The Extraordinary Cats of Riverstone: Chapter One
“Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footsteps on the moon.” --Anonymous
- The Extraordinary Cats of Riverstone: Chapter Two
Anyone interested in attending the theater this evening? There is a spectacular production tonight in Riverstone. The Professor, Munchkin, and I are off to the theater to see our good friend Chai perform tonight.
- The Extraordinary Cats of Riverstone: Chapter Three
Munchkin, Chai, and Sedonia are finishing up the final touches of Munchkin's grand boat, while Professor Cairo is at the Big Town Hall Meeting where he enounters great resistance. Will the Great Professor save the day?
The Beginning of a Great Adventure
Hello, my name is Sedonia, and it is my pleasure to tell you about a wonderful adventure that I had with three extraordinary cats. But before I began this tale, let me share a little background about my friends. First, we have Cairo. He is a professor and philosopher. He is also the leader of the group. His wisdom and life experience make him the obvious choice. Even Cairo’s human companions see wisdom in his eyes. The next cat in our story is named Chai. She is the shy and sensitive one. She loves the theater and classical music. Chai hopes to one day star in her own theatrical production. Now, this leaves us to the last cat of our tale. His name is Munchkin. He is the youngest and the most curious of the bunch. He loves to explore. In fact, Munckin is the one that initiates the adventures that we go on. This story takes place in a small town called Riverstone.
I know what you are about to ask. Where is Riverstone located? Riverstone is located in a large valley that is surrounded by two large mountains. To the north, there are the Skygrove Mountains, while to the east we have the Silvertooth Mountains. In the cold winter months, these mountains are very popular to the human folk. I am told that they like to play in the snow. Riverstone also has the beautiful Emerald River that runs through the middle of the town. If one is high enough in the sky, this individual could see that this river begins at the Skygrove Mountains, goes through Riverstone, and then eventually makes its way to the Orion Sea. Personally, I know that many animals love this river. I often see them drinking the water, or cooling off during the hot summer days. This reminds me. I forgot to mention that Munchkin loves the Emerald River. He spends many days dreaming of adventure down this glorious river. He hopes to one day sail to the Orion Sea, and perhaps, even further. I am told that Munchkin has a million different dreams in his head. He tells me that he wants to make his dreams a reality, but the other cats in Riverstone have said that Munchkin and the rest of us are a bit on the crazy side. Of course, this is not true. Munchkin, Chai, and the Professor are just different. I can see this when I have spoken to them. There is something about their eyes that tell me that they see more to life then sleeping on the human folk’s sofa, or living the ordinary cat’s life. They often inform me that there is a whole world out there to explore. I believe them. I’m sorry for keeping you waiting, my friend. I know that you did not come here to hear a lecture. Without further ado, it’s time to take a journey with the extraordinary cats of Riverstone.
It was early afternoon and the sun felt wonderful on my back. It had been a couple of months since I last saw my friend Munchkin. I decided to make my way to the Emerald River in hopes of finding him. Perhaps he was building the boat that he had been talking about for years. I would love to join Munchkin on his trip. I can just imagine going to faraway lands. It was exciting thinking about all the mystery in the world. What different kinds of animals would I meet? Maybe the humans are different, too? As I was thinking about this last thought, I saw Munchkin by the Emerald River, and lo and behold, he was building his boat. I ran to him and gave him a great big hug.
“It is good to see you, Munchkin,” I said.
Munchkin smiled at me. “It is good to see you, Sedonia.”
“I see that you are finally building your boat. That is wonderful.”
“It is. I borrowed one of Professor Cairo’s books on boat building.”
“That is great! How is the Professor? Is he still buried in his thousands of books?”
Munchkin shook his head. “Actually, he is teaching classes on philosophy and spirituality. He also holds classes on yoga and meditation.”
Now, it was my turn to shake my head. “When does Professor Cairo have time to be a cat? It sounds like he spends most of his time teaching classes. And what happened to the Professor’s interest in science.”
“Oh, he still loves science,” Munchkin informed me. “It is through the Professor’s meditation that he discovered that there is a spiritual world out there. He told me that it is vital to balance both the left and right side of the brain. If a person only engages in science, then that person uses mostly the left side of the brain. He said that balance was the key.”
“That makes sense,” I said. “Hey, did you hear that Chai wants to put on a play?”
“I think that is great, but I feel that Chai has to get over her shyness. She is afraid of messing up her lines. Chai does not want to look like a fool in front of the audience.”
“I think she will do just fine,” I explained. I gazed at the giant oak tree that we were standing under. I was amazed by its strength and beauty. Perhaps, there was something that we can learn from our fellow trees. “Chai just has to believe in herself. I believe there is nothing that we can’t do. We are unlimited beings.”
“You are amazing, Sedonia,” Munchkin shared. Your words are like poetry.”
“Thanks Munchie. So are you.” I lightly slapped my paw on Munchkin’s shoulder to show my playfulness. Munchkin smiled at me.
“You don’t act like a girl, Sedonia. That hurt.”
“I hardly hit you. You big baby!”
Munchkin held up both paws to show that he did not mean any harm.
“I was just playing, Sedonia. Here, hit me again.”
“You’re crazy, Munchie,” I replied, smiling. “Do you want any help with your boat?”
“Sure. Can you hand me that long board over to your right?”
I picked up the board and handed it to Munchkin. He placed the board in place and hammered it in with a few nails. I was amazed by Munchkin’s progress. He started building the boat yesterday afternoon, and now, he was almost done with one side of the boat.
“You’re quick, Munchkin. Where did you learn to build boats?”
“When I was a kitten, I used to build model boats,” Munchkin informed me.
“You also make furniture. You made the professor a desk. He is very proud of you, Munchkin. You are like the son that he never had.”
As I said this, I saw tears in Munchkin’s eyes. I knew that Munchkin was very fond of the Professor. He looked up to the great Professor. He hoped to one day follow in this great cat’s footsteps.”
“I know,” said Munchkin. “We better go. The sun is starting to set, and I told the Professor that I would stop by this evening.”
“Can I come, Munchie?”
“Sure, but let’s cover this boat with the tarp.”
It only took us a few minutes to cover Munchkin’s boat. We then made our way to the Professor’s house. As we walked, we heard the sound of birds singing in the trees. They were telling us to hurry, or at least that what Munchkin’s thought, because he decided to run. It took me a few seconds to catch up to him.
“What’s the hurry, Speedy?” I asked.
“No, hurry,” Munchkin replied. But Munchkin got this crazy look in his eyes and chose to run even faster. I decided that I was going to outrace him. Munchkin was not aware of the fact that I was on the school’s track team. A minute later I was in the lead.
“What’s the matter, slow poke? You want me to carry you, Munchie?”
Munchkin stuck his tongue out at me to show that he was not very happy with my remark. He then smiled at me and informed me that there were some leaves stuck in my fur.
“Where?” I asked, looking from side to side.
Munchkin pointed to my back. Naturally, I had to stop in order to get the leaves out of my fur, but as I reached with my paws, I could not find any.
“I don’t feel any leaves in my fur.”
As I said this, I saw Munchkin smiling. Then, quicker than you could say “Emerald River,” Munchkin was off and running. He tricked me. I’ll get that brat! It took us ten minutes to reach the Professor’s house. But as we approached the Professor’s place, we collapsed on his front porch. Neither Munchkin nor I had enough energy to knock on the Professor’s door. And we must have made a lot of noise, because Professor Cario opened his front door. The Professor’s eyes grew large when he saw Munchkin and me lying on his front porch, panting.
“Well! Well!” the professor said. “What do we have here? I see two cats having the time of their life!”
Munchkin rolled his eyes up. “Funny Professor.”
“Come on in, you two. Take a load off your feet. I have hot tea on the stove.”
I ran up to the professor and gave him a big bear hug.
“It is good to see you, Sedonia,” said the Professor. “What are you up to these days?”
“Oh, I’m working on a book of poetry,” I replied, “but I’m not sure that my work is good enough.”
“I’m sure it is brilliant. Munchkin informs me that you are quite the philosopher. I would love to hear your thoughts.”
“Me?” I said, pointing to my chest.
“Of course, my dear. We all have something to say. In fact, our every thought is affecting the world in unimagined ways!”
I pointed at Munchkin. “Is Munchie changing the world?”
“Yes. Munchkin is challenging society. They tell him that it is not possible for a cat to sail the Emerald River.”
“Why?” I asked.
“Cats are not supposed to like water. However, Munchkin does not buy that for one minute. He believes that he can do it. He believes that he has the power to rewrite history.”
I looked at Munchkin, and I saw that he was eyeing one of the Professor’s new inventions. The device was the size of small crate with a dozen gauges, ten toggle switches, along with six red buttons.
“Professor,” I asked. “What is that thing?”
“That is my new navigational device that I built for Munchkin’s boat. It tells me what direction we’re going, the wind velocity, humidity, air pressure, as well as the moon and planetary effects.”
I saw Munchkin’s eyes light up when the professor mentioned the “moon and planetary effects.” I wondered what was going through Munchie’s mind. Perhaps, his next adventure will be to the stars. I wished I was as daring and adventurous as Munchkin. He was not afraid of anything. Maybe Chai could learn something from Munchkin. It was more than obvious that Chai was talented. She just needed a dose of courage. I brought my attention back to the professor’s new invention.
“Wow, Professor. There is nothing that you can’t build. What’s next? A time machine.”
The Professor laughed. “Who knows, my dear? I haven’t thought about that yet. At this present moment, my concern is to help Munchkin.”
The Professor walked to Munchkin and placed his paw on Munchkin’s shoulder. “It would be an honor, Munchkin, if I could join you on your adventure.”
“Sure Professor, but I thought you are afraid of water?"
"I am my boy, but it is time to conquer my fear. I’m tired of letting my fear stop me from taking a swim in our beautiful river. Life is too short to waste your time in being afraid.”
Now, it was my turn to join in on the fun. I had always been curious about going on an adventure. I had written hundreds of stories about adventures to faraway lands, but today, I decided that I had enough of only dreaming about them. It was time to actually have one.
“Hey, Munchie! Can I come, too? I have always wanted to have a real adventure.”
“Of course,” said Munchkin. “I need someone to write about our adventure. Our fellow cats need to know that anything is possible. Professor, do you think Chai would want to come with us?”
“I don’t know, my boy. Why don’t you ask her tomorrow? She is going to be in a play at the Crystal Community Theater. I think we should all go. I think it will be fun.”
Transformational Poetry - Terry Fatland
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