The dream started in the way that dreams start; in that way you can just tell that this is the end of the last dream and the beginning of the next. I was seated at a table with several of my less-close male friends. They were being unusually cruel, which is not to say that cruelty is not characteristic of them, but that today they were acting unusually so.
My friend- nay- acquaintance, was acting as the ringleader, his lazy eyes flashing disgust at me, and his curly brown hair bouncing as he cut insults into me. He sat directly opposite of me, yet I can say with some surety that he was not aware when I turned right- towards the window not far from me- and stared out at what was in the same instant the moon and the sunrise. I wished to myself that the fellow could mature, for in the moments that he was kind, he was very kind.
As I drew in a breath and turned back towards the table, I heard the scraping of a chair against the floor. My friend/acquaintance hopped down in a fluid, athletic move and in the same fluid movement, transformed into a handsome white tiger. I got up, not alarmed by the shift in appearance, but seeing in his eyes that he was asking it of me.
He stood in front of me, large enough to look levelly into my eyes on all fours. He told me calmly that I had wished him to mature, and proceeded to tell me that this was what his mature soul ‘looked’ like. I was excited by this, “You knew what I was thinking!”
He nodded coolly, and instructed me to lift my shirt and show him my ribs. I lifted my shirt to just below my breast, and he put his paws on either side of my waist, claws extended and against my skin. I looked him in the eyes, waiting for what he would do next.
He clenched his paws, pressing his claws into my sides. But I felt no pain, only a smooth, cool feeling, like cold silver. And I saw no blood, only my pale skin bunched under his claws.
He released me and dropped his paws to the ground, his whiskers close enough to tickle my cheeks. I held my breath, believing him in his proof that he was benevolent and meant me no harm now, but I could still see his massive teeth under his lips and the tips of his sharp claws in his paws.
Suddenly he whirled and bounded away, and I took off after him, dancing around him, and he dancing around me. At some point in our pleasure, I dropped to all fours and became a wolf, as dangerous as he, in my own right, but as playful and as kind to those I loved.
We circled each other, bringing each other to the ground in a mock kill; his teeth found my throat like a big cat hunting gazelle, and his mouth encircled my neck, pushing against my fur but causing no harm. And I, in turn, hunted him as my kind hunt hare, grabbing him too and biting him without causing him harm.
We ran and ran and ran and ran, never tiring, never losing our breath. Feeling as one with the great cat, I bounded over and under him, and he curled around me with his giant tail flashing.
We were opposites together. He was padded with muscle, striped sharply, big, soft, and the embodiment of felinity. I was thin and sharp with bone, softly marked, tiny, course- the epitome of canine.
Unfortunately, I was woken from my yin-yang dream, before I had left the dance-floor of the spirit-world with my tiger dance partner. But I woke exhilarated, energetic and wondering at the meaning of my dream, the kind that don’t come very often, but stay with me for a very long time.


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