Today is the last day of Story A Day May. I’m very proud of Mom for writing a story every single morning this month! Next Caturday, I’ll be back on the job. Tomorrow is the first day of a new month, so Mom will have a new Hot Flash (micro-mini story) and a sample from one of her books or longer stories for Sample Sunday.
Here’s Mom’s story for today:
Monkey Meets Katya
by Marian Allen
Monkey, of course, is an immortal, so he can live more than one place at a time: one immortal place and any number of mortal places. He lives in the Water Curtain Cave on the Mountain of Fruit and Flowers, and one of the mortal places he lives is in small blue-and-white statue in the vestibule of Katya’s mom’s house.
His mortal-world attention flickers from one place to another, gathering amusement and impressions and sometimes getting them wrong. Even immortals can get the wrong impression, if they don’t pay attention.
“This poor cat, Katya, is much abused,” his immortal self said to his monkey lieutenants, back at the Water Curtain Cave over a delicious vegetarian meal. “The man of the house calls her a dog and a scoundrel. The woman won’t let her go outside and calls her names like Crazycakes. When the youngest daughter comes to visit, I hear the poor cat protesting and the girl laughing. I’m going to teach those people a lesson they’ll never forget!”
With that, Monkey reduced his Compliant Staff to the size of an embroidery needle and tucked it behind his ear. He mounted his auspicious luminosity and cloud-somersaulted to Katya’s house.
The man opened the door to come out.
Monkey spoke a few words and transformed into a fly. He flew into the house before the man closed the door, admired his own statue on the display shelf in the vestibule, and crawled beneath the interior door into the house, itself.
Here was more proof of the cat’s mistreatment: ugly blankets covered the furniture, lest it be “polluted” by her touch. She had no cat-bed to sleep in. She was expected to eat hard, dry food from bowls on the floor, when such a magnificent and long-suffering animal should, surely, eat from the table.
When Monkey had made his survey, he returned to his true form.
Katya, herself, entered the room. Before she could react to the sight of him, Monkey seized her and tossed her onto his auspicious luminosity, where she could observe the lesson he was teaching on her behalf.
He spoke words of transformation and took on the form of a mouse. With a mouse in the house, they’d appreciate the cat.
He ran into the kitchen and scuttled all over the floor until the woman saw him.
Instead of screaming, she said, “Oh! Oh! Oh!” and dove into the pantry, coming out with a small box and a dustpan.
The man came back in and asked what she was doing.
“There’s a mouse,” said the woman.
“What’s the damn cat good for?”
“Where is she? She might hurt it!”
“I don’t see her. Where’s the mouse?”
Together, they cornered the Monkey-mouse, the woman put the box over it and the dustpan under it, and the man took it to the edge of the woods and released it.
Monkey thought to himself, “How odd that such evil people are cruel to their cat but kind to a wild mouse. I’ll have to try something else.”
He transformed himself into a gnat and crawled through a crack in the back screen door, then transformed into a big fat fly, such as cats love to chase and catch. He buzzed around, bumping into light fixtures and windows.
“Look at the size of that fly! Not even a horse fly, just a big’un.” said the man.
“Goofy thing!” said the woman. “Get over to the door, you goof-ball.”
She shooed Monkey back to the screen door, opened it, and brushed him out.
“What strange people!”
He crept back in, took some hairs from his tail, chewed them, spat them out, and commanded, “Change!” Each bit of hair transformed into an ant, which immediately went for the most available food: the cat’s dish on the floor.
“Oh, no,” the woman said. “The ants are back! They’re all in Katya’s food! Poor kitty!”
She took up the dish, threw the ant-infested food into the grass, washed the dish, dried it, and filled it again. The man took a container and sprinkled the place where the bowl sat with powder.
Monkey said to himself, “They’re putting poison where the cat eats? This must be reported to the Jade Emperor in heaven!”
But before he could leave, the scent of the powder entered his nose. Lavender-scented baby powder.
“Yeah,” said the woman with satisfaction in her voice. “They can’t find the food through the magic smell of not-food. Ha!”
Monkey scratched his head and did what he should have done in the first place. After retrieving his ants and returning them, as hairs, to his tail, he mounted his auspicious luminosity and talked to Katya.
She said, “They put the blankets on the furniture so I can lounge on it without shedding all over it and making them mad. I don’t have a cat bed because I sleep wherever I want to. I don’t eat at the table with them because they eat three times a day and I eat whenever I’m hungry. They don’t let me go out because the coyotes might eat me or a mosquito might give me heartworm. I squawk when the girl pets me because … because that’s what I do.”
“They don’t abuse you?”
Katya laughed a cat laugh. “As if!”
So Monkey returned her to the house.
After that, perhaps he paid more attention when he observed a perceived injustice, or asked the “victim” before exacting punishment. But, being something like human, it’s more probable that he did not.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR ANIMALS: What human would you like to see taught a lesson, and how would you like to see it taught?