Submitted into Contest #143 in response to: Write a story involving a friendship between two different species. ... view prompt


Friendship Teens & Young Adult Bedtime

            MOUSE and THE LAME  PIGEON

 “ Of course , from a cat called Mouse you can expect at least something unusual, extravagant…But this then I would never have expected !“ Anita said, as soon as she came back home.                                          “ “What has Sofia’s cat been up to?” Her mother asked, while she was checking the cooking of the chicken in the casserole.  “ Ah, remember” her mother added, holding up the fork with which she had pricked the meat of the chicken  “ you must remember that it was  Sofia who called that poor cat Mouse. The cat Mouse has nothing to do with the name it bears. If anything, we should ( have to)  wonder what  to expect from someone who calls her cat MOUSE”   “ Yes, I agree, that one, Sofia is a bit deranged. Oh, but in my opinion, if she is so crazy, it is because of that guy with whom she lives “ Anita said                   “ But listen! Would it be because of her co-living if Sofia is touched? I wouldn’t say it’s right.  Hee, rather it is she, Sofia , who is beaten up on her own. He, instead, her partner is even a good painter” Anita’s mother said.   “ But yes, a very good painter! In fact he calls himself Botticelli….What a presumption! “ Anita snapped .  “But, let’s forget Botticelli and Sofia too. Don’t you want to know what Mouse did?” she asked.

“ Of course I want to know. On, tell me “  “ Then, listen. When, a little ago, coming back home, I passed in front of Marianna ‘s house, in the courtyard in front of her house, there was a pigeon standing on the sidelines, which moved with hesitant, little steps and was limping. ( which limped too).. It didn’t really looked healthy, that pigeon. Its feathers were ruffled and almost dirty. It looked old and battered. This pigeon not only kept away from the chickens, the ducks, and other animals , there in the courtyard, but it seemed to be afraid of them.” Anita started telling, as she jumped sitting on the table, getting a stern look from her mother. “ I’m listening, but I expected you would tell me about Mouse, not about a pigeon” Sara, Anita’s mother , said, almost impatient.  “ Wait, it is just about Mouse that I’m going to tell you “ Anita said, jumping off the table. “ Then, I stopped there, in front of the courtyard just because I was intrigued by this pigeon which,in my opinion, was even not able to fly, when I saw Mouse arrive. The cat, moving in thick and fast steps, went very close to the pigeon. Now I expected that, for a young cat like Mouse, a pigeon so shabby, even lame, even not able to fly, it would be an easy prey. So that, as I saw  Mouse approaching the pigeon, I expected to see the poor pigeon in the cat’s clutches. But instead….oh, my God , you knew what happened…” Anita stopped suddenly speaking, as if she was breathless. She seemed too agitated to be able to continue her story ( to tell). “ Look, if Sofia’s cat didn’t attack ( catch) that pigeon, it was probably because, as you said, it was old and run down  so that the cat was not interested in hunting it. The cat knew, or rather felt the old pigeon wouldn’t be good to eat” Sara said, with nonchalance. “ Oh, but Mouse didn’t just not  grab ( catch) the pigeon, the cat even started licking the pigeon! Mouse licked its head and its body, oh, you saw! And the pigeon, as the cat was licking it, gave it  very light pecks, right with the tip of the beak, as of to return the favor…Oh, what a sight….I stayed there completely stunned …” Anita was talking  going up and down the room , with an enchanted look, as if she still had  the cat and the pigeon under her eyes,  while they were cuddled each other. “  Come on, I really don’t find ( see) anything so extraordinary in it” Sara commented. “ It maybe the cat licked the pigeon to know   if it was edible. And the pigeon, on its part, pecked the cat to make it understand that it   had still the beak to defend itself if the cat intended to eat it.”  “ Ah, I see you don’t understand…but you should have been there, seeing them with your own eyes. They would have moved you too” Anita sighed, sorry for the skepticism with which her mother commented on the story  of that for her  was something absolutely extraordinary , incredible for herself, if she hadn’t seen it with her own eyes.  “ But I didn’t tell you everything, there is still more “  Anita said, and kept on telling, undaunted. “ After having been an almost long time the cat to lick the pigeon and the pigeon to reciprocate with very light pecks, the two animals started walking, side by side , on the edge of the courtyard. They  were quite distant from the other animals present there in the courtyard, at which they ( the cat and the pigeon)  now and then, cast a glance, as if to make sure that no one of those others were approaching them. Oh, it was really a wonder, truly enchanting to see Mouse and the pigeon , as they walked, turn they heads, point their muzzle or beak at those over there, to make sure those there stayed at a safe distance, that those there weren’t going to bother them.” Anita fell silent suddenly, as if she was out of breath. She kept looking insistently at her mother, who continued to stand bent over the stove, without saying a word, without looking at her. “ Ah, you had seen them “ Anita came back telling “ They walked side by side and, now and then, they stopped  and stood facing each other…and they started talking, maybe even arguing…Oh, I swear  that really it seemed they were talking “ Anita kept telling more and more enthusiast.

“ Ah, then the cat and the pigeon were talking ( Or: but well, you saw the cat and the pigeon that were talking)….and, let’s hear, what language were they speaking?” Sara snorted, who seemed not to want to give much weight ( importance) to what Anita was telling. “ Oh, Mom, but what  a question!  When I say that Mouse and the pigeon were talking, I don’t mean they really spoke…. Of course , at least they didn’t speak a language made up with words, and, in any case, not even ( made) of gestures and sounds that I could understand. Yet I bet they were talking, like two friends can do during a walk”

Sara was not at all impressed by what Anita told her about Mouse and that ( the) pigeon, as she thought that her daughter was exaggerating the extent of what she had seen, that she had become too enthusiastic. Yet something really unusual ( rare), even if not  entirely extraordinary, had truly happened between that great curious playful which was  Mouse ,the cat of the extravagant Sofia , and that lame and battered   pigeon to which no one had thought to give a name. No one, but perhaps except Mouse. Who knows how the cat Mouse called that pigeon. Since Mouse and the lame pigeon had become friends.

It had happened that that old pigeon, when he was already lame, but was still able to fly, in one of its last flights, had landed right in the courtyard in front of Marianne’s house. For the old pigeon, lame and run down ,it had been a real fortune. In the courtyard  there were hens, chickens , ducks, all animals which were regularly given to eat, that is to peck, so that the old and battered pigeon could it too find something to peck. In that courtyard.

Mouse ( the cat Mouse) which was everyday roaming around in the countryside, was an habitué of the courtyard in front of Marianna’s house, where, you could say, he knew one by one the hens, the chickens the ducks, the turkeys. Ah, how much he ( the cat) liked to run after the hens, to make them run away, as if he was giving them the hunt.  And it happened that sometimes the cat received also some  pecks, not at all light, from the hens. But when they, the hens, stretched out their beaks, he pulled out his claws. It was he, Mouse, which ran away scared ( frightened) when the geese, arranged in a team, stretching their long necks, started to chase him, cackling at full beak.

Here, it was ( had been) in this courtyard that, one day, Mouse had seen the lame pigeon. He had seen thepigeon while it ( the pigeon) was standing aloof from the other animals, , moving only a little  its head, which seemed fearful. Mouse was a great hunter, even of pigeons, of course, which he found very tasty to eat. Ah, their meat was delicious, both raw and cooked. Yes, since Mouse had also eaten ( tasted) the pigeon cooked.  She, his great friend Sofia, oh, she could cook the pigeon in different very tasty ways. He , MOUSE could not but help be sorry that Sofia cooked only pigeons she went to take from that there, that horrible guy wearing a bloody apron, ah…she came home with pigeons already dead and plucked ….Ah, if she had cooked the pigeons he hunted, instead! Mouse had also brought ( taken) the pigeons he had caught into house, but Sofia oh, had looked at him angry, she had sent him, with the pigeon out of house….

So, as soon as Mouse saw that pigeon  there, almost at the end of the courtyard , he , since he was a ca( as a cat he was) widened his eyes , rolled ( rubbed) his claws on the ground, ready , indeed impatient to launch into the attack. And he left as fast as a lightening : he knew he had to grab the beast ( pigeon) before it could take off. And yet that pigeon hadn’t taken off at all. It  hadn’t even tried to escape, it had moved only a bit, but Mouse  could then notice that the pigeon was lame.   The cat had swooped down on the pigeon , ready to grab  it  with his claws, ready to pierce  it  with his teeth, oh, but that smell….that smell which took your breath away….A musty, stinking sewage smell, emanated  from the pigeon, had made him ( Mouse) soon give up his prey.  Mouse was trembling  with fear, as he left the pigeon slip out of his claws . Since that lame, balding pigeon , with even a not bright eye, not only would it  not have been good to eat, but it  was a danger too. That smell of  acidic slime , but, at the same time of mold, which emanated from the pigeon for him ( Mouse) meant DANGER! Warning DANGER! The lame pigeon was plagued and it  would have plagued him too! Mouse had not only given up on hunting it  , he had escaped from that plagued animal, since he did not want to be plagued ( he) too. Sofia’s cat had escaped away, even if he hadn’t     started running. Mouse had gone away, taking  that long step, stretching his front legs out before him, that same step he took when he was pursued by the cackling geese. So the cat had crossed the courtyard, his front legs stretched forward, in a very short time. When he was going to leave the courtyard, Mouse could not help but glance behind him. Oh, he saw that the lame and stinking pigeon with its uncertain, hesitant steps, and limping, was moving ( walking) towards him! Yes, the lame, stinking pigeon was following him! Sure, it ( the pigeon) was still at a considerable distance from him, but if it  had started flying, he could reach him in an instant ( immediately) Yeah, if the pigeon would take flight…But why it didn’t fly? That pigeon hadn’t even taken flight  when he was about to catch it .Then the lame pigeon couldn’t even fly, Mouse realized.

If Anita had been remained very amazed and even very much moved by the meeting of Mouse with the lame pigeon, which she had happened to witness, who knows how she would have remained if she could have seen what happened that day, when Mouse and the lame pigeon, they had seen each other ( they had met) for the first time. Ah, what happened then, in that courtyard crowded with animals, only they, the animals which were in the courtyard, could  know ( witness). Not a dog passed which could see ( what was happening).

Mouse had just realized that the foul-smelling pigeon could not fly, and, forgetting that he had to get away from it, in order not to be plagued, he stood looking  at the pigeon as  it trudged, laboriously, limping, towards him. The pigeon was stretching its neck, was stretching its beak towards him. Here, it seemed that the pigeon was saying something to him, Mouse, yes, just with its beak, that was pointed at him. With its beak, not with its eyes, the lame , stinking pigeon was saying something to him. Mouse couldn’t understand  what the pigeon was saying to him, but he was sure that the damned beast was saying something just to him.  Meanwhile the cackling geese attacked the lame pigeon with their strong beaks. The geese, cackling louder than ever, were tearing off its feathers, giving it ( the poor beast) big pecks. Then  Mouse, it could be said that he was the one which took off. In a flash he  was next to the lame pigeon , and he lashed out furiously, on the geese, clawing and biting them. The cat’s intervention had to surprise a lot the geese, which closed their beaks , gave up the poor pigeon and, muted, moved away, with their tails between their legs.

The lame pigeon, battered more than ever, quite plucked, and Mouse stood facing each other for an almost long time, and perhaps they said something each other , with their eyes, with minimal gestures. The pigeon craned its neck up and, with its beak in the air, made a sound which was not the usual cooing of pigeons, but rather a kind of cry. Mouse raised a paw, as if to place it on the pigeon, but then soon withdrew it and held ( placed) it on his chest. It seemed that the two animals  were making a pact, an agreement between them. And this was happening while all the other animals in the yard ( crowding the yard) moved away from them.

April 30, 2022 02:30

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