The rugged terrain of the dense tropical rain forest is rough and dark. Giant banyan trees dominate the scene with their big gnarled, clawed like roots. The undergrowths are intermingled with the dangling air roots of the majestic trees. Almost impenetrable by sunlight, the leaf debris covered ground is constantly moist.
She is half awake, but not so sure if it is a reality or a dream. The sweet and sensual earthy scent is filling the cool and pleasant air. Mysteriously, she feels it is timeless. Is it morning, day or night? The rustling of millions of leaves above whisper to her and assure her that it is a place where time refuses to exist.
So vivid is the reality of her new existence and surrounding, so that the memories of her other life, her parents, her friends, the university seem like a very distant memories.
She hears something is approaching, a quiet and calculating steps. She rubs her eyes to try to see the shadowy shape. Is it a tiger? She opens her eyes wider in order to see clearer. A big white tiger, and instinctively she knows it was a beautiful white Javan tiger. She is not afraid; the tiger is telepathically telling her not to be afraid. She blinks her eyes and as if in a dream, suddenly there kneeling in front of her is a young man. Strong lean muscles encase the obviously tall shapely body. She is not sure if he is really a man or a tiger. The two images flash one after another….
“Hello, I’m Tiger,” he said with a broad smile. “You are very beautiful, Kiyanti”
Gently he runs his long fingers on her hip length shimmering black hair.
As if hypnotized, she just lets him do that. He starts to caress her cheeks and the side of her neck. In total surrender, she feels the ecstasy of his touch. Very gently he peels away her white khaki shirt, her jeans and the rest. He pushes her slowly to the cool ground, on a bed of thick bed of jungle leaves.
Kiyanti feels his gentle kisses all over her face and body. In between the passion, she can see the flashback of a youthful masculine face and a white tiger face coming one after another. She feels his tongue is so smooth and moist, but deep down she also feels the roughness of a tiger tongue kisses.
She is drifted into the joy of love….away and away deeper into a world that is timeless. Her consciousness is devoted totally for her new lover, the white Javan tiger man.
It has been more than a year since the local newspaper printed a headline about Kiyanti, a university student who was reportedly missing during an expedition somewhere in the middle of rain forest in Java and never be found again.
Fact about Javan tiger (From Tigerhomes.org)
It is so tragic that the over populated island of Java has lost it’s once flourished population of tigers.
The Javan tiger, Panthera tigris sondaica, formerly ranged on the Indonesian island of Java and was last seen in 1972 and has become extinct in the last 30 years. Three tiger subspecies have been declared to be extinct in the past 70 years, the Bali, Caspian and Javan tigers.
Scientific Name: Panthera tigris sondaica
Range: Indonesian Island of Java
Female: 75-115kg (165 – 253 pounds)
Male: 100-141kg (220 – 310 pounds)
Male: 2480mm (8′-3″)
Diet: All tigers are carnivorous. Tiger prey consists mostly of pigs, deer, antelope, buffalo and other large mammals, although tigers have been known to hunt smaller mammals and birds.
Gestation Period: 100-100 Days (Averaging 103 Days)
Cub Maturity: 18 months – 2 Years
Cubs Per Litter: (Usually 2-3 cubs) Cubs are born blind and weigh 2-3 pounds.
Lifespan: Tigers live for 10-15 Years
Predators: Unknown, Man
Social Structure: Solitary (except during Mating Season)
Territory Size: Unknown. Today tigers occur in parts of India, Manchuria, China, Indonesia and Russia (Siberia).
Conservation Status: Extinct since the 1970′s.
Note: In Java and the surrounding island there are many legend about a tiger that can change itself into a man, or locally known as: harimau jadi-jadian. The legend and a special friend inspired me to write this short story.