In Loving Memory Of Sally Nash
Written by Consta Jenkins
Reprinted by permission of the author
Eatbugs was lying in the tall grass, the sun warming his back, and listening to the sounds of the Rainbow Fields. He closed his eyes and smiled as the wind sang its gentle song as it lifted the leaves. He heard the peepers squealing in delight and the rustling of the grass as Little went chasing after a flutterby. Eatbugs stretched out a paw, put his chin on it and sighed with contentment. He lifted his head as he heard a kidden approach. Eatbugs smiled and shifted to let Rocky share his patch of sun. "Good day", he said. "Hmm? Oh Good Day Eatbugs", said Rocky, settling down and setting his gaze on the far horizon. His face looked distracted and Eatbugs felt a tinge of sadness coming from his furriend. "Rocky, what's wrong? Can I help?", said Eatbugs.
Rocky blinked for a minute and then answered, "I don't know. I just keep thinking of my humans today for some reason. I miss them and I'm worried about them."
Eatbugs gave his friend an earlick, "Do you want to go and see them? I'll go with you".
Rocky smiled at his young furriend, "Later. There's something else. I don't know exactly, but there is something I must do here."
"Now Cosmic Bob you come down this minute! You are MUCH to high up there", Sweetie Greymother's voice called out. Eatbugs and Rocky padded over to her. She stood at the base of a tree filled with peepers.
"Morning Ms. Greymother, need a hand?", smiled Rocky.
"Oh thank you! I'm supervising the tree climbing this morning and seem to have an overly adventurous peeper.".
"Don't worry. He can't hurt himself", said Eatbugs.
Sweetie Greymother laughed, "Well, I know that. But he CAN get himself so high he can't get down! Cosmic Bob, did you hear me????".
"Aws shucks! Cans't I have no fun?"
Eatbugs and Rocky laughed and warranted as how the peepers seemed to be having quite enough fun.
"Oh okays." said Cosmic Bob turning to discover with some consternation that he had no idea of how to get down.
"There," snorted Sweetie Greymother, "I told you!".
"Hang on Bob", said Eatbugs. Turning to Rocky he said, "You take the left and I'll take the right". With that the two toms started up the tree, carefully selecting limbs and gingerly stepping over peepers, now watching the "rescue" and cheering. When they'd made it up the branches beside Bob they considered their options. Eatbugs reached out and grabbed Bob's tail. "I have his tail, Rocky. Think we should just swing him down?" he said with a wink.
Bob's eyes grew enormously round. "Hmmmm, that might just work" said Rocky, winking back.
"OHS NO!" said Cosmic Bob.
Rocky laughed and stuck out his strong arm. "Now you climb right on young man, and kindly watch the claws!" Bob scrambled up Rocky's arm and settled on his shoulders. He threw his paws around Rocky's neck and held on tight. The two toms made their way down the tree with the errant peeper in tow.
The other peepers let up a mighty cheer and as Rocky passed he heard Rainbow whisper to Tiny Bubbles "He's soooooooo brave!". Rocky's smile got wider. Safely on the ground they deposited the mighty climber at Sweetie Greymother's feet. She stood with her paws on her hips and her toe tapping. Rocky and Eatbugs made tracks as they heard "Now, YOUNG MAN...."
"Remind me never to get her mad at ME", chuckled Eatbugs. Rocky laughed and nodded.
They'd passed the catnip patch and waved at Beethoven and Jasmine who were daintly munching leaves when Rocky stopped in his tracks and brought his ears to attention. "What is it?" said Eatbugs, turning his whiskers into the wind and listening hard. "I don't know" said Rocky, "I think another comes". Eatbugs listened hard to the music in the wind and just as he was about to reassure his furriend that all was quiet he felt it. The familiar tingling in his whiskers and the faint change in the wind. He looked sadly at Rocky and nodded. Slowly the two furriends walked in silence towards the gate. As the music built on the wind and the sky began it's dancing colors, the others began to join them. Sweetie Greymother, Sweetie Yellowmother Miss Kitty and R2, all walked with tails entwined. Isolde and Pris walked with Puppie and Beethoven. Peanut held Tiny Bubbles and Cosmic Bob's paws and G'Max and Katie helped the peepers along. Together they came, furriends old and new found walking side by side. Charlie walked with Little and Uncle Butterscotch. Beethoven talked in somber tones as she walked with Putt Putt and Creamsickle. At the Gate the Company of Kiddens formed their circle and waited. The Welcoming Song swirled around them, in its bittersweet refrain, as it winded it's way to Earth. The sky shimmered in brilliant colors as the Rainbow seemed to come to life, waiting to welcome a new furriend. The kiddens bowed their heads and began to purr.
When the bright blue flash appeared before them them lifted their heads to see a lovely girl kidden before them. She blinked and started to take a step back and stopped. She knew from her days at the dumpster that she should be afraid of so many kiddens, but found that she could not fear them. She felt a wave of warmth and acceptance wash over her.
Four kiddens from the group slowly approached her. A beautiful and graceful kidden offered her nose in greeting, "Welcome to the Rainbow Bridge, Sally. I am Miss Kitty". Sweetie Greymother and Sweetie Yellowmother both nuzzled their furriend, "It will be all right, Sally. This is a safe place. There are no dumpsters here" said R2. "And no mean dogs or unkind humans" said SYM. "And we will see our humans again!" said SGM. Sally blinked in disbelief. "It is true!" chorused the others. One by one all the kiddens of the Company came forward and offered their noses in greeting, eaching promising to show Sally around her new home, the best sleepy spots and the finest catnip. She found her self laughing and touching noses gaily.
As the kiddens turned to lead her to her new home, Eatbugs felt a paw on his shoulder. He turned to see Rocky looking solemnly at him. " This is what I had to wait for. Now there is something else I must do." Eatbugs nodded and watched as his friend leapt into the stars on his way to find his humans.
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