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The Lion of Batucada

Jane figured that life was meant to be lived to the fullest, so by nature, she was a wild girl, and was often looked at in disapproving manners by her mother. She grew up in the estate of Batucada with her parents and John, her older brother. Romping around their father’s land was she and John's favorite pastime. They would get filthy dirty, and spending most of their days catching butterflies and frogs by the pond. Jane remembered one day she and John had a squabble because John threatened to tell their mother that Jane went to a party with no bloomers on under her skirts, and Jane got so furious with her brother she tried to push him in the muddy pond, and they both ended up falling into the muck. Their mother was so enraged, she gave them cold baths and scrubbed them red, then sent them to bed with no dinner.


Jane’s father, however, was quite the opposite of her mother. He was tall, and had a perfect mustache, which was now being streaked with grey. He enjoyed smoking his dark pipe and reading excellent thick books. However, he most enjoyed having adventures with his children, or telling them extravagant stories. He was a very smart man with an immense imagination. Jane admired her father greatly.


The children grew older, and soon John had left home to marry a nice girl and start his own family. Jane, somewhat lonely without her loving brother, was happiest going on explorations in the thick, tangled jungles of the island, or quietly sitting in the planetarium with her father writing in journals about thoughts and observations. Her mother seemed to get more demanding with the years, and always was trying to force Jane to become an upstanding and proper lady. She even mentioned sending her off to a foreign town to get married to a rich man, and Jane handled the situation by storming off to walk along the beach.


Having just turned 17, she figured she didn’t have much time left at home. Soon her mother would stitch her up in a wedding gown and force her down the aisle to be tied in holly matramony to a man she barley knows. She decided to live it up until then. Jane was going for a picnic in the eastern side of the jungles today. She made cucumber sandwiches, cheese and crackers, and some juice to take with her, as well as her journal and a pencil and slung her pack across her ivory shoulders. She adjusted her hat, and then walked out the heavy wooden doors. She could hear her mother calling for her as she walked across the orchard, but she just ignored her mothers displeased voice.


The eastern side was the most unfamiliar to Jane. She never had gotten around to exploring this side, mostly because her brother used to make the decisions about those things. On the east side was here all the fruit trees are. How could a growing boy resist the juicy treats? Jane was enjoying herself, observing the new plants and trees. If she picked a good place to hide, and was very quiet, creatures would come out from their hiding places to continue their days. Snakes, birds, and bugs of all sorts and colors. She happened upon a most beautiful creak and stopped to eat her sandwiches. The water was oddly perfectly pure on Batucada, so she had a sip from the creak.


She continued walking next to the stream, and happened upon a small waterfall that ended in a lovely oasis. Purple and blue minnows happily swam in the cool water. Jane decided to take a swim; it was a nice warm day out. She took her boots off, her skirts, her blouse, and was left in her pantaloons and corset. As she was walking along the soft dirt to the water, she stepped on something sharp. She gave a cry of surprise and fell to the ground. She examined her foot: it was a lion’s claw, inches deep into her foot, pouring red. She gripped the shiny talon and ripped it from her dainty foot. Not knowing what to do, she washed her foot off in the stream, and teared her skirts to wrap around her foot. She somehow walked painstakingly slow back to the estate.


As soon as Jane was walking up the drive, her mother stormed out, demanding to know where she had run off to, what she had been doing, and continuing to scolde her for being a disappointment to the family. Jane collapsed. Her mother screamed for the maid and her husband, frantic. Jane's father could barley do anything but hold his daughter in his strong, safe arms.


Jane died two days later of necrotizing fasciitis, or flesh eating bacteria. The water was no longer pure.





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