Un-divertissement – my life so far

April 3, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

I have mentioned them before: my Rocks. They are a solid crowd, assembled by the hands of some young lads working for a landscaper, who wanted rocks to decorate the gardens of large homes. I don’t know why they bothered to make a basic Inukshuk of one group and interesting piles of some others. 

That they did, I’m grateful because they provide a reason to go for a walk up the hill, with the dog – and the cat. Did you ever notice the difference between the way a dog and cat go for a walk? To be honest, you might not know many cats that do – they are few and far between. 

We did have another. When we lived in the log cabin, we walked, after dinner, to the bridge crossing a tributary of the Nottawasaga River. The cat’s name was Six. When he was born as part of a litter, Patricia had a multisyllabic name ready for him but I said I was calling him Six – guess why.

Anyway, he followed us, meowing constantly, as a walk is a nice time for chatting, down to the river. Returning, he would dally, losing himself in the dwindling twilight, slipping his fluffy grey-haired self between the bushes and be invisible. 

Nighttime brings the danger of a cat being caught and dispatched by wildlife. So, when we checked to note he was still out, Patricia and I had to go outside, shouting “Siiiix! Sixxxx! Come on now! Bedtime!” In retrospect, we could never decide whether our neighbours understood we calling our cat or issuing an invitation of some sort. Soon came the answering meow and his insisting to be carried back in, as a rescued soul..

Where were we? Ah, yes, going to the Rocks with the dog, Chandler, and the cat, Luna. Dogs are reasonably predictable about the way they accompany a person on a walk, unleashed, as Chandler is, this being a fair, broad cut of private property. A dog will sniff continuously. It’s remarkable, really, that the cold, damp earth carries such a load of tales in its surface, that a dog’s nose will barely rise to look at the view but find all its interest in innumerable blades of grass.

A cat will walk, dash, climb a tree, go off in another direction, catch up, then express her view that we are lost. I stomp along the uneven way, a rough sort of passage that has been kept visible by our use of it.

So, yesterday, when we went up, we were a little surprised to see a tiny man sitting on the top rock of the Inukshuk. He was not at all surprised to see us.

“Ahh,” says he, “there you are at last. A bit slow this morning, are we, Constance? Too a late a night again last night?” 

I decided not to worry about it and answered him civilly, “Well, I’m writing … everything’s quieter at night.” I added, “So, the Icelanders are right. They have laws about respecting the Elves.”

“They’re a fine, wise folk,” he agreed, giving me a sharp look. “Not as though you ever doubted; just because you didn’t actually see us, you still knew we are here.”

“Yes, of course,” I promised him.

Luna jumped up on the Rock beside him and sat down, contentedly surveying the panorama.

Traffic sped up and down the road running past our house. Small cars, big trucks, looking like toys from this aspect, their noise dimmed in the distance.

“We?” I quoted him. “Where are the others?”

“Here,” said a light voice.

“Here,” called another – then, “here” and “here,” as several tiny persons came out from between the trees and tall grasses, walking with ease up the Rocks and seating themselves as suited them.

One settled beside Chandler. who was lying down, panting cheerfully, as though she were surrounded by old friends. They were fascinating to look at: like us, taller and shorter, appearing to be male and female, some wore soft hats, while one tiny lady had a beautiful shawl, so light and fine I cold barely see it. They were dressed in clothes, made of what I couldn’t tell but it was pretty. They were pretty.

A doubt clouded my thoughts. “You haven’t shown up to say good-bye, have you?” 

Laughter rippled through them. “Oh no, we’ve been here forever,” one said.

“And we always will be,” the little man was clear.

“It’s nice here but a bit dull for an eternity, surely?” I queried. “Are you stuck?”

The laugh came again – “There’s nothing dull about eternity,” a lady told me, shrugging, stating the obvious.

“We didn’t want you to be lonely.” “Or lose hope.”

A strange sound rumbled within the Rock where the man and the cat were sitting.

“My goodness – alive?” I stood back.

“Ah, you knew that – that’s why you talk to them.”

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