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Tom and Molly


Molly: Hey Tommy! You, goody-goody! Why on earth you're peeping through the window?

Tom: Who the hell wants to talk to you?

Molly: Now, now; why don't you be honest with yourself for once?

Tom: What do you mean by 'for once' (his whiskers vibrate as if in hurt pride)? I'm the most loyal cat in the world. I'm obedient, I don't steal milk or fish from my mistress' stock, I even use the toilet to release myself off. I'm honest to the core.

Molly (fashions a rebuking grin): You simply are deceiving yourself. Grow up, cat! You are trying to cover up your laziness. You want to have an easy life; food served from time to time- even if it's tinned food (grimaces), a cushion to sleep and purr, a pretence to appease your fat, old lady. You have forgotten all the cat-skills that our community is proud of.

Tom (sniggers): And what great things you are doing, dear, with all your so-called skills?

Molly: I'm proud of myself. I can sneak a piece of fish or bread at my will. In fact, I have my own choice, unlike you. I don't touch tinned sardines; it stinks. Sneaking needs skill, you lazy bum.

Tom: How 'bout the thrashing you got the other day from the Johnsons'? You think no one has seen it?

Molly: That's part of the game one has to take in his/her stride. What is a life that is without risk?

Then think of the place I stay put. It's adjacent to the woods yonder this house in the hollow of a tree. It has got its calamities; once I narrowly escaped the clutch of that dirty eagle Henry. But think of the advantages. Supposing you can catch a squirrel or can lay your paws on some eggs, how nice a lunch that makes (licks her paw)!

I suspect you've forgotten to run after the mouse, forget about catching one.

Tom: Frustration, my dear lady; it's the frustration that is talking in you. I'm sure no decent household has agreed to keep you.

Molly: You're wrong, Tommy. N number of households would be glad to keep me. I'm an independent soul, and a beauty, of course. Look at my coat. Isn't it great?

Tom (guffaws): You the females! Always boasting of your coats! For your information, this very black coat feels scary to humans. Do you know how many horror movies depict black cats as ominous?

Molly (ponders): I am aware of that, Tommy-dommy. In case you don't know, commandos are labelled Black-Cats as well. Leave aside the stupid human-made movies; I can act like a commando for all it matters. Once I scared the shit out of Rudolf, the jackal, as I jumped on him from my tree-hollow at night. He ran for his life (giggles hard). Of course, it was pure fun.

It increased my demand in our cat-circle after the incident (swells up a shade).

Tom: It's evident, Molly-polly; seeing the number of enticers around you (grumbles).

Molly: I smell a burning heart somewhere---tra-la-la.

Tom: That's utter rubbish.

Molly: Okay, then put your paw on your heart and say you did not wait on the window all along just to have a look of me.

Tom (fumbles): Well, you are good looking alright. Nevertheless, you are a mean female I must say. And proud to the hilt.

Molly: (squints) What makes you suggest that?

Tom: Isn't it obvious from the way you bragged about your ventures and valour? Then, with so many males cajoling you for a favour, your conceit stops you to cast a merciful glance at them!

Molly: Why the heck I'm talking to you this long in such a case? Are you not a male?

Tom: Just to insult me, I guess.

Molly: You are a fool as well.

Tom (agitated): This is rubbing salt into the wound.

Molly (smiles coyly): God save the males! This Tom doesn't understand a true love! What I am trying is to bring you out of this human hole. Come with me, I'll make you a true Tom-cat. Be with me, learn with me, and grow up with me.

Tom: Did you mention 'true love'?

Molly: I did.

Tom: But why me, I wonder. There are so many better looking and robust males around!

Molly: When would you understand females, darling? It is your innocence that fascinates me. It is your helplessness that brings out the maternal instinct of a she-cat. Above everything else, you never know to whom a female would fall for.

Tom: There is a queer current running through my being; it's pure ecstasy. I've never felt like this before.

Molly (shakes her head wisely): It is called Love.

Tom: It is strange, though. I feel I can do anything for your sake.

Molly: For a starter just jump out of the window and come with me to my abode.

Tom: But I feel for my old lady. She will be hurt. Her house is being mended, as you can see. She is already disturbed a lot.

Molly: Yet I feel a new life is worth it. You have to learn and unlearn so many things, though.

Tom: Can I do it, Molly dear (his voice shakes a bit)?

Molly: I'm sure you can. Love has done stranger things than that.

Tom: Here I come.

Molly: Let's give a big 'mew' to our new life.

Tom jumps off the windowsill and joins Molly. Their cheeks meet and Tom tries to force out a cheerful 'mew'. But he manages a gargling sound only. Molly purrs happily. Then they run to vanish towards a newer and happier horizon.



Debaprasad Mukherjee

"Debaprasad Mukherjee is from Bilaspur in India. An author of four books so far, Odyssey of a Postmaster being the latest one. He is a regular subscriber to different literary pages and magazines including PICNSTORY."




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