The Catt Box
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Silence Of The Lamps!
It was night-time. A tall light was shining down like a large yellow funnel on a selected section of the barnyard.
There was a time when a few animals would be milling around, even at this hour.
But not tonight.
It was known that 'one of their own' was murdering chickens. It was said to be cat......a cat who wanted desperately to be a chicken.
There were pieces of chicken lying in the barnyard.......and other pieces that were not accounted for.
The story broke last November when Sabrina was caught in the act.
Everyone knew she had always wanted to be a chicken.
She began to feel bad and develop a low self-esteem over being a kitty instead of a chicken.
Oh, sure, the hens tried to convince Sabrina that she was beautiful in her own way ....but she wouldn't listen. You know how kitties are.
Pretty soon, Sabrina began to feel envious of the chickens. She envied what she saw every day. She felt that they were somehow 'cleaner' than kitties were.........think about it, she never saw THEM having to lick themselves to death all the time, just to be clean. They were all puffy and downy looking......and they only had two legs to contend with......and certainly, THEY never had hair-balls.
What a life!
During the natural course of how these things go, Sabrina began to feel dangerously jealous. And then it happened.......her jealousy had festered so much that one day in a moment of high emotion, she ripped the beak off of a chicken ......then she took some chicken goo and held the beak onto her own mouth.
How sick is that?
She had now done it.
She had committed murder.
She had committed chick-acide!
Her desire to be a chicken finally drove her to commit murder upon one of her friends. But she didn't repent. She didn't stop there.
Sabrina then ripped the comb from the chicken's head and attempted to attach it to her own head. It was sparse and looked poorly.
Chicken combs can be compared to fooling with pastry dough in that you just can't 'handle' them a lot....they'll lose their shape.
Then, Sabrina glued corn kernels onto her big puffy muzzle so that the pecking chickens would peck her whiskers off from her face.
This was clearly a very disturbed kitty. She thought of her self as a 'trans-species'......she would refer to herself as a Kit-Ken....half kitty, half chicken! It was pure abomination!!
Within a very short time, chickens turned up missing. Chicken parts were found here and there.
Then, the horrors of all horrors.......one day Glenna the chicken went into an abandoned chicken coop.......and...
OH, MY GOD!
..........there stood the most grotesque thing she had ever seen........a discarded mannequin was standing in the corner of the coop....and it was wearing A CHICKEN SUIT!!!
For the love of GOD!
Sabrina had been murdering the chickens and making a big chicken suit from different parts of the chickens.
The scariest thing was, Sabrina was never caught.
It was like a bizarre moment out of Silence Of The Chickens!
The only things that were missing were the chicken livers, Fava beans, and Chianti. (sucking lips in like Hannibal Peckter)
And this brings us to Bernice. She was the sweetest lamb on the farm. She had taken a great interest in this case, and wanted to learn more. She was going to school so that she could be a detective.
This was her very reason for living here at the farm......the Farm Bureau of Investigation.
Bernice had a job to do on this dark, fearful night. She checked her reflection in a puddle of water under the large light. She was a short girl, and at 20 inches tall, she could see a good bit of herself.
She smoothed back the black sheep skin that covered her body and head. She also straightened and smoothed her ears that had been painted black and aged. Her face was the same way, as was her arms and legs.
Bernice gave a quick wink at herself with her vintage white button eyes.
She wore red tonight......a beige and red checked cotton dress.
Red, as we all know, is a 'power' color. And Bernice would need plenty of power as she set out to do her task.
She adjusted her raffia bow and arranged her rusty jingle bells so that they'd jingle as she walked. She wore her favorite rusty star, tied with a small piece of leather.
She also wore a small metal rimmed tag with an image of a tiny Crow.
Then she topped herself off with a sprig of red berries, securing them onto her raffia bow.
Though she wanted to dress nice and attractive, she also didn't want to look like she could be sat on a plate and dished up to anyone.
There's a fine line between dressing up to be good enough to greet, and dressing up good enough to eat.
Bernice then went behind the Corn Crib and pulled out an old discarded Primitive twig rocking chair. It had been thrown away ages ago.....it had a missing arm and one of the old 'rockers' was missing a part in the back. But it was still a good and useable chair.
Besides, the person she'd be visiting tonight wouldn't care what she sat in. He'd be envisioning her in a big roasting pan, surrounded by potatoes and carrots and a sprig of Parsley anyway.
She dragged her aged chair to her destination........to the pen of Cannible Hector. He was the most notorious killer on the farm. He was also on Slaughter Row.
Bernice found herself under the bright light, and right in front Cannible Hector. He had been expecting her.
She sat down nervously, wondering if she should speak first. She looked him over. He was a big pale pig and his eyes penetrated Bernice, right down to her rack.
He seemed courteous and spoke directly to her.
"Well, hello, Bernice."
Bernice attempted to ask Cannible Hector for some information about how to catch the chicken killer. Cannible said,
"If I help you, Bernice, it will be turns for us too. I tell you things, you tell me things. Not about this case, though. About yourself.
Quid pro quo. Yes or no?"
After a short pause Cannible continued....
"Yes or no, Bernice? Poor little chickens are waiting."
Bernice responded, "Go, Cannible."
Cannible Hector asked, "What's your worst memory of childhood?"
Bernice swallowed hard. She explained how her father had been killed.....used for food.........slaughtered. She had been orphaned and ended up living on a farm with her uncle.
Her uncle had gone to Little Bo Peep's farm and there was always room for another lamb to live there.
Cannible Hector asked a round of questions about her stay on Little Bo Peep's farm with her uncle....and about Little Bo Peep's father's business.......which was a lamp factory.
Cannible: "How long did you live there?"
Bernice: "Two months."
Cannible: "Why so briefly?"
Bernice: "I - ran away... "
Cannible: "Why?.... "
Bernice: "One morning I just ran away... "
Cannible: "Not "just," Bernice. What set you off? You started at what time?"
Bernice: "Early. Still dark."
Cannible: "Then something woke you. Was it a dream...? What was it?"
Bernice: "I heard a strange sound... it had been storming...lightening, thunder..."
Cannible: "What was it?"
Bernice: "Blinking! Some kind of .... blinking and flickering....like a light-bulb just before it burns out... "
Cannible: "What did you do?"
Bernice: "I went downstairs... outside... I crept up to the factory... I was so scared to look inside - but I had to... "
Cannible: "And what did you see, Bernice? What did you see?"
Bernice: "Lamps. The lamps were blinking and flickering... they were being tested and the storm was causing the power to flicker."
Cannible: "They were testing the new lamps?
Bernice: "Yes......and they were blinking and flickering. I knew that if the bulbs blew, the lamps would have been destroyed and deemed defective."
Cannible: "And you ran away..."
Bernice: "No. First I tried to unplug them... I tugged at their cords - but they wouldn't unplug. They just sat there, blinking and flickering. They wouldn't turn off... "
Cannible: "But you could run away, and you did, didn't you?" The lamps couldn't go anywhere, but you could, couldn't you, Bernice?"
Bernice: "Yes. I took one lamp....I ripped the cord from the base.... and I ran away, as fast as I could... "
Cannible: "Where were you going?"
Bernice: "I don't know. I didn't have any food or any water.....I didn't have any electricity or cords, either. And it was very cold and dark. I thought - if I can even save just one lamp... but it got so heavy. So heavy... I didn't get more than a few miles before the factory owner's car picked me up. The factory owner was so angry he sent me to live at Old MacDonald's Farm. I never saw the factory or the lamps again... "
Cannible: "What became of your lamp, Bernice?"
Bernice: "The factory owner destroyed it."
Cannible: "You still wake up sometimes, don't you? Wake up in the dark, and see and hear the lamps blinking and flickering?"
Bernice: "Yes... "
Cannible: "Do you think if you saved the poor chickens, you could make them stop...? Don't you.. you think, if even one chicken lives, you won't wake up in the dark, ever again, to that awful blinking and flickering of the lamps?
Bernice: "I don't know...! I don't know."
Cannible: "Thank you, Bernice........thank you. "
Bernice had to leave the pig sty. She bid her goodbyes to Cannible Hector.
Cannible: "Brave Bernice. Will you let me know if those lamps stop blinking and flickering?"
Bernice: "Yes. I'll tell you."
Cannible: "Bernice! Your old chair?"
(She runs to his pig pen and holds onto the bars with one arm to balance herself as she lifts her chair. He reaches up with his front hoof. For a moment, they touch)
Cannible: "Goodbye, Bernice."
I would love to tell you that Bernice solved the case of the chicken killing cat, but she didn't. She was so tore up with all her memories of the lamps that she's been despondent ever since. She just sits in her twig chair and says nothing.
Perhaps if Bernice lived somewhere else........maybe then the lamps would stop flickering and blinking.
Remember, this is just a story, the characters are probably fictitious.
Copyright © September 17, 2003 Cathy Palmer-Scruggs / Catt Alexander
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In spite of the dolls I create and the stories I write, I do not use recreational drugs, I don't smoke cigarettes, and I don't even drink alcoholic beverages.. I out-grew a lot of things a long time ago.