Four to handle, and she was all alone.
Several preying eyes ready to make away with the little ones, though she was the queen of her kingdom.
And the four were handful too, venturing out before their time.
The expression of the tigress as she picked up a vagrant cub just a few days old and watched another rolling off the rocks to the floor was classic. I was watching a documentary on how tigers live and this moment remains etched in my mind. Some males in the animal world help their mates in rearing their children. But the tigress, the leopardess, the bear - they seem to do it alone. Even a leopard will kill a tiger cub, apparently. So when she goes hunting, the tigress has to make sure they are safely hidden from evil eyes as well as get enough for the demanding mouths.
I was wondering, how easy it would be for her to let out a small growl, enough to scare the cubs and tell them their limits. Just one snap of the jaws and the tiger cub would be reduced to nothing. And yet, she patiently went up and down, picking them up gently and placing them up somewhere safe.
As a parent who draws lines very quickly around her children, that patience was remarkable to watch. Let alone intimidating her children, she didn't even stamp her paw in frustration! Not even when she went hunting after they were slightly older, and the little one mewled (for that's what that roar came out as) to show who was the boss, scaring the prey away.
Motherhood indeed seems worth celebrating when you encounter it in this form.
PS: Snake mothers incubate and then scurry away before the snake babies hatch since they eat their own little ones apparently.