In Loving Memory Of Little Dot Standart
Written by Consta Jenkins
Reprinted by permission of the author
Eatbugs lay in the cool grass with his chin on his paw. He had spent the better part of the evening among the stars with Tinky and Imbri looking in on his humans and now lazed quietly in the morning sun. He sighed. Sometimes the Earth felt so remote and far away and he worried that his humans would forget about him, but each time he danced among the stars, he felt their love and knew that they would come for him. He stretched out his toes toes and sighed a contented sigh. He remembered the Great Promise and knew that his worries were foolish. The Creator of All Things had made that promise and that was enough for Eatbugs.
Eatbugs raised his head as he heard the quiet padding of paws approaching. He looked up to see Isolde and Virginia coming to meet him. Their faces were grave and Eatbugs felt a tugging in his heart. His whiskers had not tingled, but he knew. Another would come this day, a special kidden must make the journey. He did not know how he knew, but he knew. Isolde settled silently beside him and looked out over the field. In the distance the sound of the peepers laughing could be heard. She closed her eyes and bowed her head. "Good Morrow, Little One", said Virginia, settling to his left.
"Good Morrow", said Eatbugs, "There will be a Welcoming today....won't there" he said in a small voice.
"Yes, Little One", said Isolde, "A special kidden comes and we must be there to guide him.".
"Eatbugs", said Virginia gravely, "The peeper that comes today does not understand the Promise. He had only just found the love of humans when his march of days came to an end". Eatbugs felt his heart tugging within his chest. All Welcomings were hard, but the Welcoming of a peeper broke his heart.
"NO!" said Eatbugs, "It isn't fair! Why does the Creator do this? It isn't fair. Why can't the peeper have more time? Why now? Why??? It....it...." his voice trailed off.
"No, Little One, it isn't fair, but life is not always fair. Why did your march of days end so soon? Do you think your humans were ready for you to come here?", said Virginia.
Eatbugs shook his head.
"We are each given a span of time, a limited number of days to feel the sun in our fur and the Earth beneath our paws. And when that march is over, we must come home to the Creator. There is always a reason, Little One," said Virginia, her voice soothing and gentle, "you see the injustice in the shortness of his human love, but Little One, he was very ill. Would you have had him end his march alone, unloved?".
"Of course not!" cried Eatbugs, "No kidden should leave the Earth unloved".
"And so this little peeper did not. The Creator led him to two hearts full of love. Two humans that would show him the touch of kindness and ease his passing. Little One, this was the greatest gift the Creator could bestow upon this little one. He was spared the ravages of his illness and he knew the warmth of human love. He may not understand it, but he, too, shares in the Great Promise. For even a day of love is not forgotten, and they will come for him in time."
Eatbugs studied his paws. His heart still ached for this peeper, but Virginia and Isolde's words eased his heart a little.
The music of the wind shifted it's song, and Eatbugs felt the familiar tingle in his whiskers. "It is time", said Isolde and the three kiddens rose to make their journey to the Gate. As the padded quietly along, they were joined by the Company of Kiddens. Max and G'Max walked with Katie and Skunk. Putt Putt and Creamsickle walked together beside Rocky and Peppermint Patty. Eatbugs looked up and saw a lone dog dog walking a bit self-consciously among the kiddens. Virginia smiled at Cinnamon and beckoned her forward. She smiled and walked along side the Company.
When they arrived at the Gate, the peepers formed a circle within the circle of the Company and they closed their eyes and lifted their purrs into the wind. The Welcoming Song swelled, with a heartbreakingly beautiful refrain, around them. The Company, too, raised their voices and sang of love and warmth to welcome the peeper home. As the sound danced upon the wind, a new voice joined it's haunting chorus, a voice clearer and sweeter than all the others. Eatbugs raised his eyes and saw a shimmering shape form before the Gate. The Creator, her rainbow white fur glistening in the sunlight, stood ready to welcome her child home. Her crystal blue eyes held a wisdom and sorrow that took Eatbugs' breath away. Her purr promised loved and joy. Eatbugs felt her words washing over him, "Come home, little love, come home" and a tear rolled down his cheek.
The familiar blue flash appeared in the Gate and left in its wake a small grey spotted kitten. He sat trembling and staring wild eyed at the kiddens before him. "What...what happened? I was real scared...and then I was warm...where am I? Where are the nice humans?...the one that said she was my mommy?" he cried. The Creator lifted her paw and beckoned the peeper draw near. He crept over to her and she wrapped him in her paws. "Shhh, little one" she crooned, "You are home now. You are safe and you will never be scared or cold again". She turned to the Company of Kiddens and the love in her eyes washed over her children, "Make him welcome and make him warm" she said and quietly shimmered away.
Eatbugs padded up to Little Dot and offered his nose in greeting. "Welcome to the Rainbow Bridge" he said. "Is the nice human here?" asked Little Dot in a trembling voice.
"No," said Eatbugs and gently explained the Great Promise as he led Little Dot to his new home.
"And we'll be agether for always?" Little Dot's voice trailed in the wind.
"Forever" came the answer.
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