In Loving Memory Of Peppermint Patty Blair

Written by Consta Jenkins

Reprinted by permission of the author

Eatbugs sat with his eyes closed, listening to the music in the wind. If you listened carefully, you could hear your human's voice in it, and feel their love. He always, as did all the kiddens on the Rainbow Bridge, took a few minutes every day to stop and listen, and remember. His human was swinging a chirp on a stick and laughing. Eatbugs smiled, she still could swing a mean chirp.

"Morning, Eatbugs", said Beethoven as she settled into the tall grass beside him. He opened his eyes and smiled at his furiend, "Morning". "Have you seen Noki today?", she asked with a chuckle. "No, why?" "He's covered in peepers. When I left he had three on his back and one swinging from his tail. He was mumbling something that I doubt Miss Priss would approve of", she said with a wink. Eatbugs laughed. "Think we should go and rescue him?", he said. "No, I think AJ has that covered. He said something about letting Noki get a good taste of peeper watch before taking him off to the field for a game of chasies".

In the clearing under the willow tree G'Max and Picnic were trading tall tails for the amusement of their furiends. "Why, I remember the first chirp I caught. It was as long as my tail and as mean as a dog dog with a bone. It took me three days to bring it down....", said G'Max. "Why that's nothing! My first chirp was half again that big....and it put up such a struggle that kiddens for three blocks around came to watch and lay bets. Course, I was just a peeper at the time, or I'd have had it in nothing flat....", said Picnic. "You believe any of this?", whispered Spunkie. "Oh sure...and I believe in the teefie fairy, too." laughed Rocky.

And so life went on as it always did on the Rainbow Bridge. Kiddens spent their day in the warmth of companionship under clear blue skies and soft gentle breezes. Nickie and Dino were playing hide and swipe in the tall grass. Fluffy the canary was singing a concert for the peepers and Pris and Ebony were keeping a watchful eye that none of them decided that chasies with a chirp might be more "fun". Isolde and Virginia were discussing philosophy in the catnip patch, while Tinky and Grace gave each other a face wash.

Eatbugs and Beethoven walked quietly together in the morning sun, when Eatbugs noticed a kidden sitting quietly staring out over the Bridge. "Good Morning, furiend. Is everything all right?", he said. Charlie Brown looked up at him, his face full of sorrow. "No", he sighed, "My human is so sad today. I wish I could rub her legs and make her smile. See, it's my sister. She has been so sick and....and....". His voice trailed off. Beethoven gave him a comforting headbutt, "It will be all right", she said in a gentle voice.

Charlie Brown smiled sadly at her. "I wish I could make my human understand that....that it will be all right. I'll take real good care of Patty and she won't be scared or sick any more. I wish...I wish our humans could know that." "They do," said Eatbugs, "in their hearts they know. But it is so hard for them to say goodbye. Goodbyes are never easy".

The music in the wind had begun to change to the sad sweet melody of the Welcoming Song and Eatbugs felt the oh so familiar tingling in his whiskers. He gave Charlie Brown an earlick and said in a voice hushed with sorrow, "Come, it is time now". The three kiddens turned and began their journey to the Gate. Charlie Brown saw the Company of Kiddens as they joined them. Freyja and Smokey walked quietly with Moushi. Moki and Katie helped Pris and Miss Priss with the peepers. Silently they came, this Company of Kiddens, bound to each other by the love of their humans. They formed the circle around the Gate and bowed their heads in sorrow. The music of the wind danced around them, singing of welcome and loss, of love and longing. It sang of the Great Promise that love was eternal, and it sang of the pain of separation and the sorrow of humans.

Eatbugs reached out and twined his tail around Charlie Brown as the blue flash danced across the Gate. In its wake sat a beautiful calico kidden. She blinked for a minute and then her eyes scanned the group of kiddens before her. Her gaze fell on Charlie Brown and her face lit up with joy. He ran to Patty and nuzzled her face and licked her ear. "Oh, Pitty Pat, I've missed you so much!", he whispered and buried his face in her fur. She nuzzled him back and said, "I've missed you, too.". Then she took a step and stopped in surprise. She didn't feel dizzy and her legs felt strong and whole again. She looked up at Charlie Brown. He wrapped his tail around her and said, "You'll never hurt again. I promise! There is no sickness here, no pain and you'll never be afraid ever again. And Patty, we can wait for mom here and we'll always be together forever and ever!".

Patty looked up and saw the Company drawing near. One by one they offered their noses in greeting. "I'm Eatbugs, Welcome to the Rainbow Bridge" "I'm Virginia, welcome sister". "I'm AJ, Welcome home". A handsome tabby tom covered in peepers approached. "Welcome. This," he said pointing to a peeper, "is Cosmic Bob and that's Sally and that's...that's...heck I don't know WHO that is....but I'm Noki. Welcome to the Rainbow Bridge". Patty laughed, "Peepers! I LOVE peepers!". "You can have 'em" said Noki with a grin.

When the greetings were finished and each kidden had promised to show her where the best sleepy spot was and which catnip patch had the best nip, Charlie Brown took his sister by the paw and gently led her home.

© Copyright 1994 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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