The Dance Of The Barn Cats
As I've mentioned, I'm considering writing a series of Bedlam Farm Bedtime Stories For Children. These would be e-stories, downloadable on computers, tablets. I'm thinking of charging two or three dollars for each one – gentle stories about the dogs, donkeys, cats and other creatures on the farm. I thought I'd try a couple out. My plan is for the stories to be offered as files with photos, and presented in a catalog on the website but these first few will be free. You know me, jump right in. In this format, they need to be short and abridged, so I'll offer the first one in two brief installments, one tonight and one tomorrow evening – at bedtime. A downloadable story would be longer. We'll see what happens.
This is part one of the Secret Dance Of The Barn Cats, a story I've been thinking about for a few years about the most mysterious creatures on the farm:
Sometime after dark, the farm settles down for the night.
The donkeys are in the barn, the dogs are in the farmhouse, the chickens in their roost,
the children are in bed, getting tucked in, waiting for their bedtime stories.
In the big barn, there is a stirring. It is the magical time of the barn cats,
creatures of mystery, spirits who live in-between the human and animal worlds.
Brave and independent, they fend for themselves, living among the hay bales,
the cows, watching out for cars, trucks, hunters, coyotes, foxes, racoons, hawks and
all of the thing that can harm them.
They are not like your pets. They come and they go,
as they wish, and then one day, when they choose, they disappear
and are never seen again.
They never say goodbye, and noone knows where they go.
No person has ever seen the dance of the barn cats, which always begins in the same way.
The big old spirit cat comes out of the darkness and the mist, and appears in a puff,
on the highest stack of hay. He jumps through the moonlight and calls the other cats to life.
Soon, the other cats arrive, from other farms, from far away. They come silently, like whispers in the dark.
Like shadows on the meadow.
They leap through the moonbeams. They paw at the bats. They stalk the mice,
and rats, who live in the barn. They jump through the big spider webs
that stretch across the rafters and play hide-and-seek in the bales of hay.
And then the barn cats call on their magic:
The chickens and donkeys close their eyes and quiver and the mice tremble and squeak
and fly out of their holes, and the bats flap nervously around the darkened rafters,
and spiders scurry out of their webs and skitter up and down the wooden beams,
and ride the soft wind that blows through the windows.
Tomorrow, Part Two: The Dance Of The Barn Cats