Unscaredy Cat

Do the thing you fear most and the death of fear is certain.

~Mark Twain

Penelope the Cat once lived in dread of nearly everything. Especially high on her list were: giant spiders, trees with faces, dangling Jack ‘O Lanterns, and cat-eating flowers. As illogical as her fears may have seemed to others, she spent every waking moment and many sleepless nights living with a terrible anxiety that started like a hard ball in her small belly and seemed to shoot out her paws, tail, and whiskers. The fears were so big, that she wasn’t able to enjoy the wonderful people and treats when they came her way: Colleen, the nice old lady who always gave her lovely bits of cheese or fish, Danny, the neighborhood boy who delivered the papers and made a point of scratching Penelope in just the right spot, right behind her ears, and Lopsing, the Owl who watched over her, so she could try to sleep without worry.  Colleen, Danny, and Lopsing always had a kind word or a cookie for her. And they all told her that she needed to let go of her fears. Lopsing said to her on many occasions, “Enjoy what life offers, rather than worry over what may never be.”

We can’t ever seem to learn from what others say, even when it’s your best friends who say it, though can we? Penelope stubbornly continued hold onto her fears, refusing to attend parties with neighbors or go anywhere with anyone. She even began to avoid her best friends, believing that she was right and that someday her fears would be realized. “Then they’ll believe me,” she thought to herself. “Then they’ll know I was right.”

Not-so-strangely, one day it happened. While rushing to avoid one of her neighbors (who carried yet another invitation to yet another party) Penelope was so busy stealing looks behind her that she didn’t notice where she was going. She headed straight into the Big-Bad-Forest that lurks behind the fair and fog of every neighborhood. By the time she realized where she was, of course it was far too late! Running quickly can make one clumsy and directionless and she found herself smacking into a giant spider that hung from a very large tree with a face that had Jack ‘O Lanterns dangling from her branches and was surrounded by cat-eating flowers! Except…the flowers, though they did have amazingly sharp teeth didn’t want to eat her. The Jack O’ Lanterns, only smiled while dancing and dangling. The tree’s face was quite large, but also quite friendly. And the giant spider? Well, she only wished to have a chat. After all, cats didn’t drop into her lap every day.

Now if Penelope isn’t found entertaining at home you’ll find her attending a party at one of her neighbor’s homes. Otherwise? She’ll be in the Big-Bad-Forest having a gabfest with her newly found friends.

As is often the case for every one of us, Penelope’s fears turned out to be nothing more than whispers from dark, unused corners. Although at times those whispers can get terribly loud…

Titled “Unscaredy Cat,” I hand doodled the scene, scanned to my computer then using GIMP, added one of my photos of some dark clouds as the background.

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5 responses to “Unscaredy Cat

  1. Wonderful and enchanting! You’ve done it again Sister. Your imagination is so rich and colourful which makes reading your stories such a pleasure and a treat. I so hope that you are writing a book, these stories, and your pictures are way to good to remain un-bound.

    p.s The joy of being able to leave a comment…! Words cannot describe it! I wish your other blog was on WP too, then I wouldn’t feel the pain of rejection every time I try to leave a comment on it !

    • Thanks for your kind words, Sister! I actually have one novel completed and two others in process. Along with two comic books! Maybe I’ll add a collection of short stories? Haha!! Ultimately, the plan is to self-publish.

      The joy of your commenting is mutual! When I first decided to blog, I started one on Blogger and WP, not knowing which I’d end up liking better. Still not sure if I know which I like better, but I certainly don’t like that Blogger doesn’t let you comment!! I’ll see if I can put you on a safe list or something. xoxo

  2. I love the gob fest , reading this, reminded me of myself, funny, i had the same conclusion, as I was leaving Batam the other day, when a taxi driver started chatting with me, he was from Lombok, in the end I had to put my guards down. He said “hello my friend” and i said that he wasn’t’ my friend. But he wasn’t’ prepared to leave this misunderstanding unaddressed, and we hit off, briefly, i’ve not yet added him on Face Book, there are about 20 Borris Yeltsin’s but I’ll find him and send him that photo I took of him, that he requested. What an uplifting story, thanks IK

    • It can be difficult discerning who to trust in friendship…and on facebook! That’s why we have to follow our “gut,” don’t you think?

      Does Far Side have a fan page on facebook? I will have to check it out! Thanks, FST!

      • No we haven’t got FST on FB yet, still trying to figure that one out! Yes we really do need to trust more and start living more, the Cat became real socialite afterwards, and I just adored the spiders and Jack of Lanterns , maybe will get a FB page

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