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She was tired today. Tired of pacing round and round the empty spaces, wearing out her paws, wearing out the ground. The sun

blazed brightly in the distance. The birds were singing the same old songs. And the people who strolled by didn’t even feel like stopping to stare and make faces at her, as she lay in the corner staring into nothingness.

What was it like in the jungle she thought. It seems like a distant dream now, the days when she stalked free in the grassy greens. Played with her brothers and sisters and roared at the moon in happiness at night. It seemed like a faraway vision now, blurred with time, even the smell of her mother refused to return as she raised her furry face and took a deep breath down memory lane.

Everyday, it was the same, wake up, eat the putrid meat tossed into the dank cage and pace. Pace. Pace. Pace. Once she used to plan her escape, how she would pounce on the keeper’s hand, and run, while he howled in agony. But even that made her weary now. What was the point. If life was meant to be lived in a small cage alone, then so shall it remain.

She lifted her eyes to the sun and saw a queer glow, a dazzling brightness that reminded her of the days in the wild all of a sudden. How could the same sun that warmed her back in the wilds appear so far away now, as she looked at it through the criss-crosses of the barbed wire. So callous it appeared as the blaze mocked her, see I am free, I am where I was all the time, it is you who is trapped. Who told you to venture far alone? Who told you to break away from the pack because you were curious? Who told you to stare at the hunter like an ignorant human and keep staring until the gun just stunned you and the next thing you knew you were in this cage. This is the price you pay for freedom you stupid tigress, you who thought you were bold and different. The price of freedom is another prison of another kind.

The sun blinked at her in glee. The tigress closed her eyes.

The next morning it took 3 keepers to drag out the lifeless corpse and bury her in the ground, muttering to themselves about fat wild animals who get lazy living in a cage.

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