She strode on the warm sand, damp with sea water and indenting with her footprints. Above her the tropical sun shone on her bare back. In the sunlight, her hair shone tawny-gold and the hairs on her arms glowed.
Children’s laughter broke her reverie. Her nieces and nephew ran across the sand, clad in their swimsuits and nothing else. They were happily barefoot.
“Sit down before you turn into a baked kueh,” her grandmother yelled from her sheltered spot under the coconut trees.
Oh, the whole family was there. What was the word that described them? Pride? But that was an English word, from colonial masters long dead.
Do Asiatic lions have prides just like their African cousins?
“Drink,” her nenek passed her a glass of cold water. “Our human bodies are surprisingly fragile.”
Oh, she knew the difference. Asiatic lions had become rare, isolated. Existing in small groups, outnumbered by the harimau. The tigers were proud of their heritage and birth-right. The lions kept to themselves.
Soon, she would lead her family. Lioness.
It had a nice ring to her tongue.