Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Original fiction: Monkey's Christmas Tree

The appearance of humans was not unusual as far as Monkey was concerned. Normally he shared his home with one mature human female, but today brought the arrival of one of his human's grown cubs and her mate.

Despite these humans being constantly doused in the scent-signatures of two other cats, their arrival at his den was frequent enough that it was an acceptable departure from routine. Monkey reflected that at least these humans did not reek of dog.

With a flurry, the younger female scooped Monkey up in her arms; Monkey knew this was part of the visiting-human sub-routine. Whenever this young human arrived, she would invariably pick him up.

Monkey enjoyed the experience of being petted or held, but these otherwise welcome sensations frequently became too much. He'd communicate his distress by twitching his tail, but the humans did not always heed the clear warnings he gave them.

The sharp, stinging lash of a paw sometimes had to convey what the movement of Monkey's tail did not. The human would then invariably respond by making shrill noises. They would utter the sound that he understood applied to him, but most of their noises were meaningless.

The young human did not hold Monkey long and soon replaced him in his bed. As the humans left the room, he drifted off to sleep.


Monkey was roused by a sudden draft of cold air, accompanied by the sounds of activity. He opened his eyes in time to view the male human wrestling a tree into the room where Monkey had been sleeping.The human deposited the tree right next to Monkey's chair.

Of course; it occurred to Monkey that there were fewer hours of light with each revolution between dark and light. Temperatures were much colder and many of the trees that he could see from the window of his den had all lost their leaves.

Under these conditions, Monkey knew, the humans would bring home a tree.

The scent of evergreen pricked Monkey's interest; these days he spent all his time in his den but he had memories of being outside. The evergreen tree's pungent tang was a piece of the outdoors.

Monkey watched with interest as the humans hung ornaments on the tree -- glittering balls that rolled appealingly when a deft paw could knock one to the ground.

One small bear, hanging from the lowermost branches of the tree, was irresistible to Monkey. Stealthily, Monkey climbed down from his chair and slunk toward his prey. All of his attention was directed toward the objective at hand.

Deftly, Monkey's paw hooked his prize and knocked it onto the ground.

Without warning, the mature human female grabbed Monkey and hoisted him into the air. The shrill sounds she emitted washed over him and with the exception of her using his name, none of the sounds she produced had any meaning for him.

At last the human returned Monkey to the ground where he gave his hind leg a perfunctory lick. He could not tell if she could see through his feigned indifference.

The human, still emitting shrill noises, wandered into another room. Monkey eyed the doorway warily to make sure she was not in sight before grasping the stuffed bear in his mouth and padding with it to a remote corner between the tree and the wall. He was satisfied that here, at least, he'd be safe from human intrusions.

For what would surely not be the last time, Monkey puzzled over human contradictions. Surely the ornament had been intended for him by virtue of the unarguable fact that it had been placed within his reach. Sometimes, however, Monkey had to make allowances for humans being unpredictable.

Copyright (c) 2009 by Cynthia M. Parkhill

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