The Voice of the White Puma

IT was not in the nature of the puma to feel hatred, an emotion rarely experienced by any animal. The cat was inherently aware of this, although he was not given to conscious rationalization; nevertheless, he sensed that unbridled, single-minded odium was inhibiting and only rarely produced positive results. For the most part, and like all of the other mammals with whom he shared his range, the white puma responded most readily to a limited number of natural stimuli: the need for caution; fear; aggression when he had to hunt, or when he was given cause to defend himself; and courtship, and, of course, procreation when opportunity came his way. Had he lived in a region undisturbed by human activity, the puma would never have been given cause to experience hatred. In his world, he became aggressively aroused only when it was necessary to kill in order to eat, but he hunted dispassionately. Similarly, if challenged by a male of his own species, he fought; afterward he did not hold a grudge. But he now hated, because he had been deprived of his family by the humans he was watching. He had been goaded by those men and their dogs. As a result, like other powerful predators before him, he had become a man-hater; and because he was strong and lithe and superbly equipped for killing, he was dangerous.

-From `The White Puma'

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