So guess what? Huh? Huh? You gonna guess, or what?
Yesterday I saw Beard outside pretending to wash his car when an old, beat up Alleycat crept up to him and slipped him a manuscript. Now that doesn't happen very often. Actually it's never happened. But Beard said he appreciated it because the Alleycat had given him a Halloween story and it was awfully scary. "Besides," he said, "the S.T.U.P.I.D. C.H.I.H.U.A.H.U.A. hasn't posted for awhile". I know he tends to spell out words like that when he's complimenting me. He doesn't want me to get a big head. Gotta love that in a Beard Face, right?
Anyhoo, without further ado, (hey, that rhymes) here's a story by our first guest blogger.
The Creature of the NightOne night Angel decided to tell her two young puppies a story. It would be educational, of course, because that’s how mothers are.“Who wants to hear a scary story?” asked Angel.“I do,” said Hugo.“Does it have squirrels?” asked Gus. “Squirrels are scary!”“No, there are no squirrels. It’s a story about a much scarier creature.”The two pups perked their ears. They were still quite young and didn’t know much about other animals.“Tell us!” the pups demanded.“It was a long, long time ago,” Angel began. “I was no older than you two are now. It was a stormy night and I was all alone in the old house where I used to live. It was my job to guard the home when the family was away. We Chihuahuas are not very big but we are brave.”“We are brave!” echoed the pups, proud of their heritage.“So there I was, all alone in the darkened house, when I heard a strange noise. I perked my ears and listened. There it was again. It was coming from the back door. I ran as fast as I could to the kitchen. I waited and watched, and then I saw--it.”“Saw what?” the pups asked.“A paw. An enormous black paw. The paw was sticking in through the little doggie door I used.”
“Was it a bear?” asked Gus. ”Bears are scary.”“I didn’t know what it was,” continued Angel. “I got in to my defensive position in order to stand my ground. I snarled my best snarl, but I was very small back then and my growl wasn’t as loud as it is now.”“What did you do?” asked Hugo.“I didn’t know what to do. The paw had very sharp claws and I was such a small pup. Slowly, the door pried opened a little more. The creature was coming inside!”The pups yelped. They imagined what it was like to be all alone at night with a scary creature coming into the house“I backed up, but only a little,” said Angel. “I was afraid but I was determined to be brave. The door was almost open now but I still couldn’t see what kind of monster it was. I would have to face it all alone.”Gus whined and put his head down. He covered his eyes with his paws. Hugo was shaking.“I got ready to nip. My tails was sticking straight up—fair warning. Then the creature slowly pulled itself through the door until it was completely inside. The creature was in the house!”“What was it?” the pups asked.Angel halted as though it was too scary to even remember the moment.“It was . . . an enormous black cat.”The pups had never seen a cat but they had heard of their evil ways. Cats are very scary.“It was the biggest cat I had ever seen. It was black as the blackest night and had yellow eyes that seemed to glow in the darkness. He was a tomcat with a large gash in his left ear. He looked like he’s been in many a fight.”“What did you do, Momma?” asked Gus.“I tried to bark but I was so scared that it sounded like a squeak. The cat just stood there staring at me with those glowing yellow eyes.”Angel made her voice tremble to tell the next part.“’Who . . . who are you?’ I asked. The cat opened its mouth to speak. It had two fangs that looked as sharp as needles.”“’I was once called Midnight,’ said the cat.”Angel did an impression of the cat as she continued the story.“The cat crept towards me. Slowly . . . ever so slowly.”Gus and Hugo backed up as Angel approached them. In their mind they saw only the malevolent black cat, ready to strike with its sharp claws and needle-like teeth. Angel hissed like a cat and the pups jumped.“I knew I was no match for the cat. He was twice my size and cats are very quick.”“And sneaky,” offered Hugo.“But then a funny thing happened . . . ““What?” cried the pups.Angel hesitated and then continued in a soft voice. “The cat lay down on the kitchen floor. I saw now that he was tired and wet.”“’I am hungry and scared,’ said the cat. ‘I have been chased all day because I am a black cat and it is close to Halloween. People think I am an omen of evil or bring bad luck. Others chase me just to be mean.’”The pups were confused. They didn’t know what it was like to be abused by people. They lived with a nice family who fed them, played with them, and took them for walks.Angel continued the story. “’Where do you live?’ I asked.”“’I live in the woods and the alleyways, wherever I can find a place to rest,’ the cat said.”“’Have you no home?’ I asked.”“‘I once had a home but no more,’ said the cat. ‘The people I lived with left me behind when they moved. I was unwanted. I was just a kitten then. I have been on my own since then.’The pups were sad. They felt sorry for an animal who had been unwanted and abandoned. They wouldn’t want to be left alone to fend for themselves.“Don’t ever leave us, Momma,” said Gus.“I will never leave you,” said Angel. “One day when you’re older you might go to a home of your own with a nice family to protect, but you two will always be my little pups.”“What did you do?” asked Hugo. “Did you make him leave?”Angel smiled. “No, I let him have some of my food that had been left out. He was very hungry.”“’Thank you,” the cat said, after he had eaten. ‘I have had to stay on the move today and have had nothing to eat.’”After he had dried off a little, he lay down and soon fell asleep. I lay down beside him to keep him warm. As he slept he purred. That meant he felt safe and at peace.”“Wow,” said the pups. Their mother had once been friends with a cat. A cat!“I soon fell asleep myself,” said Angel. “I was tired after all the excitement. I slept for some time and when I woke up the cat was gone. He must have quietly slipped out the dog door while I was sleeping.”“Did he ever come back?” asked Gus.“No, he never came back, although I would think about him on stormy nights and wonder if he was all right.”Angel looked a little sad. The puppies went and nuzzled their mom.It was time for the pups to take a nap. Angel finished the scary story.“Some years later I heard the family talking after dinner. A nice older couple who lived down the street had found a black cat in the back woods and taken him in. The cat was an old tomcat with a large gash in his left ear. They named him Midnight.”
© Copyright 2014, Charles Alley
Wow. Were you scared? I was scared. Because, you know, cats. But cats do have a tough time around the Halloween season, I'm told. Especially black cats. Bad people are sometimes mean to black cats, and that's not fair. So, if you're one of those people who prefer cats to dogs (as insane as that sounds), consider adopting a back cat rather than some cute fuzzy other color cat. And while you're about it, consider adopting a senior pet too. Often that's the only chance they have at life.
Thanks to Charles for his guest blog. We'll see you next time I have an earth shattering experience--like running out of treats or something. GAH! Talk about scary.
Happy Halloween, folks.