• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 08

The Duty to Act

The outfitted man and his cats and the kittens who fancy the birds, not the mice, but the birds cannot fly, still in their cages they flutter and squawk of their wish for the dogs to barge in and bark but the dogs on the floor sleep leashed or unleashed, some chained to the house, dream of chasing cats, bite their own flesh to kill off the bugs but look on sleepily as if drugged.

And I, who fancy them all, would pay to undo their plight
to be sold or traded. I would fight for their freedom, would cut a deal with this seller of pelts, living pelts who have forgotten what it’s like to roam free, without care, for no fee.

Now the hound looks on, recognizes me to be a lover of creatures who run wild and carefree. With quiet desperation, he makes a plea. Set us free, set us free, says he, without saying, with his eyes, without gesture, sans bark or bite. I realize in the face of false facts, I have a duty to act.

So here I stand knee deep in thought, searching for an answer, a light in the dark of such a predicament, in this moment, in the near total tan of tonight a dilemma so fraught, whether to barge in or pull out my wad or my gun, to pay or to steal, to feed them all fancy meals, to show them I care, a mixture of meats and of sweets, exotic and rare.

In a flash I am certain, willing to fight for the right to realign
their fates, their trajectory of cause. With a slight of my hand
I shape my fist under my shirt to resemble a gun, to instill in him fright, make him sign over the rights of the creatures enslaved residing in the fancier’s penitentiary.

I offer him honey and bundles of money. I wait and the creatures wait with me to hear his reply, what he will do, what he has on his mind. Time passes and all turns tan in the blur of the moment, in the tick-tock of time passing.


The Duty to Act

Should he refuse I accept all consequence, and will pull out of the deal, pull out my gun. I will announce my intent to burn up the files, snip all the leashes, to free the frown of the hound,
free the song of the bird in the bush, the curious meow of the cat with an imaginary rat in his maw, in the grip of his paws, and that all, and that’s that.