A Puma's Drum Song: Part 1 Rite of Passage Picture

"Everyone of Puma kind will go through this right of passage Mimiteh." She remembered her mother saying to her as she watched the sun descend down it's path dimming to make room for the night sky. "Remember this my daughter, the life of a Puma is to be alone. You are responsible for your own survival, you are responsible to put to use the lessons and skills I have taught to you, the traditions passed down from the first Puma mother to her cubs for generations. Stray from these things, and your life is forfeit. You will neither live, nor will you be free. You must trust no one, not even one who would mate to you and give you cubs of your own. When you do have cubs, you will teach them these things so that your own legacy will survive. We have only ourselves, and the legacy given to us from the first mother, and in the end the Puma's lot in life is our own individual existance. Every night you see the stars, each star shines it's own light, and shines alone in the dark world we live in. That is how a Puma's life must be, for no one can be trusted, not even your own kind. To place faith in anyone but yourself, will ensure your own death, and you shall never have a legacy."
Mimiteh cried that night as the words of her mother echoed to her in her mind. For the entire day she looked out through the entire forest, only to find that her mother was no where to be found. She was warned that one day, her mother would leave and she'd be on her own. She didn't like to think of that day coming, and in her own mind tried to deny it. She loved her mother, for her mother was all she had since her own brother had died at the hands of the hairless two-legged creatures who called themselves man. Eventually, Mimiteh had to reside to the fact that that day had finally come, and now it was up to her to survive on her own, or die trying. For now though, she was over whelmed with grief and sorrow. The one familiy member she'd known since birth, and stayed with her to teach her, to guide her, to show her compassion and love, was gone. And for what? All because of a tradition.
Since then the days became listless trials of survival. Certainly hunger would drive her to hunt, and she would barely sleep, for anything could be out there to take her life if she wasn't ever vigilant. Mimiteh kept the lessons of her mother close to her heart, this was all she was to ever be left with, and she was warned that if she ever did see her mother again, she would act with aggression, as if she never knew her to begin with. What sort of harshness would cause the first mother to create such a lonely tradition, she knew not, but she couldn't help the growing bitterness in her heart because of it. Pumas may be meant to be alone, but she hated it and resented it deep down.
But what choice did she really have?


So I'm working on an original story based off the Puma Mimiteh, who's destined to become the chosen guardian of the forest. This is the first part, and I realize it's really sad and depressing, but let's face it, in the wild large cats typically leave their offspring to fend for themselves. In some nature documentaries I've seen of large cats, not typically pumas per say (pumas are actually the largest of the small cat family believe it or not, so they aren't a true large cat, but I think their lifestyle would be similar) an full grown cat would try to find it's mother and cry out to her, but she would have essentially either abandoned her offspring, or kicked her out. In Mimiteh's case, her mother simply abandoned her. It sounds cruel, but I wanted the story to be somewhat realistic. I also added some human elements to Mimiteh's character, she feels sadness, listlessness and essentially is suffering from depression because of it. She hates the rules and doesn't want to be alone, but knows she doesn't have a choice in the matter. Part of her becomes bitter because of it. I also added that in this story, it's an old tradition passed on through the mythology. These cats aren't typically social animals as far as I know, so the only social interaction they ever get is from their mother, so any "religion" or "mythos" would come from their mother. You don't have the cultural traditions from a group, or the idea sets of human beings from other peers. So if you can imagine that your mother or father is the ONLY person you ever socially interact with during childhood, how you might end up. So yeah, that's the case with her.
There's more to the story than this, but the story needed a beginning, and I felt it should start with Mimiteh's "rite of passage" into adulthood. It felt like the right place to start, and a foundation for her character and personality in the rest of the story. Morality wise, abandoning one's cubs once they are adults IS seen as a rite of passage to Puma kind in this story. It is VERY different from how humans do things, but you have to remember, cruel as it sounds, Mimiteh is NOT a human being. She has human like feelings, but to make the story realistic, I wanted to do what real pumas would probably do. Also, I heard that Pumas don't sleep in the wild, which is why she barely gets any rest here.
There will be some elements to the story that are more spiritual and may not be realistic, but there wouldn't be much of a plot point if there wasn't, since I loosely base the mythos on the Native American belief in the Great Spirit. I don't know the cultures and individual traditions of every Native American tribe, but I understand that a belief in a great spirit is probably a popular belief among the tribal nations. I could be wrong about that though. A lot of stories are based off celtic traditions, greek, norse, roman, even Eastern religions but I don't see too many based off North American folklore. Also similar to the tradition in the Lion King stories which use African words and names for their characters, I'll be using Native American names for the animal characters. Yes the story does have loose nods and references to the Lion King since I draw a lot of inspiration from that, and TLK fanfiction writers. However, this particular story is meant to be an original work, and not a TLK fanfic. So the story itself may have similarities to TLK, but is not meant to be related to TLK. If that makes sense.

All characters in this story are (c) of me.
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A Puma's Drum Song: Part 1 Rite of Passage
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