First of all, I am so sorry if you visited for the weekly Toxics post and it wasn’t here! I was so busy fighting with a small computer glitch that I missed my mid-day deadline.
Well, let’s get back to Toxics.
‘The Lupata came in a variety of colours: steely grey, ash silver, tawny brown like Pippi, fox red and hazelnut brown. A huge black Lupata in the far corner caught her eye. He was pacing the perimeter of the arena, and his colour and size made him stand out. Felicity looked up at Pippi. She knew Pippi had seen him. Her friend was very, very still…The black beast who paced ever closer was broad, like Pippi, but tall too. He really is quite breathtaking, Felicity thought.
She edged towards Georges as she felt Pippi’s attention leaving her. Pippi took one step forwards and then with a bound she was in a skirmish with another female who had sidled up to stand between her and the approaching male. The other female was considerably larger than Pippi. Her fur was silver. Felicity noticed some of the sparring males eyeing her in between mouthfuls of fur. The skirmish was brief and fierce. The silver female limped off elegantly. Pippi returned to her proud stance. The huge black male was now so close Felicity could see his muzzle was speckled with grey hairs. She felt a slight shift in Pippi’s stance. Then a pause and then imperceptibly her neck straightened again.
From behind Georges’ front leg, Felicity watched the meeting. Pippi was beautiful. Her fur shone chestnut and golden and red-brown in the strengthening sunlight. Her face was broad, and her eyes deep and kind. Her full tail swished in pleasure as they rubbed noses. The male bowed down, and Pippi place her paws on his knees. The top of her neck was now completely exposed to his huge muzzle. But instead of lifting her up and dragging her off, he simply licked her with rough strokes of his huge black-spotted tongue. Then he walked away… ‘
abridged by author © Isabel Burt 2013