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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Green Pastures

I googled my full name, and to my surprise found a story I had written, "Green Pastures" posted on a Vietnamese website! If anyone reading this knows the language, I would love to hear what was said about my story... it's about halfway down the page: http://www.ttvnol.com/english/153373/trang-26.ttvn

It apparently was awarded 3.73 stars out of a possible 5!
: )

1 comment:

Sister Sunshine said...

Well, that link is no longer good, but here's the story:

GREEN PASTURES
by Lydia Glider-Shelley

My friend Billy lives alone, except for a cat.
But the cat that he has now is not the one I'd like to tell you about.
The cat in this story was his companion until just recently, when he
crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
Bill lives in South Florida, on Dania Beach. People often dump their
unwanted cats there. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it's because they think
the beach is a giant litterbox, or maybe they think there will be food for
these poor creatures to scavenge for. Unfortunately, these animals have no
hunting instincts whatsoever, so they turn up on the doorsteps of beach
residents hoping someone will take pity upon them.
Billy was never quite sure where "Wingnut" came from, but he took care
of him (and vice-versa) for many years. In fact, not long after he moved
to Dania Beach in 1996, they found each other.
A regal feline, Wingnut did not seek the attention of many. He was
very choosy about whom he'd approach. He was also very clever and could
escape from his locked up home through the attic somehow. I don't think
Billy ever did quite figure it out.
Since he has diabetes, Billy has to be very careful about his health.
Sometimes it has been very shaky. In the late summer and fall of 2002 he
was hospitalized for several months, and I went to clean his apartment and
do his laundry, so that his home would be welcoming upon his arrival. I
also went to visit Wingnut and made sure he was okay.
Wingnut never seemed too pleased about me being there, and if I
brought something home that belonged to Billy, the next time I arrived to
visit he'd be right near that object.
Wingnut was so happy when Billy was released from the hospital. He
was next to Billy every moment and he grew to be very protective as well.
It was this quality that most likely led to his regrettable demise.
In addition to the diabetes, Billy also suffers from impaired vision
due to cataracts. Therefore, he can't drive a car, so he must walk or ride
buses to get to where he needed to go. Wingnut began to anticipate these
excursions and would hurry to precede his friend's departure, because he
wanted to walk a few steps ahead and watch out for hazards. This behavior
was very persistent, so when Billy had to take a bus, he would gently pick
him up and place him back inside, before locking up and leaving. However,
as I've said before, this cat was a master escape artist.
The night Wingnut departed from this world, Billy had gone across the
street to wait for a bus. Suddenly, out of the corner of his eye, he saw a
dim shape rapidly approaching from the direction of his house. Almost at
the same moment that he realized it was his beloved pal, Wingnut was hit by
a passing car.
Grief-stricken, Billy gathered Wingnut's limp body into his arms, and
took him home, where he sat cradling him for hours. Eventually, however,
he knew it was time to lay him to rest. With a heavy heart, he chose a
lovely well-landscaped spot, and bade him farewell.
But this is not the end of the story.
A few months after this tragedy, Billy had a dream. In his dream
there were verdant green pastures, leading to a lovely wooded area. It was
sunny and cheerful and Wingnut greeted him, playful and kittenish
frolicking back and forth as if beckoning his buddy to join him. It was as
if he were, once again, scouting the territory to prove it was safe to
venture forth.
An overwhelming longing arose in Billy. He wanted to go then. He
wanted so badly to follow Wingnut and never turn back. But he chose not
to.
I am writing this in March of 2004.
Just recently, Billy had the dream again. He said it was very intense
and he awoke drenched in sweat. I asked him how he felt and he told me
that he almost went this time. And he told me that if he had the dream one
more time, it would be his last.
Because next time he plans to go.