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Excerpt Chapter 13 Lema

David R Finn

The Leopard's Daughter, A Pukhtun Story

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You've read about the Afghan war. You're curious, not about America's motives, but about the enemies it has fought. Didn't they understand America's might? 

The United States and its allies have made war against Pashtuns/Pukhtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan for twenty years. Now, in 2021, what had been clear to Pashtuns since 2001 has been acknowledged by the US: the US and its allies have lost. The Leopard's Daughter, A Pukhtun Story speaks in two voices: that of a Denver Special Forces medic of Pashtun descent, and that of Pashtuns of  Afghanistan and Pakistan. Mohammed, the medic, is followed to his secret mountain base above Asadabad by a covert Langley program, OWL, the Others Watch List. His every Pashto conversation, his prayers in village mosques, and his contacts with villagers become suspect. In a cross-border ambush  meant for him, a Bajauri Pashtun family is incidentally swept up.

Mohammed operates to save a family woman from an arterial slash picked up as she fought for her life against the ambushers. She is the widow Shahay, the Leopard's Daughter. He is invited by her brother to their village home. The invitation will bring unforeseeable calamity to her and her family. She can survive only by summoning the claws and teeth of Lema, the snow leopard cub who was her childhood playmate. With the calamity behind her,  she will need to relive it again while putting her life at risk to save his. 


The Leopard's Daughter, A Pukhtun StoryThe Leopard's Daughter, A Pukhtun StoryThe Leopard's Daughter, A Pukhtun StoryThe Leopard's Daughter, A Pukhtun Story