nature is a funny thing
many offspring have to be removed
from their fathers
in order not to be eaten
or killed outright
mothers are fierce and ferocious
protecting their young
after all they carried the babies
and then had them
so no one is going to kill their kids
just to cut down on the competition
females are vicious
that’s why a lot of human males
are afraid of them
that’s why there’s no equality
men are terrified
that once women are released into the wild
men won’t stand a chance
but not everyone comes into the world
as a live birth
some wee eggs are submerged
placed on leaves
or any number of settings
never know their mothers
take the lizard Spot
he seems happy enough
but he when questioned
he said he didn’t know what a mother was
he just woke up and that was that
sure he had to fight off predators
but that’s the life of a
especially human females
are always fighting off predators
so Spot didn’t see much difference
between our species
other than the fact
that most birds
can’t just grab us
as they fly by
and that’s true
can’t just grab us
as they fly by
HAPPY DAY BEFORE
“So, tomorrow’s mother’s day.”
“Yes,” she said. “It is.”
“We call it Queen’s Day.”
“I get that.”
“Mother’s are just females who didn’t know what they were getting themselves into.”
She stared at him. “I’d like to argue that point, but I don’t see how I can.”
“It’s a crap shoot. You never know what you’ll end up with. It’s not like that with kittens. Sure, you’ll get a weird one, now and then, but for the most part, kittens are pretty cool and grow up to be nice cats. With your species…”
“Why do you keep doing it?”
“We don’t always have a choice. Our hormones override our intelligence. They lie to us. It happens a lot. Once our brain have us doing what they want us to do, they stop producing the good stuff. Then we wake up, and it’s too late to do anything about what we did.”
“Instinct,” sighed the cat. “It will be the death of us. Well, eventually, I mean. You guys forget that you’re animals too, and that you’re dragged around by invisible chemicals that run your life, just like the rest of us. It’s pathetic. Nature just wants more of everything, even if what they want more of, is deadly. At least our kittens grow up and move on. You guys are in it for life.”
“Most of us love our mothers.”
“You should. The poor things.”
“It’s not like that.”
“It’s exactly like that. You don’t get rid of the first litter to make room for the second, you just pile them on, then finally you get to die and have time for yourself. Did you see the white flamingo mother on that program? The one who stood on one leg, all by herself, cut off from the group, because she had an egg and her baby bird sucked all the life out of her, and she lost her color? None of the other birds would let her play the mating game. She has to regain her strength and eat shrimp so she turns back to her usual pink color. It will take a year and until then, she’ll be an outcast. All because of her egg. And don’t tell me that it’s nature’s way of protecting her…that she didn’t have the strength to mate again, and has to wait until next year. Her kid was killing her. Her kid ate her color and made her weak, and white.”
“This is not a happy conversation,” she said, closing her eyes.
“Oh, is that what you want? A happy conversation? Then bring me a live bunny, or a chipmunk.”
“We’ve gone down this road many times and the answer will never change. It’s always going to be the same. NOT IN A MILLION YEARS WILL I BRING YOU A LIVE ANYTHING!”
“See. THAT’S what your mother had to put up with. I hope you bought her something wonderful.”
“I wish I could.”
“Why can’t you?” he asked, unsheathing his claws and stretching.
“Where did she go? To a warmer climate?”
“I hope not,” she sighed. “No. She died.”
“Yes. Life is never the same when someone you care about goes away,” he said.
“Did you like each other?”
“We did,” she said smiling. “But I do think you’re right. She didn’t know what she getting herself into when she had me. I’m almost sure I ruined her life.”
“It happens,” he said, licking his paw. “But you’re not that bad.”
“You didn’t have to live with me.”
“How about your mom?”
“I told you before. She was brave, strong, soft, clever, intelligent, and she had great purrs. I was lucky. Jinx’s mom was taken by someone. She fought, but couldn’t get away. He still misses her and wishes he had been old enough, and big enough, to have defended her. They were caught alone, far from the rest of us.”
“I didn’t know,” she said, sadly.
“He never talks about it.”
“Do you think life is real?”
“As real as we make it, I guess. But we don’t know what’s real and what isn’t, still we suffer just the same.”
“It seems that way.”
“We’re all coming to your place tomorrow, for brunch,” he said.
“We are. We’re going to celebrate you.”
“You’re kind of like a mother to some of us. Not to me, of course, because I can take care of myself, but to the others.”
“I see,” she said, hiding her smile.
“We’ll be there around noon.”
“Okay. That will be lovely. But I better get going. I have a lot of food to buy.”
“Get a whole salmon or whale. Something like that.”
“A whale?” she asked, in astonishment. “Have you ever SEEN a whale?”
“No, but I heard that they’re big.”
She bent over and kissed him, ran her hands down his back and fell into his loud purrs. “I love you,” she said.”
“I’ll see you tomorrow at noon.”
“Some of those catnip mice might be nice too.”
“Of course,” she said, standing to go. “Tell Jinx I love him and look forward to seeing him.”
“I’ll tell him you’re looking forward to seeing him, but guys don’t talk about love.”
He listened to her laugh, as she walked away.
“What?” he whispered to himself. “What did I say that was funny?”
“Cool?” she asked, paint dripping onto her shoe.
“I was going to say…different,” he said.
“Different in a good way?”
“Sure. Why not.”
“I painted it for my mom. It’s part of her mother’s day gift.”
“Do you think she’ll like it?”
“Of course. Why else would I paint it?”
He shrugged. “I got my mom a plant.”
“How very original,” she said.
“Original in a good way?”
“Sure. Why not.”
“Sarcasm?” he asked, smiling.
“You should go now,” she said.
“It was the plant, wasn’t it,” he said.
But she was already painting.
Photo: Jon Tyson