I saw it scurry across the ground, tiny little brown thing. I thought "Mouse," "Mole," "Vole." Then I thought "Heart." "Someone has lost their heart, for it is running close to the ground and not beating in their chest, where it belongs. It is small, and somewhat furry, but I can see it beating away into nowhere. It should be pushing blood. It should be glistening with blood. But it is lost, it is pushing nothing but the air, uselessly. Its movements are swift and erratic, a physician would not be pleased. Perhaps it has a murmur."
I crept closer, such that the small bit of life could not see me. I learned this lesson from my cat. We spent many mornings, cat and I, learning how to sneak up on one another. He followed me to the bus stop, and I pretended not to notice that he was hot on my trails. He would stand, stock still, in the old playing field (they're building a house there now) as I crept up on him, moving only when his back was turned to me.
He taught me well, that old cat. If he were alive, and human, he'd be proud. After a certain point, I was as near to the scurrying creature as I could get, and I dashed and got so close I could reach out and grab it. I saw it, I nearly had it in my hands, soft furry beating warm thing, but when I peered closer it was not there at all. I wanted it, suddenly, and just as suddenly thought "I do not know what to do with you if I catch you, little heart." Hold you? Keep you in my pocket? Let you bite me? Break your neck? Trade you for my own? Ah, but the little thing solved my problem for me - it disappeared. Perhaps it disappeared down the rabbit hole. Perhaps it was eaten.
before / after
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