Stories by: Mirri

The Tall Tails of Catwood

Chapter Tree


In school Tika starts noticing how Kesonam begins chasing off his followers, he does not appear to want that big a crowd around him anymore and since he started hanging out with Tika the new-comer of the class, more and more supporters have fallen out of the group.

Tika sits and thinks it over for himself, not even noticing as Kesonam comes up to him and slaps him on the shoulder, ”Hiya Tika.” The lion sits down beside him with an energetic sigh and smiles, ”What’re you doing?”

Tika shrugs, ”Just.. thinking.”

”‘Bout what?”

”Y’know.. stuff.”

”I take it you don’t feel like telling me?”

Tika sighs and looks out at the other furs playing wildball, ”Well.. I’ve noticed how you’ve started shutting out your friends. I thought you wanted to be popular?”

Kesonam’s expression becomes a bit more grave, ”Heh... they’re not my friends. They’re vultures, circling around me hoping that a scrap of popularity falls off that they can feast on. Sure it’s kinda cool being popular, but.. I’d rather have just one real friend than all those jackals who’d leave me in a heartbeat for a bigger slice of meat.” He turns to Tika, a bit unsure about the next question although he has taken it for granted for the last month, ”You’re my friend, right?”

Tika smiles and pats him on the back, ”Well, you seem to be giving up your popularity for my sake, so.. yeah, I’m a friend.” The lion smiles toothily and gives his friend a warm hug, squeezing him a bit in his embrace, but Tika just holds his breath and waits to get free again, ”However, I know some nice jackals, so don’t tell anyone I said that, alright?”

Tika grins and suddenly snatches Kesonam’s wildball away, running onto the court. The lion blinks and runs after him, ”Hey! Give that back!”

Tika suddenly stops on the court and turns around, ”Alriiiight...” He moves his arm back, taking aim at the lion who screeches to a halt and stands ready to dodge. Kesonam makes a decision and throws himself to the right as he sees Tika flinch his arm as he lets it rip: The very moment the pyramid-shaped ball stops touching Tika it soars through the air like a bullet, spreading the characteristic yellow vapor after it in a straight line. It passes closer than an inch over Kesonam’s leg as he is falling to the ground, bounces back with rapidly increasing speed from the floor, hits the south wall of the hall and is further accelerated towards the ceiling where it hits near a lamp, instantly looses all momentum and falls limp to the ground between Kesonam and Tika. It hits all three boundaries faster than the blink of an eye and the only way you can tell it was not teleported to the ceiling and then fell down is the path the yellow tracing mechanism left, which is slowly starting to dissolve now.

Tika grins, ”I’ll getcha next time.” He walks over to his friend and helps him up just as the teacher blows the whistle to mark the end of the school day for the two. Kesonam picks up the wildball and whispers something to his companion. They both walk over to the teacher, ”Mister Btaar’o. Could we be allowed to stay for an hour or so and practice, please sir?” Kesonam smiles his cutest smile, only getting a more suspicious look from the Cougar, ”Are you that eager to exercise, boys?”

They both nodnods quickly, ”Yes, sir.”

Again that skeptical look, ”Alright, one hour and you’re gone. If I hear from anyone at all on the school that you were any trouble, I’ll personally slap you across the face, got it?”


Btaar’o turns and walks out of the hall. The inane chatter of the furs in the locker rooms can be heard.

”Alright Kes, what do you wanna do? Acrobatics? Rings? Ropes? Hur--”

”Naw, I was thinking of throwing wildballs at each other?”

Tika smirks, ”Kes.. you know you can’t hit me.”

”Pleeease let me try?”

Tika sighs, ”Alright. But I want to decide what to do the other half hour.” Kesonam noddles eagerly. The black and white leopard walks over to a wall where no benches are set up and positions himself with his back against it, ”Okay, set it to zero rebound.” Kesonam nods once and touches a specific spot on the wildball, when three yellow bars light up on the surface he drags his paw downwards till they are all gone, ”Got it. You ready?”

Tika shakes his head to clear his mind, takes a deep breath and keeps his gaze fixed on the ball, ”Ready..” Kesonam nods, pulls his arm back and waits for Tika to get off his guard. Tika on the other paw stares straight at the lion, his ears turn forward, concentrating on sensing the heartbeat of his ‘opponent’. The heartbeat increases more and more rapidly and suddenly Tika sees Kesonam’s arm move as he throws. The leopard waits and waits, seeing how the wildball leaves his paw and starts the yellow trace. He waits with nerves of reinforced titanium till he can see enough of the yellow stuff to determined where the ball is going and then leans his head and torso to the left, just enough to hear the ball hit the wall right where he was and fall to the ground.

Kesonam has finished aiming and stands, waiting for Tika to blink. The blink comes and he throws the ball with all his might at his friend. He sees how Tika is already moving to the side before he lets go, then hears the bump of the ball against the wall and sees the yellow line beginning to dissolve away.

They both stand panting and Kesonam shakes his head in disbelief as Tika raises his body back to upright position, ”How on Zarawi do you *always* know where I’m gonna throw before I do, huh?”

Tika grins and winks, ”I just concentrate and wait till I can see where it’s going.” Kesonam could have sworn he saw him dodge before he let go of the ball, but keeps his muzzle shut, ”Can you teach me that magic you’re doing?”

”It’s not magic and I don’t think so.”

”It has to be magic, nofur has reflexes like that. Don’t you say you have to concentrate for it to work?”

Tika shrugs, ”Yeah, but I just concentrate. No magic.”

Kesonam does not believe him, ”Alright, let’s try the sneak attack thing again.”

Tika’s gaze moves to the clock up on the wall, ”Okay, but this is the last one, then it’s my turn to decide what to do.” He turns around to face the wall instead, closes his eyes and moves his ears as far back as he can to listen behind him, ”Remember to put the ball on noise mode.” A deep breath and he gives Kesonam a signal with his tail. The lion sets his paw on the ball again, waiting patiently till the round yellow sign with the symbol of a crossed speaker lights up, he keeps pressing until the line across it disappears. Kesonam waits until he has stopped moving again to allow him to concentrate and moves his arm back. He waits, and waits and waits, and just till the point he feels he himself would have turned around and asked if the guy was going to throw anytime this week. Tika stands absolutely still, breathing as quietly as he can so it will not drown out the sound; he hears the screeching soar as the wildball leaves the lion’s hand. His ears flick back as they interpret the sound and his brain starts calculating the trajectory of the ball. Time passes, microseconds, but Tika can feel how his reaction time is running out and he cannot hear the ball properly yet. His body does not even have time to start sweating, but nervousness overcomes him and he concentrates harder and harder. Finally he is sure of at least the side the ball is going to hit and taking no chances he throws himself to the ground the opposite way. Kesonam merely sees how Tika moves just as his nerves tell him the ball has left his paw, a bit slower than usually, and then registering the yellow line that hits the wall as Tika falls on his side on the floor.


Kesonam moves over to help his buddy up and just gives off a conceding sigh, ”That’s incredible.”

Tika shakes himself and brushes his loin cloth off, ”Almost didn’t make it this time. That was a tough one.”

The rest of the hour, the two train their staff fighting abilities on Tika’s request. Eventually of course, time is up and the two go to the locker room to wash off. Kesonam takes a while longer to get his training shorts, boxers and shirt off, contrary to Tika’s primitive cloth. They turn on the showers and start washing the sweat out of their furs.

”That was pretty cool, Kes.”

”Yeah, I’m still annoyed you don’t wanna teach me that.”

Tika splashes water at him and grins, ”Hey, I told ya it’s not something I can teach furs.”

A few moments of silence as they clean and wash themselves. ”Hey Kes..”


”Did you ever wonder.. naw, it’s silly, forget it.”

Kesonam sighs and lays a paw on his friend’s shoulder, ”Tika. If there’s one thing I don’t tolerate it’s furs who say half a sentence and then stop. It drives me insane. Now say what you were going to say or I’ll be forced to resort to more primitive ways of persuading you.” His grip on the shoulder tightens a bit and Tika can clearly tell by his clenched fist what the big lion is referring to.

Tika uhhs, ”Well, since you put it that way.. Okay, I was wondering if furs are y’know born with a certain ability to learn magic, or if everyfur can learn as much as they wanna?”

Kesonam lets go and makes a shrugging movement with his shoulders, ”Well, some learn faster than others. I think somewhere deep down everyfur might be able to learn the same, but some have an easier time adapting to magic. F’instance I’m in the same class as this one wolf who after so many years still can’t even heal a bump on his head. He really tries, but it just sort of.. eludes him. Of course, he would never be able to learn as much magic as say a Master can do, even during his entire lifetime. So in a way I guess all furs can’t learn the same.”

Tika nods and begins rinsing his fur, ”I see. So it’s not all your choice? You’re only meant to learn a certain level of it then?”

The lion has to think that one over a bit, ”I wouldn’t really say that either. I think the wolf if just an extreme incident just like some furs who know mind control at the age of 10 are extreme cases. I think if you really set your mind to it, then you can achieve as much as you want. Maybe not as fast as you’d like it, but who can do that anyway?”

A sigh of relief escapes the leopard’s lips, ”Oh good. I’ve been wanting to learn this kind of sneaking magic that my dad knows, but it really is hard. I was afraid I might not be able to do it at all.”

Kesonam grins and smiles reassuringly, ”Naw, don’t worry. I’m sure it’ll come to you all of a sudden. Usually does.”

They both return to their lockers and are soon out the gym and walking out of the school premises. It is in the afternoon and the day is young, they split up to go home, waving as they part and feeling quite a bit closer than they were before.

Tika grins silly at his sister as he comes home. She just quirks a brow and stares at him with that angry look, ”I told mom what you did last night. She wants to have a real long talk with you after dinner.”

Tika shrugs and goes up to his room. He locks himself in the room for the rest of the day and lies down on his back in bed, thinking about how cool it would be to be best friends with the biggest and strongest lion in the school. That thought follows him to dreamland as he falls asleep before dinner and does not wake up until the next morning...


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