How do you feed an infant predator?
Maybe I’d better back up a little.
My exploration is proceeding very slowly – teleport to a place I’ve been before and walk for an hour or two until my feet get sore, and then teleport back to the capsule. No rain at all in the month and a half I’ve been here. I hope this is just a dry season, rather than the start of a drought. The stream seems to be perennial – I hope. At least there is no shortage of either water or fish, but from the increased crowding of the herbivores along its bank and my own observations, this is the only water around. There is ground water – I can perceive it – and if need be I can bore a well telekinetically.
Where there are herbivores crowded together there will be predators. It is not the season for births – that much is obvious – so I was a little surprised to see one of the smaller social predators apparently nursing young. At any rate her breasts were enlarged enough to slow her down, and one of the striped herbivores kicked her head in.
She seemed low ranking and almost fearful of the others, which puzzled me. I opened my mind, and sent out thoughts of milk – and got an answer. A tiny cub, its eyes barely open, with two others, dead of starvation. Their mother must have been desperate for food.
Admit it – I’m lonely. And if I can raise the cub, using my telepathy to convince her I’m her mother, she’d be a companion. Something to talk to, even if she can’t talk back.
So how am I going to feed Patches?
If other animals had young, I could milk one easily enough – but most of the young animals, at least of the species I’ve seen, have been weaned. I’m doing quite nicely on fish and the occasional small mammal, along with a certain amount of scavenging (the warnoff is very handy for that) and a few seeds and fruits. So I’ve been trying to process fish and meat into a slurry she can swallow. She’s hungry enough to swallow anything.
I wonder if the computer files have any information that would help me?