Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Poem: "How Skycat Got Her Name"

This poem came out of the November 1, 2011 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from wyld_dandelyon.  It was sponsored by Shirley Barrette and Anthony Barrette.  Skycat is a popular trickster figure over on Torn World. This hasn't been approved as canon yet, but I do plan to submit it to the Canon Board.

How Skycat Got Her Name

Long ago, before the world was broken,
Skycat was Just-a-Cat.
Now Just-a-Cat was an exceptionally clever  cat
who loved to chase butterflies
and was always trying to think of a new way
to catch them.

The butterflies knew about her, though,
so they were careful to stay out of reach.
Sometimes Just-a-Cat would climb up
into a bush and jump down on them.
That worked -- but only if the bush
was high enough to be above the butterflies
yet low enough that a fall was not dangerous.
One time, Just-a-Cat miscalculated
and twisted a foot when she landed wrong
so that she spent a week limping and looking pathetic.

Just-a-Cat decided that she needed to be
even more clever in devising a plan.
On an overcast day, when the clouds hung low,
she climbed the tallest tree in the swamp
and hid herself amongst the leaves.
When a cloud passed by, she pounced!

Wrapped in the cloud,
Just-a-Cat floated toward the ground,
right through a bunch of butterflies.
Wiff!  went her right paw, and caught a red one!
Waff!  went her left paw, and caught a blue one!
Oh, this was a marvelous plan indeed!

Just-a-Cat ate her butterflies
and then decided to climb the tree again.
What a surprise she had then!
For the cloud-stuff was as sticky as taffy,
and Just-a-Cat discovered that
it was stuck all over her pretty orange fur
in big white blobs. 

She licked and licked,
but the cloud-stuff would not come off.
She picked up her paws one at a time
and kicked them and shook them,
but still  the cloud-stuff would not come off.
It stuck to her legs and stretched between them,
making her look ridiculous.

Grumbling, Just-a-Cat climbed the tree again,
only to discover that the clouds were all gone.
She waited and waited, stuck up there in the sky,
but the clouds never came back and the sun shone brighter.
Grumbling all the more, she went to climb down
but the cloud-stuff tangled and made her clumsy.
A branch broke and sent her tumbling through the air.
Just-a-Cat yowled and twisted to point her paws at the ground --

and suddenly, she was swooping through the air!

Just-a-Cat laughed in delight
as a gust of wind lofted her higher.
The cloud-stuff caught between her legs
made her lighter and caught the air like little sails.
She soared and floated and finally dove
right through another bunch of butterflies.

Wiff!  went her right paw, and caught a yellow one!
Waff!  went her left paw, and caught a purple one!
Perhaps the mishap with the cloud
was not such an awful thing after all.

Of course, when all the other animals saw Just-a-Cat
with her pretty orange coat all spattered with white
and sticky bits of cloud-stuff stretched between her paws,
they laughed their tails off.
Oh, how she hated that!

"There goes the cat who pounced on a cloud,"
they would say.
"There goes the cat who got stuck in the sky,
and it's still all over her, too!"

But Just-a-Cat refused to give them the satisfaction
of letting them see her cry over their teasing.
She just put her whiskers in the air,
and waved her white-tipped tail quite casually,
and sauntered by them as if nothing whatsoever was wrong.

In time, the other animals realized
that she had become quite formidable in the air,
and gradually they stopped laughing.
Just-a-Cat became Cat-Who-Got-Stuck-in-the-Sky
and after a while, simply Skycat.

And members of the Bird Clan began to watch her warily.

Tags: cyberfunded creativity, fantasy, fishbowl, humor, poem, poetry, reading, torn world, writing

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