MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “animals”

Those who mean no harm

petsThey are those you know will never let you down. With whom it is enough simply to look into their eyes and feel all your troubles disappearing. They are those who, no matter how badly they treat you, will always come back with double the love than before. Because they mean no harm and they love you unconditionally.

Having a small animal around – a pet – is good for the soul. Because it relaxes you like nothing else and it calms you down. Simply by witnessing the – sometimes ridiculous – levels of happiness and excitement these creatures can show, is soothing. And it is in those things that make your mind wander that you can find calm.

Even if one of them scratches, bites, hisses, at you, it won’t last long. Because it didn’t really mean to and you know it. In fact, you might have even provoked it yourself. Your fights don’t last because they don’t matter. And you know that the love and care you both share is much stronger than any spat.

An animal is perhaps the only creature that can make you forget every torment the minute you see it wagging its tail and jumping with joy at the mere sight of you. They are the ones who teach us that as humans we worry too much, we overthink things excessively and we hurt each other more than necessary. We don’t exploit our ability to feel deeply and act with kindness. Instead, we allow our selfishness to get the worst of us and in the end we break relationships that once mattered.

Animals aren’t like that. They love unconditionally and their anger doesn’t last long. There are more important things in this world than clinging onto stubbornness. If humans too could be more like these small animals, wouldn’t life be so much easier?

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Awakening a soul

playful dogSome things just fill your heart without even trying.

That is what Ivana felt every time she walked through the door and he was there waiting for her. There was so much joy in his eyes. It was almost as if the love he held in his heart was so vast, he could explode with emotion. And he was so honest about every single thing he felt.

He would show it all – when he was upset, when he was hungry, when he wanted to go for a walk, when he just wanted to lie down, when he wanted to pick her up instead.

Ivana knew that he was the one person who would always be there for her, rejoicing in her excitement and empathizing in her pain. At times, he was all she ever wanted.

Until the time he left. As suddenly as he had appeared.

That was the only fault she had found in him in his fourteen years. That his life was too short.

Her dog was more than just her buddy, her friend, her partner, her therapist, her family. He was her whole world. She was constantly trying to be better, because he made her believe she could. She wanted to be the person her dog thought she was.

He was someone who motivated her to play, to laugh, to cuddle, to be curious, to seek adventure, to love, and to be loyal.

And that look in his eyes whenever she came home – no matter if she had just popped out to the kiosk around the corner – it was priceless. It made her believe that this is the only creature in the world that may love someone else so much more than he loves himself.

They say that dogs have a way of finding the people who need them and filling a space we didn’t even know we had. They have an ability of demonstrating true happiness, unconditional love and absolute loyalty, making our lives complete. But they also have a way of nourishing you with the strength you need to carry on, when they move on to another world.

 

“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” – Anatole France

 

Also part of Daily Prompt: Buddy

The time we never had

Siamese-cat-walking-away-Stock-PhotoHere we are, trying to live the present as it comes. Desperately trying to seize the moment, to make the most out of every opportunity that lingers in front of us. We try to convince ourselves that we are doing the best we can with our time. That we are not letting it go to waste, because that would be a shame.

But deep down we know that nothing can beat a ticking clock.

Whatever will come, will do so either way. All we can do is live, so as to say that we experienced everything we could in the timeframe we had. That we sucked the juice out of life and enjoyed it. With no regrets. Other than the (more) time we never had.

People come in and out of your life constantly. Even with them, their time is always limited. Even if it is with a pet. More so when it is with a pet. Because, sometimes it turns out to be more than that. More than simply an animal, a friend, a companion. Cats are usually the ones who own you. They tie you down without you even realizing it. But you don’t mind. You actually enjoy it and are all the more grateful for it too. Because you know that this bond is for life.

Three years ago today, that specific time was up. At least in this world. That eternal bond doesn’t break. You promised it to each other and you know it. That bond is forever. No matter how quickly time flies. No matter how much more time you wished you had.

Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind”. – Nathaniel Hawthorne

The elephant in the closet

elephantinthelivingroom2When it was just a young calf, the little elephant was adopted by a rich high-class, very well-off family for no other reason because they could do so, and because their toddler son had become fascinated by the picture of the animal in a book he had, that he simply had to have one for his own. Most of the first few weeks were spent with the toddler running after the little elephant, tugging at its trunk and rejoicing whenever it squirt water back at it in an unsuccessful attempt to get the kid to stop.

As time passed by, the toddler grew older and found other interests. The elephant wasn’t the biggest fascination of his life anymore, but he did often still play with him. One rainy day, he had the idea of playing hide and seek. With the elephant. The elephant was to go hide.

The boy counted to 100, got distracted at 49, wondered off for half an hour, returned to count from one again and, well, two hours later he went to seek the elephant.

By now, the elephant was almost full-grown. So, really, where could an elephant hide? Mind you, the boy lived in a mansion, so it was quite easy to get lost in there. Or, in the boy’s case, get tired. After around half an hour of searching, the boy gave up and was then called for dinner. His mind drifted to other things and he soon went to bed.

The elephant had hidden in the basement closet.

They say elephants never forget. But people do. The boy forgot about the elephant and it was literally months before he remembered that he once had such a “pet”. But he never reached the closet. Because of laziness, of over-privilege, of low-concentration capacity? There were many reasons. Reasons that the elephant could not understand. For in its miserable, unnatural life, it was locked up, voluntarily at first and forcefully later as the closet door could not open from the inside.

The elephant perished in the closet of one of the most lavish houses people could ever build. But he became witness to the truth that appearances are deceitful. Because no matter the grandness of the house, the hearts of the people who occupied it were nonexistent.

Elephants never forget. But some people don’t even remember.

How do you clean a dirty cat?

cat-washing-machineIf you were walking on the sidewalk and came across an average-sized cat with enchanting snake-green eyes but with white fur as dirty as the insides of a garbage can, would you stop and gaze at it, let alone pet or feed it? No? Well that is exactly what Janine was trying to convey to Toby.

His fur had become grey from the dirt he was gathering while playing around, who knows where. It was summer too so the heat made it easier to stick everything on to his fur. But, it was embarrassing having a cat follow you around that was so dirty. It was as if she was homeless and this was her pity victim. Janine would have none of it. Toby would get cleaned up today.

There was only one problem. Toby hated water.

Toby was the kind of cat that wanted its independence – so you would pet him only if he allowed you to, would eat only if he wanted to etc. But at times, he would follow Janine around everywhere. Even to the supermarket, where he would wait patiently outside for her to emerge with the shopping bags so they could continue their walk. It was funny really. But at least he could be presentable as an escort.

Today Janine was going to the laundry mat. Toby, unfortunately for his sake, decided to tag along.

As she was loading the laundry into the machine, Toby opted to play around, hiding in the load, then peeking out and hiding deeper. But when Janine was almost done, he came up with the silly idea of jumping in the machine with the clothes to scare her when he popped out. But Janine did not see him and simply shut the door and hit “start”.

Toby was in the washing machine. Loaded.

As the water began to fill up, he began to gulp. And as the motion began, he began to yell as loudly as a cat can screech. It took Janine a minute or two before she realized where that hair-raising sound came from. When she saw Toby’s eyes staring at her as they revolved among the clothes in the washing machine, she nearly fainted. White as a ghost and in an unprecedented state of panic, she was pressing all the buttons on the machine at once in a desperate attempt to get it to stop. But how do you stop this machine?? Could she unplug it? But where was the plug anyway? Not knowing what to do, she quickly dialed 911.

The fire fighters were there in less than three minutes (their station was two blocks down from the laundry mat).

Their first reaction was naturally a giggle. It was kind of funny seeing a shrieking cat turning 360 degrees in a load of whites. But they quickly got to work: one of them tugged the machine forward and the other managed to unplug it. Then they used five different tools to get the door open and let the water rush out.

Toby sprang out with all the energy he had left. He was a poor sight – a wretched, soaking wet cat. He shook off the water from his fur and jumped into Janine’s lap. At least both now could relax.

The firemen were still laughing as they departed.

But Toby’s adventure had two outcomes: his fur was now clean and silky white as snow again; he stopped following Janine everywhere and instead spent more time inside the house – you know, to avoid getting too dirty and be mechanically washed like that again!

An intricate loop

lost ringShe suffered from being too organized. If that ever was a sickness, she was the number one patient. Victoria was obsessed with having everything in order. She felt it was the only way she could control whatever life threw at her. That is why she succumbed to a panic attack when she realized that afternoon that she had lost it.

The ring Danny gave her.

She never took it off her finger, unless she was washing clothes by hand. Then she would place it on the little shelf under the mirror on top of the marble wash-basin and she would stare at it, daydreaming, as she scrubbed the delicate clothes clean. Once she had hung the clothes to dry, she would return, soften her hands by rubbing on cream, and replace the silver ring to its rightful place on her finger.

But today, something went wrong. She realized the ring was missing from her finger when she reached for a piece of cake during afternoon coffee with her friend Emily who had come over to share some gossip. What ensued could only be described as havoc, as an anxious Victoria stormed the bathroom and then paced nervously around every room of the house, re-tracing every step she had made – and which she remembered – in order to find the lost jewel. Emily could do little to console her friend.

It’s hard being a perfectionist. You can never take anything lightly. And never let anything go. Not even when Danny said the ring could be replaced. But for Victoria it would never be the same.

——————–

It was a beautiful afternoon in the park and Vincent had taken Buster out for a walk. The golden retriever basked in the sun for a few minutes, then sprung to its feet and called for a game of Frisbee. Vincent loved this game as his dog always made the most unaccepted leaps, catching the Frisbee in his mouth, no matter how far it went. So he always tried to throw it as far as possible; for him this was also a very good way to make new acquaintances. And Buster was on his own so adorable.

The Frisbee was heading for the lake when Buster made a leap worthy of professional jumpers, and caught it with his teeth glistening in the sunlight as he fell in the waters with a grand splash, cooling everyone who happened to be around the scene. Vincent ran to apologise to the surprised onlookers, when he saw something small glistening at the edge of the pond.

It was a silver ring.

He picked it up and read the inside engraving “I will love you forever, Danny”.

Someone must be very concerned this is lost, he thought. But on the other hand, what if it was intentionally thrown away? What if this was a love story gone all bad? Sometimes love doesn’t always head in the direction the heart wants, he pondered, as Buster joyfully bounced to his side requesting another round of Frisbee.

——————–

She had done this for ages. It was a profession carried on for generations, for as long as she could remember. Her mother had taught her how, and she was in turn trained by her mother and so forth. They roamed the country practicing it and she had learned to read people better than she read the cards before her.

People came to her seeking a glimpse into their future. They wanted to feel the illusion of being able to control what would arrive. The majority never really believed the fortune-teller and they all thought that she was just taking their money in exchange for a few positive words that had no reasonable basis. Yet they still went. People are like that. Silly and gullible.

Yet they are also longing and hopeful. And this is what the fortune-teller relied on.

She only remembered the cases that most strongly made an impression on her. And there was this one couple she could never forget. Not even five years later. She had felt their aura since before they had entered her tent at the local fair. The young woman had convinced the man to go see her. She had said it would be fun. They were newly-weds and you could tell by the sparkle in their eyes, by how they gazed into each other so lovingly, by how in love they appeared.

The first thing the fortune-teller noticed when they sat before her was the silver ring on the girl’s finger. There was something about it. It had brought them so much love and happiness, but for some reason it would also bring them so much pain and suffering.

She pretended to look into the crystal ball and began to tell them that they would have a long and happy life together. The couple smiled and squeezed each other’s hand. But the fortune-teller was not telling the truth. It was one of those rare instances that she looked into the ball in her hands and felt a déjà vu. She felt her vision become misty and could almost see what the couple’s future would be – it was cloudy and grey, shadows had creeped over their rays of sunshine, and it was all caused by a small circle, a loop, a ring.

Hold on to each other, but not too tight, or else you will lose one another forever,” she said as the couple walked out of the tent. The girl looked at the fortune-teller as she turned to leave. She said nothing, although her smile had faded.

The fortune-teller looked back into her crystal ball and saw a reflection of her own dark complexion staring back. Fate was never something anyone could ever foresee. Or control.

Also part of Daily Prompt: Weaving the Threads

Turn to page 82

82The thing with bookworms (people who love books, not worms who live in them) is that they are deeply attracted by the writing on them, particularly that on the cover. And especially the back cover. So, when you grab a book with a huge “82” drawn on the front on a blueish background and with all sorts of creatures and objects flying, crawling or even drilling their way out of the number itself, it does catch your attention. So, you turn it over to read the summary on the back. All it says is “This book has a significant focus on the number 82. It tells a story like no other, which will remain with you long after you read it. Now, you want to find out what the number 82 has anything to do with it, don’t you? Well, you’ll just have to read the book then…” You think it is silly. But it already has you gripped. And the next thing you know, you’re comfortable in your relaxing armchair, with your soft, fleece blanket at your knees, and a steaming hot cup of tea at the table beside you, and you turn the first page of this new book.

It had a fascinating start. It was a story about a young man who had learned to read from a shepherd who took refuge in his barn one night. And he inadvertently found his first book one morning when he went to offer the shepherd-guest some food but discovered he was gone. All he left behind was a book. Intrigued, the young man began to read it, as he believed it would solve the mystery of the shepherd’s presence.

That is when it first appeared.

“Turn to page 82”.

Was this a Fighting Fantasy book? It couldn’t be. But the man tried to find page 82 to turn to anyway. (So did you). Page 82 was nowhere to be found. (It was nowhere in this book either). It was not between pages 81 or 83, nor misplaced in any other part of the book. Nor were there any signs whatsoever that it had been ripped out. Page 82 had simply never been a part of that book. (Nor in this one – clever, huh?).

But drowning in curiosity, the man continued to read on from where he left off. A few pages later, it appeared again.

“Turn to page 82”.

The same process was wearingly repeated. The man continued to read on. It was a story that seemed incoherent. With weird animals, imaginary creatures and ghosts appearing out of nowhere, with the story taking place on earth, in the ocean, on different planets, in different universes, at different times even. It was utterly confusing, but for some reason it kept you wanting more. That’s the other thing with bookworms – they must finish the books they start reading; it’s a matter of principle.

So whenever the prompt to turn to page 82 appeared – and it appeared quite often – the man simply ignored it and continued to read on. (So did you). He had still not understood the storyline or purpose of the book, but was profoundly drawn into it by now. (And coincidentally, so were you).

Alas, he reached the final page. He thought that finally he might understand what all this “turn to page 82” was about. It turns out, however, that the book would eventually end in a cliché: this was all a dream. The young man had apparently imagined it all – the strange paradoxes, the hen fighting with an elephant, the appearance of a yoku (a beast which was half eagle, half something that resembled a lion-snake) and its defeat using rat’s poison that was taken from a far away planet that could only be reached by planting a specific type of bean that grew from tomato plants watered with coke. It was so confusing that you were surprised you had managed to last until the end. So, although you were deeply disappointed that all this time you were reading something that was in essence never there, a smile did form on your face when you read the last sentence explaining that the man had fallen asleep in his quest to find page 82 in a book that simply did not have it because a publisher had been distracted when numbering the pages.

And that is when you closed the cover and put the book down. “Well, that was ingenious”, you thought.

 

Inspired by Daily Prompt: Connect the Dots

The chipmunk who needed more air

chipmunks cheeksHave you ever felt like you’re running out of air? Bobby the chipmunk did. And lately he felt so more than ever. So much in fact that he set it upon himself to save the world and do something about it.

At first he thought that it was a natural consequence of over population. So he started considering what he could do about it. But reducing the population forcefully or by any other way was not even an option. Bobby loved to have friends to play with and talk to. He would be really lonely otherwise, and he knew very well that he would not do well with that.

So he began devising a plan. Creating more oxygen seemed tricky. So his remaining option was salvaging and utilizing the existing air as efficiently as possible. He thought that he would lead by example and be an inspiration to all others. So he set off, placing his seemingly brilliant plan in motion.

The first experiment was simple. He would try to breathe in less air. But he realized that made him breathe quicker and more often and in the end, he was actually inhaling more air this way.

Next, Bobby took a paper bag. He would try breathing in slowly and hence less frequently. It appeared to be working for the first couple of inhales, but then he choked on a cookie crumb that happened to have been left inside the bag. It took a distraught and discombobulated sea gull, together with a bear to release Bobby from the cookie crumb that was suffocating him so that he could finally breathe normally again.

But that did not discourage him from continuing his quest. What if he tried holding his breath for a bit? He would estimate how long he could go on without air and portion each of his inhales accordingly. That did not end very well either, though. Soon Bobby became pale, then blue, then a bit red as his eyes almost popped out of his skull and with a face like a funny (but very weird) cartoon, as soon as he let go, he literally flew across the park, deflating like a balloon. There had to be an easier way.

When he met Gerry the giraffe – he fell onto his neck while soaring across the air – the tall animal almost fell over laughing at Bobby’s concern and plans. He did his best to assure him that the air was not going to run out any time soon, not even in their lifetime. Gerry even gathered all the animals to pledge that they would use their air supplies resourcefully and efficiently in order to allay his concerns. Tired of the unsuccessful efforts to reverse the depleting air levels, Bobby decided to recede. Every now and then though he did climb onto a tall tree, simply to feel the gush of fresh wind entering his lungs. And just in case, he had a paper bag with him – always checked for potential deadly crumbs beforehand.

The air was there, although he couldn’t see it. He just had to trust that it would still be there whenever he needed it and in however large or small quantities. Trust after all, was a fundamental component of life.

The duckling run

free-widescreen-animals-duckling_100458The minute he heard the splash into the crystal clear waters of the lake, Fuzzy started to run. His little duckling legs had never moved so fast in his short life. He didn’t have a lot of time.

The Master might get out of the lake any minute now. But according to his daily routine, which Fuzzy had closely monitored for over a week, he spent at least 25 minutes in the water, swimming and enjoying the tranquility that only those calm blue waters could offer.

Fuzzy’s mother told him not to go near humans. They could not be trusted. One minute they would extend a caring hand and the next they would pull down a heavy object over your head. There was a thin line between love and hatred, she always said. But Fuzzy somehow wanted to give humans the benefit of the doubt. After all, this certain one seemed alright. He was a sort of ‘live and let live’ mentality.

But today Fuzzy felt daring. After all, it is good to take a risk once in a while. It keeps the adrenaline pumping, he thought. So he ran.

Within two blinks of an eye he was there. Now he simply had to locate his exact target. From what he had observed, the Master placed it under the clothes he left on the river bed. So Fuzzy dug under the shirt. And there it was. Black and shiny. He had seen him operate it so many times, he felt almost like an expert himself. It only took the push of two buttons. And…. Mission accomplished!

He had just taken a cute duck selfie! And he was so proud. He was certain the Master would enjoy it too!

The truth you’ll never know

icebergIt’s hard to be perfect. No matter if it is just keeping up the appearance of being faultless.

Joseph knew it well. All his life he was trying to prove himself to others – even to his family and friends. That he was different. That he wasn’t like the rest of the guys out there. He had something special boiling up inside him and was striving to find a way to let it out. All amidst friendly mockery and criticism that he took on like a clown – with a smile on the outside and a frown inside.

But he never told anyone about this. Not even Alicia. He just wanted her to be happy. He was happy as long as she was. And that was all that mattered.

At least that was how he felt. Most of the time.

They were both trying to get ahead in their careers. Alicia had motivated him to reach higher. But it seemed that no matter what they did, no matter how many applications they sent, no matter how much networking they did, nothing seemed to work. There was no window opening up. Not even a mouse-hole.

And at work it all seemed to pile up. He was getting more and more jobs assigned to him, which of course he could do given his extraordinary skills, but under normal circumstances it would take another two people to share the tasks. Yet no matter how efficiently and accurately he responded to his obligations, there always seemed to be someone coming back and asking for more.

Alicia was at her limits too, as she was facing a similar situation at work and was being suffocated under never-ending workloads that seemed to proliferate instead of decrease.

Joseph had to listen to her complain, while she tried to console him when his turn came to externalize his agitation.

But one day, Joseph felt something was wrong. He woke up with a numbness in his feet and stumbled on the way to the bathroom. Something that had never happened before. He didn’t tell Alicia. There was no need to make her worry.

The doctor he immediately saw told him that unfortunately they detected a genetic mutation that caused an unforeseen illness to develop. Something that would require extensive, prolonged and continuous treatment.

Joseph felt the ground from under his feet disappear. He could feel the blood flushing out of his brain and rushing to his heart, which was beating like a drum. Cold sweat trickled down his spine, as he attempted to remain conscious. He could hear all his dreams shatter right in front of him. Right at that moment. Because everything would be different now.

At work, it was just another tedious day with demands piling up and everyone nagging about each other. It was bad enough he had his company to worry about, Alicia wanted to lash out on someone about her own ordeal.

And that was the moment he cracked. The moment when he felt it was better to behave like a jackass and get her to move away from him than make her suffer with him this unexpected future. It was easier to be the guy she hated. The person who did not deserve her. To make her see that she deserved better. It was better to break his own heart into a thousand pieces than force her to change her own dreams for his sake. For a future that no-one knew what it would bring and how.

Alicia ran away from him, with the image of a prince turning into a beast in her head.

And Joseph, he closed up inside his shell, hoping that one day she would understand – that he loved her so much, he let her go.

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