This week's post is my entry for Absolutewrite.com's July 2012 Blog Chain. Beneath the story is a list of other bloggers participating in the fun! Please take a moment to check out their entries, they're all very good in their own way!
Independence and Slavery
I do what I want. It’s easy. She tells me to do something—or to stop doing something—and I ignore her. Sometimes I even talk back and, oh—the look on her face when I do! What a wonderful thing. Her wrinkles gather like too many ants trying to fit into a single hole. When her jaw clenches her teeth grind in a way that only I can hear. I love that sound.
By the way, it’s my sound and you can’t have it! Go earn your own, this one’s taken.
After the look comes the chase. How she tries to keep up is hilarious. I’m much more agile than she is. It always takes a while for her to catch me. When she does she locks me up for a little while so that I’ll ‘learn my lesson.’ I never do. As soon as she lets me out again I do what I want.
I eat when I want—when I want to obey, that is. Dinner is typically served around five o’clock. That’s when we go through this ritual of me acting up and her demanding order. I try to tell her that I want my food and I want it now, but she doesn’t get it; it’s as if we are speaking two different languages. Maybe we are, I don’t know. All I know is that I can’t beg for my food. No, I can never beg. If I beg I don’t eat, it’s as simple as that.
Before she gives me my meal she demands all of these stupid little things from me. This is to remind me that she’s the keeper of the food and I’m at her mercy. It’s humiliating, really, what I have to do in order to eat. I’m too good for it. It’s above someone as sophisticated as I. But I’m hungry, so I humor her and do what she asks me to do. Once I have my food I’m free to eat it whenever I want.
I go where I want—within the confines of the fences. It’s nearly impossible to surpass them. They’re far too wide and tall for me to scale. Giant rocks have been strategically placed around any weak points where I might be able to dig myself free.
This one time I did find my way out. It was March—you know, the time of year when winter is just tucking itself in for the night and spring has not yet pulled off the covers. There’s a gap in the fence just inside the compost pile. She forgot to close the gate. I snuck out.
The mud felt amazingly slick on my skin as I waded through it. Shameless, I even dove into it once or twice. And the smell of the pine trees! Oh, that smell—it was the fragrance of freedom. I took it in with merry breath. She caught me, of course, but the day was mine. I’ll never forget it.
I have what I want: Shelter, security, plentiful meals—the ability to cause a multitude of problems with little recourse. Not many can say they are afforded the same luxuries as I. So many suffer a far worse fate than adhering to the rules now and then.
Sure, I have to play puppet for dinner and spend some time in a cell when I go overboard. Yes, I’m only as unfettered as the fences allow me to be—but that’s okay. No matter what I do to her she still loves me—and that’s freedom enough for me.
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Until next time,