Wanita was destined for them since the day she was born with Tata Beda
standing over her, big as a bear himself. She tamed him with a coo.
When Tata Beda returned to the cages, redolent with Wanita’s new baby
scent, they say three untrained cubs danced their first steps.
They say she smelled of honey and musk, that her laughter tinkled like
a music box. They say this, then they look at me and say no more.
When I was born, the fortuneteller folded her charts and shrugged. I
smelled like child and laughed like girl. Tata Beda slept in his bed.
They say it was her smell that drove them mad, that made them snap. My
sister was always destined for the bears. And I was destined to live.
© 2010 Jennifer Tatroe