• Vol. 09
  • Chapter 11
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Dream Leopard

My cousins are much larger than me

Cousin Lion, sandy brown
Ruling the African plain
A corner of India too

Cousin Tiger, stripey orange and black
Prowling and ambushing prey
From Indian forest to Siberian snow

Cousin Jaguar, rosette covered coat
Roaming Amazon jungle
No tapir or peccary is safe

Cousin Leopard, covered in spots
Has the widest range of all
From southern Africa to Vladivostok

My cousins, fearsome hunters
Solid, substantial

I am not as they
I was born of dream
I was born of cloud
I was born of moonlight
I am Clouded Leopard
Dreamlike, ethereal


Dream Leopard

I don’t have their size
I don’t have their power
I don’t have their range
My range is small
And getting smaller

With comparably largest canines
I run down trees head-first
Camouflaged by my cloud-print coat
I hunt small deer, pig and goat

I stalk the shadows of the forest
I stalk the shadows of your dreams
Clouded Leopard
Dream Leopard