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Bagheera Suggests Lovage

Dreamed 1993/7/31 by Chris Wayan

Bagheera the panther with her cub; curative leaves behind them

I'm wandering in the chaparral near my parents' house, hunting and gathering food with a friend who's a leopard. Bagheera, from The Jungle Books? But this Bagheera's golden, not black, more like a California puma. And female--in fact she gave birth just a few days ago. She tells me she already feels up to hunting again. I'm amazed at her stamina.

This drought's been terrible--hot as well as dry. During it, Bagheera just got thin and suffered through it--even pregnant. "Cats," she says, "know how to starve. And when you're thin, you radiate the heat better." I never thought of emaciation as having evolutionary advantages. Is my thinness a sign I belong here in the jungle heat?

Now the drought is ending--first rain's fallen, though it's still hot as a furnace and the plants still look tired and yellow. Bagheera's been preparing her body to return to a non-drought form. She gorges on a certain green herb that grows by water. Amazing stuff--loaded with something powerful--strange carotenes? She fattens up in just a couple of days and her coat turns shiny again! She eats a pound or two a day of this herb. It has a funny name--like lovage. Or verbiage? As opposed to foraging for borage or other foliage...

Her cub is cute, purrs like a fat cat when she licks it. I wonder if I can play with it yet. Despite being my friend, Bagheera's motherly instincts may drive her to slash. Don't want to strain our friendship. I'd better go slow.

I hear through the jungle-vine that an elephant gave birth nearby. Can we play with the baby elephant? I think the elephants will accept Bagheera, if I introduce her as my friend, though they normally don't trust big cats. But Bagheera's sweet, she'd never eat a baby she'd been properly introduced to. She knows how to starve--and heal from it.

I'll try some of that... lovage.

LISTS AND LINKS: dream beings - animal people - big cats - Rudyard Kipling (Jungle Books) - birth and babies - diagnostic dreams - starvation - jungle dreams - pure digital art

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