May 27, 2011

The Colours of the Cape

Welcome to the Cafe Cat. My name is Sheldon the Blue Lobster. I live in an aquarium on the Cape Cod and this is where I spend my days with strangers peering in at me and flashing bright lights in my face.
It's not easy being here.
I miss my home and I'm starting to forget all the glorious colours of the Cape. 

My friends and I have been planning some kind of escape and yet, so far, we have had no success.
This is Troy. He's been here longer than I can remember and he's always sulking.
Even Tracy, his pretty girlfriend, can't get him to cheer up.

We all just want to be free. And yet, we know that we might be here forever.
The saddest thing is that most of our visitors never even bother to say hello. They just take pictures or tap rapturously on the tank.

 But not the Cafe Cat. No.
The Cafe Cat sat and talked to us for a while about our lives. She wanted to know where we were from and about our families regardless of the strange looks the others gave her. The rest of her group even wandered off without her and eventually she had to race to the other side of town to catch up with them. Frowning and hurried, the Cafe Cat quickly made us a promise that day.
She promised that she would take pictures of our homes and say hello to our mothers for us. A small gesture. But one that might even bring a smile to Troy's face. And perhaps hope that one day, we will return to the Cape.
And so off she set into the late Autumn sunshine. To discover our home by the dwindling light of the afternoon.

She found wonderful shells and berries...
The rocky coast, set under skies of turquoise, hemmed by the sea of sapphire and the chalky mists of cloud drawing across the horizon...
She stopped to say hello to our old friend Arthur, who scours the ships for ratty treats.
Hullo Arthur.
The Cafe Cat searched on.
She peered at the water...
And combed the rocks...
Even Arthur helped to look...
"Ain't nuffin' in this shed here except rats" he said, licking his wet chops. (Well obviously not, Arthur- we're looking for sealife).
The sun was beginning to set, casting gold across the water and making all else an inky backdrop to its splendour. There wasn't much time left and the Cafe Cat still needed to find a messenger to send best wishes to the depths of the sea. One that wouldn't scurry away with fear at the sight of the tall, looming Cafe cat and Arthur's whiskery face.

The Cafe Cat felt ready to give up and by now, her friends were starting to think she was strange and wouldn't stand with her. They all stood looking out to sea with their backs to her and their arms folded. Whatever was she up to?

The Cafe Cat was disappointed. She felt as if she had failed Sheldon, Troy and Tracy. She walked over to the water's edge and let her tears fall... sending soft ripples through the water and distorting her reflection.

She was about to walk away, to pander to the impatient cries of her crew when she saw a small, golden foot peeking out. She looked down into the water and there he was. 

Little Eric Star.

Little Eric Star had wandered far from his family that day, just for some peace and quiet and was clinging to the rock and enjoying the hum of humans nearby. When he saw the Cafe Cat he tried to inch closer into the shadows. He liked humans, but he certainly didn't want to be seen by one especially since there was an inquisitive, dusky grey cat sat by her feet.
She knelt down and said to him gently "Please Little Eric Star, you must help me"... he looked up at her and said "How do you know my name, Miss? My mother says I mustn't talk to strangers and I'm afraid I'll be in awful trouble".

And so the Cafe Cat explained her story to him. About Sheldon, Troy's angry, sour face and poor Tracy's attempts to get him to cheer up and about all the other fish that longed to be with their families. Little Eric Star listened carefully and nodded politely. When she had finished her story he sighed and he said softly "Of course I will help you Miss Cat"... "Sheldon was well-known in these parts for his glorious cobalt coloured shell, and who could forget Troy? His murky grey skin and steaming temper was known far and wide." "Please tell them that we miss them greatly and tell Sheldon that his little daughter Susie always talks about him- she, too, is developing into a wonderful azure tone." "We hope that one day, they will come back to us."

And so did the Cafe Cat. She wished Eric her thanks and stood up, brushing stray straggles of spinachy seaweed off her knees. She may not have been able to set the others free, to where they belonged, but she had been successful in her small task. Thanking Arthur and shaking his paw, she hurried off in the direction of her friends who were still waiting. She didn't care to explain the mystery of what she had been doing. As if they'd ever believe her! 

So instead she simply suggested that they went for ice cream...
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