In Loving Memory Of Gypsy Compton

Written by Consta Jenkins

Reprinted by permission of the author

In the Circle of the Elders Virginia and Isolde stood in quiet conversation. "Should we call him? He loved the human."

"No, sister," Virginia replied. "He is young yet. Those that loved her best are here." She gestured to Pumpkin and Max.

"We will give her comfort and call her home. Let the little ones have their day. Come it is time to begin."

The Elders formed their circle around Pumpkin and Max, who nodded and bowed their heads. The sound of soft purring filled the Circle.

The sound of laughter rang out over the Rainbow Bridge. Eatbugs smiled as he watched the peepers scurrying back and forth trying to get everything "justest" purfect (as Little Dots kept insisting all must be). The carefully fashioned mousie flat, so loving built by peeper paw paws, fell over for the third time. Pouncequick rolled his eyes and started to haul it up again.

"They say the show must go on," said Beethoven, "but they didn't say when!"

"Do I weally have to wear this thing?" Nicky's plaintive little voice carried nicely on the wind, and the adults chuckled.

"Yes you gotsed to wear it!" Little Dots trotted over and gave the offending costume a tug here and there.

"Hey, Noki, maybe you'd better give them a paw. No one puts on a pageant like you do." Creamsickle laughed and pointed at Tiny Bubbles wiggling her butt to pounce on Nicky. "Besides, left to themselves, we may never see the show!"

"No way," said Noki. "I gave the little fellow a few words of advice...but this is their pageant."

"Well the refreshments are good," said AJ between mouthfuls of kibble.

"Okays everykidden, let's gets this show on the roads!" Little Dots clapped his paw paws.

"Is we going somewhere? I justest got the mousie backs up!!" Pouncequick wrung his tail.

Little Dots rolled his eyes. "Nos... Mr. Noki told me that means lets starts. Okays?"

"This is going to be good," Spunkie whispered in Rocky's ear. Rocky nodded with a smile.

"Ahems. Ands actions!" Little Dots trotted off stage.

Nothing happenen.

"I saids ACTIONS"

Nothing.

"That means GOES"

"Oh" came a chorus of peeper voices, followed by the roar of laughter from the audience.

Nicky came out onstage, his ears pinned down beneath a set of branches strapped around his head. His floofy tail protruded from his "trunk". He looked less than thrilled. "Once upon a time, a weal long time ago there was a twee in the fowwest (that's me) what had stood there for a weally, weally long time. One day a mighty hunter camed and went sweepies under it."

With this Little Dots came strutting out on stage, his tail held high and proud. He curled up under the tree (deftly using his back paw to push the offending tail out of sight). "The mighty hunter had just...." His voice trailed off. His little face looked confused.

Eatbugs lifted his face to the wind and sighed. The now so familiar tingle in his whiskers told him another would come. He looked with breaking heart at the confused peeper and understood.

The Elders came silently onto the stage, Pumpkin and Max with them. Virginia gave Little Dots a gentle face lick. He looked up at her with sad eyes, "My firstest mommy?"

Virginia nodded. "Come, we must make your furfriend welcome."

Max lifted Little Dots up on his shoulders and turned to make his way to the Gate. One by one the Company of kiddens joined them. Beethoven walked with Freyja. Spunkie walked with Putt Putt and Dino. Skunk and Boots twined tails together as they walked. All the kiddens of the Rainbow Bridge walked in quiet sorrow.

Eatbugs fell into step with Virginia. He looked up at her face, a mask of sorrow. "It is a special kidden who comes?"

"All kiddens are special, Little One." She smiled gently. "Yes, this one is perhaps more special. She has tried so hard to stay with her human and her life has been a long and loving one. A very special human's heart is breaking tonight."

Eatbugs listened to the music in the wind. Its song was sweeter, and perhaps sadder, than usual. It sang of the feel of the sun on fur and the warmth of a human hand. It sang of love and of sorrow and it sang a new kidden home.

Eatbugs felt the song pull at his heart and looked up at Virginia. "An Elder comes?"

She nodded. "She has known a long walk in the sun, and has lived a life of courage and love. Yes, the Circle of Elders is stronger by one."

Eatbugs felt it then, a sorrow so overwhelming it threatened to break his heart. The longing and love in it tore at him. A tear trickled down his cheek.

"Yes, Little One. That is the power of a human heart. This one is breaking now. The kidden that comes was loved by many, but this one heart loved above all."

"Isn't there anything we can do to ease her pain?" Eatbugs' voice was husky.

"In time, Little One, in time. Humans understand the Great Promise, but not as strongly as we do. To them the end of our march of days is as a door closing. It takes them time to understand that the door may close, but is never locked. As long as there is a Rainbow Bridge and as long as the Great Promise exists, the door will open again. In time, when their sorrow has eased, they understand. Sometimes their hearts understand when their heads will not, but they know. The Creator of All Things has promised and love is eternal."

Eatbugs walked in silence, sending his strongest comforting thoughts to the Earth below as they made their way to the Gate.

The Company of Kiddens formed their circle. Pumpkin and Max sat on either side of Little Dots, their tails entwined and heads bowed. Around them kiddens of every color and size sat purring their song of welcome into the wind. Eatbugs looked around him, as far as he could see kiddens were coming. He looked up at Virginia.

"The human we sing our love to loved many kiddens, Little One. The ones she gave her heart and home to and hundreds of others. No animal in need was turned away. Her heart is a large one, Little One, large enough for all of the Creater's children. Many of these kiddens owe the joy they knew on earth to her."

"Excuse me," said a voice behind them.

Eatbugs turned and saw a group of dog dogs panting there. "Umm, of course." He moved aside to let them pass.

Lucky, Kellie and King padded softly to join Pumpkin and Max. They sat before the gate and lifted their heads in a sorrowful howl.

The sound of kidden and dog dog voices lifted into the wind to join the Welcoming Song. Its sad, sweet refrain swirled in the air around them, then drifted its way to the earth.

The Gate shimmered with the colors of the rainbow, then glowed in the flash of blue light. When it faded, a beautiful grey tabby with dainty white feet and lovely green eyes stood in its wake. Gypsy looked out on the faces of the Company and sighed. "It was time," she whispered.

Pumpkin, Max, Little Dots, King, Kellie and Lucky all came forward and surrounded the little kidden. She was nosey noodled, earlicked and Lucky, who simply could not contain himself, gave her a whisker to tail slurp. Gypsy laughed in spite of herself. Then she looked back towards the earth.

"It will be all right," Max said nuzzling her ear.

"Mom is so sad."

"She can't help it. She knows she gave you the last gift of love, but she can't help hurting now. She'll understand in time."

Lucky nodded. "She knows we are here waiting. I know she does. I hear her thinking about us all the time...and she knows we are home now."

Gypsy's eyes were still turned towards the earth.

"Come on," said Virginia's gentle voice, "we will help you."

Gypsy looked up into her wise, gentle eyes and nodded. She walked to the edge of the Rainbow and looked down at the world below. She pursed her whiskers in concentration. Behind her the gentle hum of a thousand purrs and the rhythmic thumping of dog dog tails lifted into the air. She focused her thoughts and let them join the song. "I'm home. I am whole again, mom. I don't hurt any more. I am home and I will wait. I love you, mom. I always will."

She looked out over the Rainbow and sighed. "Do you think she heard?"

"She heard," said Virginia. "She heard with her heart."

Little Dots quietly slipped his little paw into Gypsy's. "Miss Gypsy?"

"Yes, little furiend?"

"Does you wants to see a show?"

And with that they led her to her new home.

© Copyright 1996 Constance Jenkins. All Rights Reserved. The author retains all copyright and intellectual rights to this work. It may not be printed in whole or in part without express written permission.
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