In Loving Memory Of Seeet Pea, Little One, Sweetie, and All The Strays on the Rainbow Bridge
Written by Consta Jenkins
Reprinted by permission of the author
The cool morning breeze washed gently over Eatbugs whiskers as he lay stretched out in the tall grass. He twitched his nose and stretched out a paw, gracefully splaying his toes in contentment and put his chin on his paw with a sigh. About him kiddens were beginning to stir from their slumber and their voices drifted softly in the breeze. "'Morning, Putt Putt, care to join me?". "Merry meet, sister" "Cans we goes plays now, cans we, huhs?". Eatbugs chuckled.
The soft sound of paws padding across the grass caused Eatbugs to raise his head. "Merry meet, Virginia", he said as she approached. Eatbugs was always somewhat awed by her beauty. Her fur glistened in the dawn's light and her eyes held such depth that Eatbugs could not look into them for long. Virginia returned his greeting and settled in the grass beside him. She turned her face towards the Rainbow and Eatbugs felt something stirring deep with in her. He no longer questioned Virginia's wisdom, no more than he questioned the twitching in his whiskers, but accepted that she saw things that he could not, understood what he could not comprehend.
He hung his head and whispered, "Another comes?". "If it were only so" she said in a husky voice. Eatbugs looked up at her with a questioning look, but her face was still turned towards the sky. He could not read her expression. Sorrow, yes, but more. There was something in her eyes so profound that Eatbugs heart ached to see it. He was about to ask when the sound of paws on grass approached.
Virginia turned her gaze on Isolde as she and the other Elders approached. "It is time?", she said. "Yes" said Isolde, her face the same unreadable mask that Virginia wore. "Well then. Come Little One we must go".
"But I haven't felt the tingling...."
"Nor will you, for the ones that come are not like us. They had no human to love them. They knew kindness in passing, but life taught them a different lesson, Little One. It taught them to fear and it taught them to shun the hand of humans...." her voice caught and her eyes held such sadness that Eatbugs looked awkwardly at the ground before giving her a bashful headbutt. She smiled down at him. "Come now".
As they made their way to the Gate, Eatbugs saw the Company of Kiddens gathering. Their faces were perplexed as they were called to the Gate by an instinct they did not understand. Rocky sat with Beethoven. Miss Priss and Miss Kitty sat surrounded by solemn faced peepers. G'Max twined his tail around Katie, his face turned towards the sky. Eatbugs looked over his shoulder and gasped. The Company was gathered...and more. There were kiddens as far as the eye could see, of every shape and color. Thousands of kiddens, on every hill, on every rock, all sitting and all waiting.
Eatbugs turned to Isolde to ask what was happening when he felt the wind shifting. He looked up and in the center of the Circle the air shimmered and music, like the ringing of tiny bells, filled the air. Then, as if from the Rainbow itself, a kidden appeared in the light. Her fur looked white at first but as Eatbugs gazed at her he saw that it shimmered with every color and her blue eyes held such kindness that Eatbugs felt a warmth creeping over him. She was the most beautiful kidden he had ever seen.
"Who is she?", he whispered to Isolde.
"Do you not know?", she said in a voice hushed in reverence, "She is the Great One."
Eatbugs stared in disbelief, "but....".
"She comes to call her children home, Little One. Those that come do not understand the Great Promise...to them it means nothing. Of what use is the Place of Waiting to a kidden that has not known the bond of human love?"
"Did no one love them at all?", he asked.
Isolde smiled, "Oh, they were loved, Little One. But they did not understand the gift that was offered. The world can be a hard place, and not every human has the special love. These kiddens knew the hardest lessons and somewhere they lost sight of the Promise...and of the Bridge. The Great One comes to help them find their way home."
Eatbugs was about to ask another question when Isolde silenced him with a look. He turned his eyes back to the Great One as she stepped forward. She moved like no kidden he had ever seen, her paws seemed barely to brush the grass. She sat gracefully in the at the opening of the Gate and raised her voice in song. The sound that drifted back to him was so beautiful that Eatbugs felt something welling up in his soul. He raised his head and joined the song, only vaguely aware that every kidden had done the same. Thousands of voices, like a tapestry woven around one perfect golden thread, joined the Great One in her song.
At last Eatbugs felt the tingling in his whiskers and his heart leapt with joy. They had heard, and they understood.
The blue flash danced across the Gate and in it's wake sat three kiddens. The fear they felt painted on their faces, they backed away from the Company. Wordlessly the Great One stepped up to them and touched each gently on the forehead. Eatbugs felt their fear and mistrust melt away from them, as the Great One made to them, again, the Great Promise. And when she knew that they understood, she turned, looked lovingly at her children and shimmered away in the beat of an eye.
The three kiddens looked at their new friends. And as they came forward to offer greeting and the promise of games to be played and sunny spots to be explored, Sweet pea walked silently to the edge of the Bridge and looked down on the Earth. She smiled to herself and danced her tail in the sheer joy of knowing that she had someone to wait for. She trilled her joy down towards the Earth and then padded off to find her new home.
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