Raakteek's Great Hunt
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They had prowled the tropical forest, searching for the better part of a day,
seeking out the subtle clues that would lead them to their favorite prey.
Teenaged Raakteek, on her first real hunt, followed her aunt and her mother.
Obsidian-tipped spears in hand, they sought their prey while looking out for one another.
At last Sssatak raised her hand and, behind a bush, brought her party to a halt.
In a small clearing ahead a browsing hadrosaur was ripe for a deadly assault.
!ukwhree led her daughter into the bushes, slithering as sinuously as a snake.
No rustle of leaves betrayed her passage, not a single twig did she break.
Behind a bush Raakteek crouched, peering through the branches.
She wouldn't trade a broken feather for the oblivious hadrosaur's chances.
The soft whirrups and chirrs of hunting speech flew through the humid air.
Unable to hear it, the hadrosaur ate, never suspecting that hunters were there.
Behind her bush Raakteek waited, her tail's tip flicking to the left and to the right,
as she waited for Sssatak's signal to give the hadrosaur a fright.
Above, two birds got into a fight and fell squabbling out of their tree.
Startled, the hadrosaur abandoned its meal and ran toward Raakteek to flee.
Though she wasn't supposed to make the kill, this opportunity Raakteek would not miss.
She sprang out of her hiding place, feeling the thrill, and greeted her prey with a hiss.
Terrified, the hadrosaur reared up on its hind legs and desperately tried to retreat,
but Raakteek leaped, grabbed it by the throat, and killed it with the talons on her feet.
Disemboweled, eyes glazed over, the hadrosaur fell and lay dead.
The body was still twitching as the hunters came to it and fed.
Biting great chunks off the steaming carcass, the three hunters ate their fill.
Then for the sake of their family they dismembered Raakteek's kill.
With talons, claws, and teeth they ripped off the hind legs and a large chunk of the tail.
Slinging the meat over their backs, they grabbed up their spears and trotted up the trail.
They stepped up their pace when they heard from behind them a blood-chilling roar,
as the remains of their kill were claimed by the inevitable tyrannosaur.
At last they came to a wall of trees, an arboreal fort's palisade.
Sharpened stakes and poles framed a gap where a narrow gate was made.
A chorus of trills filled the air as the hunters arrived with the food.
The story of the extra-successful hunt put the whole clan into a celebrating mood.
For even Velociraptor sapiens must be especially bold and audacious
in order to win another day of life in the
world of the late Cretaceous.
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