Ferns shot up from the dark earth, choking the jungle’s underbrush. The lush smell of rainfall mingled with that of the dirt as the beast crawled low to the earth. A waterfall roared just beyond the thicket, where he knew his prey rested, unsuspecting.
Leaves tickled his backside, and a mosquito landed on his ear, but predatory instinct overpowered the urge to swat away the nuisance. The beast was no stranger to discipline.
Nose touched the concealing flora, and eyes pierced its maze of shoots. Left to right, from the waterfall to the far end of the tranquil pool it filled, his gaze swept, searching for his prey. Nothing yet. Patience. It’s here somewhere.
A croak to the left. The beast’s eyes shifted, and he saw the terrible, warted form of his prey, camouflaged on the rocky shore.
Ignoring the itch in his ear, the beast crept around the massive fern to get as close as possible in concealment. Step by step. Inch by inch. Slowly. Slowly.
Nearly face to face, his prey sat languidly by the waterfront. The beast grinned.
Quick as lightning, he leapt from the bushes, roaring his impending triumph. But his prey dodged effortlessly, and his eyes widened in disbelief before faceplanting into the gravel. A perfect ten.
“Tyco, dinner's ready!”
Tyco sat up to his haunches and rubbed his face with his hooves. To his left, the frog looked up at him. It let out a loud croak before hopping into the pond and disappearing into its depths.
Tyco glowered at the waves it produced. Stupid frogs.
He scratched his ear and stood to follow the voice. “Coming, mom!”