Tara wasn’t dead and
she didn’t know why. Her body felt uncannily rigid. She tried flexing her legs,
but nothing happened. She wanted to look down at her paws, but her face refused
to turn away from the sky. She wiggled her paws and tasted something rich and
delicious. With her paws. She tried making sense of paws that could taste, but
kept getting distracted by the sun. She just couldn’t turn away from it. The
bright and warmth tasted so good on her skin.
After following the
ups and downs of the sun for many dawns and dusks, Tara’s head turned to fluff.
She liked the fluffy feeling. It was light and freeing and promising.
“Mommy look, a
The sound of the two-legged
young pulled Tara out of her latest sun trance. She readied herself for the screaming
and the stench of fear to overwhelm her senses. But nothing happened.
“It’s so pretty. Can
I make a wish, Mommy? Please!”
two-legged mother said. “Just don’t rip the poor thing out of the ground. Get
on your knees to make your wish.”
The two-legged young
wrapped a not so gentle paw around Tara’s body, and said, “I wish all the big
kitties grow fat and happy, and that my Mommy finds the bad man who hurt their
mommy, and that my Mommy can put the bad man in a cage forever and ever. I
wish, I wish, I wish.”
With eyes closed and heart open, the child blew her belief-full breath into Tara. And every seed, of the flower that had once been a lioness, soared into the wind, roaring: So be it!
detail from a photo by Christian Papaux, on Unsplash
- this concludes (and perhaps also begins) Tara’s story.
- the title echoes a favorite quote from Firefly: “No power in the ‘verse can stop me!”
- for Poets and Storytellers United--Writers’ Pantry #72: Oh, I Will Walk 500 Miles…