With my fingerly hands with ten fingers, I, the wealdwife, type.
Sunday, 11 December 2011
Day 11: A Bestiary
Detail from Judith Leyster, A Boy and a Girl with a Cat and an Eel
Claw stretch to paw stretch to shake fur and shiver. Sneeze, blink, yawn and stretch again. Leg-side down, thigh-side down, belly-side-rib-side-drop-the-lot. Sniff damp. Head shuffle-rub; rub again. Whisker crush, ear squash, head goes over chin. Over goes it all. Wriggle along from tip of head to neck to shoulders, back and bottom. Tail out. Onto other side. Ear twitch; scratch a bite. Lick paw. Ear pitch forward, paw squash behind. Lick squash lick squash, pause. Lick squash lick squash, shake. Air ripples whiskers. Coming rain. Fluff in claw. Nibble chew gnaw spit. Tail lift, thwack. Up. Rain. Twitch coat. Go.
Turn these pages with care: the page you have passed buries its readers. We stand in its doorways, lie in its beds, our spines pressed, stems browning. Turn carefully: roll onto your mate. The pages shut you together. The years are passing; your bends end in seizures, in creases and groans. Watch your hips. Turn with care: see other homes, other inhabitants stroking the paper as you stroke your sheets, the weft of a carpet, the relief of a carving - three men drinking beer in an inn while the forest looks on, clothing the tables in the shadows of trees.