A choice that makes the difference

#7 Ocellus & Chitkin © A Special Meeting

Ocellus & Chitkin©️ A Special Meeting

“Well, I got a hold of the paper and started to turn towards home when with a flash and a crunch, I was lifted out of the grass and was flying high in the sky!”

A bird had swooped in and nabbed me before I knew what was happening.

I couldn’t move but I didn’t feel any pain.  I was too scared to feel anything!  Was I going to be dinner for birds?!

Out of no where came a cry of pain.  No, not mine, Dilma.  It was the bird’s cry.  The bird’s beak opened  and I tumbled to the ground.  Lucky for us we can fall a long way and then land without hurting ourselves.

I stared up to see the bird flying strangely and I could see why:  three or maybe four Mandis were biting and stinging the bird!  The bird shook my Aunties off and they all came tumbling down not too far from where I had fallen.  They rushed over to see me.

‘You alright?”, asked one of the Mandis.

“Yes, Auntie, I am.”, I shamefully whispered.

‘Home then.  And fast!’, came the stern voices from all of the Mandis.

‘Wait, what have you got there?”, demanded one of my Aunties.  ‘Let me see.’”

Well, I showed them and they all had a taste.  Their eyes went wide and the their twitchers went wild!

‘Do you know what this is?!’” shouted an Auntie.

“It’s delicious is what it is!”, I cried.

Everybody in our gallery laughed at that.

‘This is called choclate.  Next to sugar-lerp, this is the best taste there is!’”

Well, I agreed with that, but there was no time for celebrating my find because I had to be marched home to face…the Queen!”

Everyone, even Chitkin, gasped.  “The Queen?!”, they all squeaked together.

“Oh, ya!  I had to be brought before the Queen because I had broken one of our most important rules, which I think you all know.”

“Never alone, always close to home.”, the chorus came back.

“ Ya, you know it.”  came Gramma Feebly’s creaky voice.

“Well, what happened next?”, I asked Gramma Feebly.  But Chitkin was Chitkin once again and was sound asleep before she could answer.

“Too much noise, in there!”, our Mandi shrieked.  Gratch!  Gratch!

That was the night we all decided that “our” Mandi would be called Shrieker.  You know, that’s about all she ever did!

The end of the next day’s terrible work was finally over.  Everybody in our gallery didn’t fall down and go to sleep, like we usually did when we were locked into our chamber after such a horrible day.  We wanted Chitkin to continue Gramma Feebly’s story.  I mean, you know…the Queen!

Chitkin settled back because she had been given a little extra room because she kept our minds off the two girls who went missing today, and made life in this slave camp bearable, at least for a little while.

Gramma Feebly continued the story, “Well, my Aunties marched me back to our hill and, after getting all of the approvals you need to get to the Queen’s private chamber, we arrived at the entrance.

Now, this was a place most of us had never been to.  Some of the really old Aunties - yes, Ocellus, older than I am! - had been to the Queen’s special gallery when we had to move our home after a bear had come and dug up so much of our hill looking for the babies to eat!”

Another collective intake of breath and a ‘No!’ here and there.

“We can’t do much against a bear because they are huge and so ferocious.  Many of the sisters died that day protecting our queen.

The Queen was told that we wouldn’t be able to repair the damage and protect the babies and everyone else, especially her most royal self.

The Queen agreed and decided we would have to do a once-in-a- lifetime, very risky, move.  Most of us have never moved from our homes…ever.  So, this was a really big deal!

I’ll tell you more about that one day.

I was pushed into the Queen’s presence and I could hardly believe my eyes!  The Queen was ten times bigger than any of the rest of us!  At least!

You see, the Queen is the only one who has babies.  And you know how many babies that means?  You have to just take my word for it, ‘cause I’m your elder.  That’s how it is.

The Queen, during her life time, has more than 50,000 babies!”, Gramma Feebly exclaimed.

“What?!?”, the hushed amazement echoed around our gallery.

“Yes, that’s right.  And when I say she was big, I really mean - with no disrespect - HUGE!

Well, you can understand if you just lay there most days having babies, you really couldn’t eat, or take out the garbage, or, least of all, walk.

“And then, the most amazing thing happened!”