The Worriers - Tails of Woe Chapter 1
Good run this morning – 16 miles @ 8:27 pace. Felt fatigued by the end which was the intent.
Each year my daughter goes to Camp Good News in
Since then she reminds me when she goes off to camp that she is looking forward to reading my letters. So I oblige with typical crazy stuff that I seem to have a reputation for. Now she’s 11 and I was wondering what to write this year as she left for camp. It dawned on me to write her a short story in 5 chapters (the 5 days she gets mail) in the vein of a book series that she likes very much – The Warriors. This series is about some housecats that choose to live in the forest in some sort of hierarchy (clans etc.) and catalogs their adventures. There are cat wars, jealously, ambition, but I’m not quite sure what else happens in the books - it sounded pretty crazy when she told me the plot. So I thought I write her a few letters using our own cats and the neighborhood cats as the cast.
Each short chapter was written in haste and on the day it was mailed (I generally had know I idea what I was going to write until I started typing). Tailored directly to Madeleine’s sense of humor, another reader might not understand some of it. But I had a good time writing it and she enjoyed it immensely (which makes next year’s letters all the harder) so I thought I’d share it. Read at your own risk.
The Worriers – Tails of Woe
The Worriers are a line of housecats descended from the ancient species Feline Saline (Salty Cat) that used to roam the rocky shores of
Why do these cats once feared for their ferocity and bad breath now submit to the confines of domestic bedding, dry food, and clean water?
Because they choose to.
The Grand Council of Worry has just convened. Queen Xanawoe presides with her princess daughters, Marthawoe and Woowoe, seated one step below. The flaking gray porch with its cracked cement runway serves as Xanawoe’s court. Present are the loyal members of the Cushion Clan.
Xanawoe, with a wide silent yawn signals the council to begin. Upon this cue, Smokeysad rises and addresses the Queen.
“Queen Xanawoe, may your rolypolyness forever repine upon bedding the most soft. May the fat of your belly drag upon lush carpets of ease. Yet, my Queen,” bowing his head to the ground, “We have CAUSE FOR WORRY!”
A collective cat gasp escaped from the entire assembly. Even though each day brings a new worry to the Cushion Clan, each new instance surprises and shocks them into dismay. With wide eyes and pointed ears, they swiveled their heads one to another in alarm.
“Calm!” yawned the fat Queen. A regal nod to Smokeysad. “Please continue.”
“If it please your rolypolyness, we have just learned that the human of kindness, our jewel of beauty, she that squeaks when she calls us, her that is called Madeleine… HAS GONE FOREVER!”
A howl of anguish rose from the field of fur. The Cushionettes were in disarray. Maxsosad started to head-butt the other cats, Herbertofear rolled over, and Marthawoe started to bang frantically on a window. Even Woowoe jumped onto a screen and hung there by her claws.
“Calm!” again from Xanawoe. “I have just returned from a long nap on
The cats were silenced as they turned their eyes with awe upon the revered mountain. The outline of its unique contours, crevices, and odd protrusions could be seen in the distance. The mysterious
“While it is true that she who squeaks to beckon is absent, I am assured she has only gone to a camp of which it is said the News is Good.”
The Cushion Clan started to feel better but Badapplesad, the brother of Maxsosad and a known troublemaker, started meowing doubt among the tails. “How do we know she is coming back?” he mewed as he weaved amongst the crowd. “What if she’s been kidnapped? Why would she go? She wouldn’t leave us on purpose. She’s been hurt! I know it! Something is wrong!”
A chill of frightened doubt started again to electrify the Cushionettes. All the cats began to mew in discontent and fear. But before Xanawoe could bring a sense of order to the meeting the lonesome howl of the evil Spikefoot was heard in the night air. The Cushion Clan scattered in terror and the council was broken up.
End of Chapter 1