The tiger was a colossus seated at Kohath's feet. The wolf guessed him to be well past six if not seven feet tall. He had a solid build even better than a statue of a god, and the lanky wolf felt quite dwarfed in his presence.
He was so busy being distracted by the dark eyes that the tiger had to repeat himself.
"I am Maro. My sister Nyaiya and the kits found you on the beach. You are very sick; please accept our care."
A tigress who had been sitting nearby got up and approached them, carrying a clay bowl. Kohath suddenly realized he was outdoors, in a clearing surrounded by jungle.
"Where am I?"
"This is our island Iisera. The youngest one said the Present have brought you here. We think they mean to have you made well again. Drink this," she said, offering the bowl, "it is rak’aisa and it will make you stronger."
The wolf inspected the contents of the bowl. It was dark red, like blood, but smelled... it smelled strong, like mint, but unlike it as ice is to fire. He took a small taste of it and nearly choked, dropping the bowl and spilling the stew onto the ground.
It burnt his tongue like hot pepper, like acid, and the taste lingered on it, sharp and hot.
The tigress cried out, embracing Kohath and wailing apologies profusely into his fur. He felt even more awkward when he realized that both tigers were naked. He tried to separate himself from her, but she was built nearly as powerfully as Maro and too absorbed in apologizing to notice.
"It seems the rak’aisa is too strong for you. And my sister, too, I think. Nyaiya! Let him go, you will choke him."