Once upon a bear, a kitten called amanda sat and told herself stories.
stories, she knew, were the most important thing. stories made stifling spring days pass more quickly, and silent spring nights not seem so dark. stories told of the world-out-there, larger than her small blue nursery – larger than a hundred thousand small blue nurseries, and filled, the stories said, with all sorts of monsters.
(though no matter how she looked, she never once saw a monster. trees, like those her mama had told her of, and big black birds that croaked curiously at her, but no monsters.)
someday she would need to leave the nursery and go out into the world-out-there – that was part of something called ‘growing up,’ like what happened in many of her mama’s stories. (which mama, she wasn’t quite certain.) her sister, melia, was very eager to grow up, for then she might get closer to the sky that she loved; her brother, melvin, would never grow up, but live forever in memories, deep and safe in melly and amanda’s hearts.
when i grow up, melly said as they curled up for a nap, i shall be bigger than the biggest black bird. perhaps i shall grow wings.
(little melvin, in amanda’s heart, said nothing, but his purr was louder than a hundred thousand words.)
when i grow up, amanda said, when i grow up… and here she stopped, and started, and stopped and started again, for it was hard to imagine the world-out-there, so much bigger than everything she had ever known.
i don’t know, she said, finally, but melly was already asleep.
amanda closed her eyes and thought, and thought. she might be a princess, or a knightess, or a superheroine, though melly seemed the most determined to fly. she might be a baker, for she was very good at making biscuits. she might be a great explorer, or a great actress, or take care of kittens even smaller than herself, though then they would have to be tiny as mice… or crickets…
(in her dream, someone holds her, eyelashes damp against her furry side. she pats their cheek gently with one small paw, and listens to their whispered words, and (just as she did for melly, just as she did for melvin) mews some of her own; once upon a time…)
when she woke again, she opened her eyes, and turned her head towards melly, and smiled.
when i grow up, i will be a storyteller, she said.
note: amanda has been adopted into her forever home. thank you. ♥