The Story of Hana

by Timo Wikström

Chapter 2

I don't know how long I was out, but when I finally woke up, I was in a room filled with candles. Then I noticed where I had been sleeping. A large bed big enough for four of my kinds to sleep in. As I stood up, I felt a sting on my paw. I noticed it had been treated somehow.

"Ah, I see you are awake." I heard someone saying.

I saw the one who had rescued me and carried me inside. This stranger looked different than my kind. He looked much older cat than my village's elders, clinging onto his staff. That's when I noticed he was walking with two legs only. The moment I saw him, I knew this stranger was very wise and his face still radiated that goodness and warmth. I knew I could trust this stranger. He came closer to me.

"Are you feeling alright?" He said.

"Yes." I said. "Thank you, uh…"

"I have long forgotten my name, young one, but I'm sure you remember yours, hm?"

"My name is Hana."

For a moment the wise one didn't say anything. Then he sat on a chair.

"Do you remember what happened?" He said.

I couldn't say anything. The memories of that day were venom for me. Apparently that was all the wise one needed to know.

"I see you do." He said.

I tried to get up, but the stinging got worse the more I tried.

"I suggest you do not move." He said. "You still have the bullet inside you."

"Bullet?" I wondered. "What is a bullet?"

"It is a sharp object that injures anyone it touches in high speed. Your paw got hit."

"Can that bullet be taken out of me?"

"Yes, but not yet."

I laid down once more.

"It's been a long time since the last time I saw your kind here." He said.

That reminded me of my tribe and that night.

"Tell me, wise one…"

"What makes you think I'm a wise one?" He said, interrupting me.

"You are wearing a robe, just like my tribes elders do."

He laughed when he heard that, but then suddenly he just turned all quiet.

"You were going to ask me, if I had seen your kind here recently." He said.

"Yes." I said.

The wise one seemed to sadden all of a sudden. "My dear, did you not hear the stranger?"

I was confused at first, but then I remembered.

"You are the last of your race now."

This became the most painful memory for me. I felt devastated. Without even knowing it, I was shedding tears.

"My village… my mother… my father… my brothers and sisters…"

The wise one shook his head… and I realized the horrible truth of who I was now. The last of my race.

"That stranger…" I said. "It is all that stranger's fault. He killed them all."

The wise one stood up and walked right next to me and knelt. He rubbed his hand on my fur. It felt so warm and comforting, but it didn't make me forget my sorrow.

"My dear, you will experience a lot of pain from now on for the rest of your life and no one can make that pain go away." He said as he put his hand on my injured paw.

I felt great pain then and I screamed. As I looked back, the wise one was holding the bullet in his paws.

"But others can make you feel less painful, when you let them help you." He said.

I still felt a lot of pain from my paw, but it felt different.

"Rise, my dear."

I slowly began to stand up. It hurt, but not as much as last time. I managed to stand up again.

"How did you…?" I was asking.

"The same way you are going learn." He said.

"What do you mean?"

"You need to learn to defend yourself and help others in need."

"I cannot do that." I said. "I hate fighting and my tribe has never fought."

"My dear Hana. You are the last of your kind now, so if you die then your tribe has no way of reviving itself."

"Even so, I am…"

"…no warrior, I know. And you are very young to be one. That is why I will train you and you will learn and when the time comes, you will be ready."

At that time, I had no idea of what I was going to become. What the wise one asked me to do was to abandon my old self, who believed in peace and harmony, hated the wars and fights. On the other hand, he had a point. If I died, my whole tribe's future would die along with me. I didn't want that. I felt like I was cornered.