By Sandra Muncaster
Jolted from my lazy slumber, I hear it. The roar of the great beast awakening, coming to life once again. I run, frantically searching for a place to hide. But where? Doors are closed to me. I dodge this way and that way. The terrible noise grows louder. The angry beast bites along, relentlessly pursuing me. It's hungry and wants to feed.
I know of a way, through,a secret place to escape where it can't get me. I run towards it, time slowing down. My legs are thick with fear. The growling pierces my ears as I finally lunge to safety behind the cold porcelain. I sit low, concealed, shaking from the ordeal.
I can hear the steady drip, drip of a water spout. But no growling. The beast has become quiet. Perhaps this is a trick. Is it lying in wait? Hoping for me to make a mistake?
Time passes, and the beast remains silent. I feel my legs cramping from crouching and I'm terribly thirsty. I must move on.
I peek out, looking and listening for any sign of it. Everything is calm. Slowly, surely, ears pricked, I leave my safe place. With padded feet I make my way towards the watering hole. I turn a corner, and what I see stops me in a dead halt.
The beast is there.
But wait. It's not moving. Is this a trick? Some sort of ploy to make me believe it's dead? I look for its life lines. Sure enough the mighty tail of power and "the keeper of the food" are both there supplying what it needs.
Suddenly, the beast springs back to life, emitting a terrible roar. I'm paralyzed with fear. The keeper of the food sees me frozen in place. She knows its intentions and tightly clutches its long neck, holding it back. The beast fights and claws its way towards me. It's determined to win its prey, sucking up everything in its path, feeding the belly that is always wanting more, never satisfied.
The glow of its menacing eyes awakens my senses and I run. A roar erupts in my ears, exploding through my head as I dodge past it. The keeper of the food is having trouble controlling this terrible monster. I can feel its hot breath on my back. Every nerve in my body is on edge. I take the corner on all fours, barely skidding around it. My destination is near, I can see the brilliant, white shine.
Once again I find myself crouched behind this tall, cold object they call a toilet. Only this time, the beast has followed. Its rumbling snarl drowning out the sound of the dripping water. Powerful claws snatching at the floor. Closer, closer it makes its way. I have no where else to go. I sit, my eyes closed tight, waiting for the end to come.
Suddenly, the beast makes a shrill, whining sound and stops abruptly. Strange, I have never heard this from it before. I open my eyes and look on in wonder. The keeper of the food is saying angry words I cannot understand. I try to figure out what has happened. I watch as the keeper bends down and pulls something long and blue from its ugly mouth. There's a faint burning aroma coming from there too. More angry words are spoken. She then picks up the beast and turns it over, examining its underside, pulling more of the long string from its grip. I then realize what has happened.
The mighty monster they call vacuum, is dead.
Relieved, I slip out from behind my porcelain haven. I bravely walk over to my fallen foe and smugly sniff its dusty body. The keeper of the food rubs her hand down my back and gently tugs on my tail. Soothing words are said, I know she is proud of me despite it all. I begin to purr, feeling content once again.
Slowly, I stretch out each hind leg and take one final look at vacuum. It's been quite the day, but now I think it's time for a well deserved bathing and a long, lazy sleep in the sun patch.
This story was chosen as the first place winner of the Cat
Story Contest held in the summer of 2004. The prize was a storybook kit
from Heritage Makers
(formerly My Family Tales).