The Lord is Close (Part 4)

There it stood in all it’s magnificent glory. The sunlight dappled through the dark green leaves as it shook gently in the soft breeze. The heavy fruit made the limbs drop closer to the ground in invitation to be plucked. She thought to herself that this must have been what it was like to be standing in the garden of Eden and to behold the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Unfortunately, she already knew it was wrong to take the fruit so eating it wouldn’t make her any smarter. She laughed at her own thoughts.

Her empty stomach rumbled long and low. It was past the noon hour and she hadn’t eaten since yesterday. No one had checked on her since they were all so caught up in their drama at the house and she was afraid to ask. She had learned a long time ago that there were times that she should not speak or even be seen lest all the fury be unleashed on her.

She stared at it in amazement. It was the most beautiful apple tree that she had ever seen. She couldn’t stand it any longer. Although there was a part of her that worried about getting caught stealing apples, there was a far stronger voice urging her to fill her stomach and survive.

She suddenly felt an urge to run as if her life depended upon it. As she reached the gnarled foot of the tree, she grasped the lower branches and pulled herself up. She could still feel the hot breath of the sun on her neck as sweat rolled down her back. Just as she reached the third limb up, she paused for a breath, a tingle went over her spine and she felt eyes upon her from below. She glanced downward quickly and almost lost her grasp on the limb. She struggled to hold the limb as tight as she could and not to move.

A mountain lion stood under the tree watching her. His muscles rippled under the golden brown fur covering his large frame and his mouth hung slightly open as he panted from the heat. Circling once before lying down, he laid his great head with the snowy chin upon his large front paws and his amber eyes glistened. He looked as if he were trying to decide whether he should make the effort to climb up the tree or not. Finally, as if he had made up his mind to wait, he looked off into the distance indifferently.

She was frozen and trembled with fear even though it was terribly hot. An hour must have passed and the big cat still lay there. Finally, she reached out and took an apple because the hunger was stronger than the fear. As she bit into the juicy deliciousness, there was what seemed a deafening crunch and the cat turned to look directly into her eyes.

To be continued…