The Sabre-toothed Cat

sabre-toothed cat

Artist: Friedrich Möbius, 5-years old

There are few animals that can fire up a child’s imagination as quickly as the sabre-toothed cat. When they learn about the ice-age fauna, they are less impressed by the mammoth or the wooly rhinoceros, no, it’s the sabre-toothed cat that grabs their fancy. And even if we adults talk about panic and its psychological reasons, that cat raises its impressive head as the thing to run away from. (Hey, at least in Germany it does!)

I suppose that even for small kids the fascination comes from being scared and feeling safe at the same time. It’s thrilling to imagine these huge, dangerous animals and quite satisfying to know they will never ever attack oneself. This kind of entertainment leads right on to other thrilling tales, and maybe even horror stories. Many people enjoy being completely creeped out while sitting in a comfy armchair.

I don’t. I’m sort of stuck with the sabre-toothed cat – that’s the max of creeping out I want to have. I only need bad weather to get that warm, comfy feeling of being safe in my home, completely without imagining zombies. Horror tends to give me nightmares, same as action movies. So I don’t even have a TV anymore, and I read the news online. No need for dreadful live videos of hurt and crying people, either.

Despite all that, I do torture my heroes. Andert truly doesn’t have an easy life. He gets almost beaten to death, cut up, poisoned, kidnapped … and barely makes it out alive several times. Granted, that’s the fate of a fantasy hero. I don’t spare Lina, either, because I make little difference between male and female heroes, especially as both wield a sword.

After all, you, my dear readers, as supposed to worry about my heroes and suffer along with them. Yet even so, I’ll probably never write horror. I’m too much of a wuss for that, and prefer the sabre-toothed cat. Or a Xal-Yar.

About Hannah Steenbock

Hannah Steenbock is an author, dreamer, and coach. She has published several short stories in English and German, as well as one novel in German. In 2013 she started self-publishing her work. In 2014, she has won two awards for her short story "Sequoia".
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