In Loving Memory Of Spunky Hubbard
Written by Consta Jenkins
Reprinted by permission of the author
Twilight settled over the Rainbow Bridge. The sky deepened into hues of lavendar and the deepest blue Eatbugs had ever seen. One by one the stars twinkled their first light of the evening. Eatbugs sat by the edge of the Rainbow waiting for his friends. He and Tinky and Imbri were going to dance amidst the stars tonight. Eatbugs nodded to Grandpa Max and Picnic as they strolled by, off to find a spot in the high grass for snoozing. In the distance, Eatbugs could hear the peepers arguing with Pris and Miss Kitty that there was certainly enough light for ONE more game of chasies. Eatbugs chuckled, they never won the argument, but it never stopped them from trying. Beethoven and Ebony were finishing up their dinner and danced their tails in greeting. Eatbugs waived back and wondered where his friends were.
He was beginning to become worried when Boo Boo came running up, out of breath and in distress. "Eatbugs, Eatbugs....Tinky and Imbri won't be here...can't stay...got to get back..." he panted.
"What's the matter? Can I help?", said Eatbugs trying to catch up with Boo Boo, who was trotting off towards the Circle.
"Can't talk...got to hurry...have to be there" huffed Boo Boo flying across the field. Eatbugs ran after him, his heart heavy and his brow furrowed in worry for his friends. He pulled up short at the edge of the circle. In the middle sat Tinky and Imbri huddled close to each other as Boo Boo settled in beside them, encircling them with his tail. Their eyes closed tightly shut, they lifted their purrs in concentration. Over them stood Virginia and Isolde and the rest of the Circle of Elders. Eatbugs bowed his head, for he knew the reason for their meditation. Another was coming. He joined his purr with that of the circle and sent thoughts of comfort and love towards the earth.
Tinky purred forth the joy of life on the Bridge, of being well and being whole again. She pictured in her mind's eye the beautiful fields of grass and the companionship that filled her days. Imbri purred forth the comfort and easing of pain. He reached out to his sister on earth and touched her pain and gently helped it slide away from her. Boo Boo purred forth peace and tenderness and gently put aside his sister's fears. And over them, the Circle of the Elders lifted their voices as one and purred forth the Great Promise. They filled her heart with the knowledge that all love is eternal and bonds that held her still to the earth would not shatter with her crossing, that love is, as the Creator of All Things had promised, immutable, everlasting and as real and true upon the Bridge as ever it had been upon the Earth.
Tinky let out a gasp and a tear trickled slowly down her cheek. Imbri wrapped her in his enormous paws and looked up at the Circle. "It is time" is all he said. Slowly, the gathering rose to their paws and in solemn silence they made their way to the Gate. In the breeze above the willow branches, the Welcoming Song started it's bittersweet refrain. One by one, from every corner of the Bridge, the Company of Kiddens gathered once more to welcome another into their fold. Rocky walked with Spunkie and Ebony, Katie and Nickie walked with Beethoven and Smokey. Miss Kitty and Mister were helping the peepers along, as were Josefina and Grace who carried the smaller peepers in their paws.
Kiddens of every color and size drew near and settled into the circle. Tails were linked and purrs raised into the wind to join in the Welcoming Song. Tinky, Imbri and Boo Boo moved silently to the center of the circle and linked their tails. Overhead, the Welcoming Song reached a crescendo of such sorrow and beauty that Eatbugs could barely stand it. A tear rolled down his cheek.
As the song danced it's way to earth, the now too familiar flash of blue appeared in the Gate. As it faded the kiddens of the Company saw a lovely calico girl kidden sitting quietly. Spunky blinked and looked around her, her eyes barely resting on the myriad of faces as her eyes sought her beloved siblings. She let out a gasp of joy as she saw Tinky running towards her. Imbri and Boo Boo were just a step behind. They threw their paws around their sister and washed her face and gave her headbutts.
"There, you see? We told you it would be all right", said Boo Boo.
"Yes, and I will get to see momma and papa again? Really and truly?".
"Really and truly", said Imbri nuzzling her ear, "and we will wait together for them."
Spunky turned her eyes to the Company of Kiddens. Her eyes grew wide, there were so many of them. Imbri laughed and took her by her paw, "come along now, it's time to meet your new friends".
And with that, he led her into her new home.
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