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Tigris

n a day when the sun shone through the trees in rays, hitting the grassy bottom, when the scent of mulch mixed with that of dewey apples, and when the only sound to be heard was the ever present gurgling of the branches of the Lycrot River, Tintara found herself wandering through the northern part of Ys, a section she had viseted rarely before.

Along her way she found a bush of sidenberry, and stopped to collect the berries and leaves so that she could bring them home and make sidenberry extract, a reddish liquid that seals cuts immediately and stops the flow of blood. When she was done collecting them, she found her hands stained red with the juice, and so she flitted over to the nearby apple orchard so that she could wash them.

Kneeling down by a tiny waterfall in the stream, she picked a Blaere floret, rubbed it between her hands, and then washed off all the suds it had created. Drying her hands on a clump of grass, she singled out a tree, climbed into it's branches and, sitting cross-legged on one of them, balancing perfectly, picked a juicy, red apple and bit down into it. While she ate, she had a rather boring conversation with the tree, mainly about worms and other apple-infestors.

When she was done, she thanked the tree for its fruit, disposed of the core, taking care to extract the seeds and put them away before she did so, and climbed down to continue her wandering.

All of a sudden, over the babbling of the stream, she heard a small, feeble cry. Closing her eyes and picking up on her sence of hearing, she located the cry and ran towards it. Buried beneath damp oak leaves, some 50 west of where she was standing, she found a small tiger cub, merely days old and still blind, obvously starving and freezging. Carefully picking it up, Tintara gently wiped it dry with her cloak, and, cradeling it against her chest, ran home.

When she got there, she placed it in a soft bed of tiny leaves and feathers, and ran to her cupboard to find some fresh milk. She gave the milk to the cub, little by little, and eventualy he began to purr, and then fell asleep. From that day, Tintara nursed the cub back into health, and kept him under her close protection until he was old enough to go out on her own. Sadly, Tintara picked him up for the last climb down her tree, and set out back to that apple orchard.

When she got there, she took the tiger's face in her hands and looked into its eyes. After a moment of understanding, the cub glanced about him, trotted a few feet away, then looked back to Tintara. With a nod, she said, "Go now.. go and be free." With a sad *mrowp* he padded back to where Tintara stood and rubbed against her leg. "Stop that," she said, "this is where you belong." When the cub padded a few feet away again, Tintara quickly scurried up a tall tree and looked down on him. When he turned back to find her gone, he laid down, crying and yelping. With a sigh, Titnara jumped from tree to tree until she was out of eye range to the tiger, and sadly went home.

The next day, Tintara woke up to a loud crying beneath her. When she looked out her window and down to the ground, there she saw the tiger, jumping in delight to have found his way back. With a laugh, Tintara quickly dressed and climbed down, then gave him a hug. "Do you truly wish to stay with me?" she asked of him. The tiger gave an affirmative mew, and Tintara put her arms around him again and laughed. "Than you shall. May I call you... Tigris?" As a reply, the tiger rolled over on it's back, then pounced upon Tintara, knocking her down. "Tigris it is, then. Welcome home."

Now, Tigris has grown up into a huge, beautiful striped tiger, with white fur, black stripes, and fathomless black eyes. Tied about his neck is a cloudy crystal orb, encased in silver webbing, the same stone Tintara wears on her index finger. Grand in size ((Think Raajah from Aladin)), he poses a considerable threat to those who would oppose him, but is a truly lovable tiger in spite of that.