer grazing nearby. The tigress and her cubs had not had a proper meal in days. She needed this hunt to be successful!

They waited and waited. At long last, an unfortunate young deer parted ways with her herd as she trotted towards a stone basin installed in the sanctuary. The tigress seized at the perfect opportunity! She stealthily closed the distance between her and the easy prey. The inexperienced deer had clearly let down his guard and the rest of his herd remained oblivious to the approaching threat.

In a blink of an eye, the tigress launched herself at the deer, heading straight for his throat. There was only so much the poor deer could do. The unexpected attack alerted his herd and they sprinted to put some distance between themselves and the predator.

His herd came to a halt a little further ahead and watched mutely and helplessly as they watched the tigress drag his body away like a rag doll. Among them, stood his mother… watching helplessly as the tiger family began to feast on her child! Such was life and there was nothing to be done now. Her head hung low, she trotted along with her herd as they moved away, leaving her baby behind forever!

As one mother walked away with a broken heart, another mother rejoiced in the knowledge that a hearty meal awaited her little family. The tigress watched in contentment as she watched her cubs eat to their heart’s content.


This was a rather rushed attempt. So forgive me if there are any typos! I’ll come back and fix them later. This story drew heavily from my experiences watching different documentaries on Animal Planet, Natural Geographic, and the like.

Nature has one rule – it’s the survival of the fittest. Without tigers, the population of the deer would grow unchecked which in turn will lead to deforestation and collapse of the entire ecosystem! Tigers, being apex predators play a vital role. Ecosystems are delicate and fragile, and there is only so much they can do to sustain themselves when humans start interfering. I hope that it’s not too late to save our only home from total destruction!

This poem was written in response to two picture prompts:

1. Sue Vincent’s Thursday photo prompt – the #writephoto prompt. The challenge is to use the given photo prompt as an inspiration to create a post on your own blog… poetry, prose, humour… light or dark, whatever you choose, as long as it is fairly family-friendly. Thank you, Sue for hosting this challenge. Click on the link to know more about this challenge and to read the entries by my fellow bloggers.

For visually challenged writers, Sue’s image shows a landscape of green moorland and hills, with a pool of water near rocks in the foreground and a heavy bank of white cloud rolling in and masking the horizon.


2. Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #79. Thank you, Fandango for hosting this challenge. The challenge is to use the given picture prompt to write a flash fiction piece or a poem inspired by the photo. There are no style or word limits.

For the visually challenged writer, Fandango’s photo is of a male deer taking a drink of water from a backyard birdbath.

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© 2020 Shweta Suresh. All rights reserved.

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61 thoughts on “short story #33: Survival of the fittest…

  1. It was both heart wrenching and heart warming! Through your words, I was able to empathize with both the deer and the tigress. Nature works in mysterious ways and I always found the concept “Survival of the fittest”, a little unsettling.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, it is a little unsettling but I guess there’s still a delicate balance to the way Nature works. If it’s alerted, chaos will reign. I’m glad that my story had such an impact. Thank you so much ❤️🤗

      Liked by 1 person

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