In the land of gemstones and platinum submarines,
there lived a cat with paper wings.
Her name was Softer the Flying Cat,
and of course she did just that,
soaring through the sky above Gemstone & Platinum Submarine Land,
singing merry melodies and whispering tiny mysteries
to which no one listened but all could hear.
“The honey honey runny runs down the trunk of the carnelian tree,
but it’s funny and the sunny sun is hot, smiling down upon us.”
She lived a simple life.
When tired, she slept on the clouds.
When cold, she wrapped herself in their wool.
When hungry, she ate of them, cotton candy treats.
When thirsty, she flew beneath and drank their rain.
When conversation she desired, she spoke to the Stars,
and when love she desired, she embraced the Sun.
Despite the many treasures in the land below, Softer the Flying Cat wanted nothing
for she was happy.
No other citizens of Gemstone & Platinum Submarine Land could fly at all,
forced instead to trudge along emerald-ruby pathways
or sink beneath silvery seas all the livelong day,
crying, “Weep weep! Weep weep!” in notes of woe.
And it was a sad thing.
But still Softer the Flying Cat flew above them, sang her songs,
and whispered her mysteries for she knew nothing of these troubles below,
and therefore was troubled not by them.
You may think that this flying-singing-whispering endeared little love for Softer,
and you would be right indeed,
for most every other Cat and Rat,
Dog and Hog,
and Trident-class vessel in Gemstone & Platinum Submarine Land
despised the Flying Cat and the elevated position she held,
which impoverished them so.
None knew why she had been granted such a gift as paper wings
(for she had had them as long as she had lived,
and no one could remember when she’d been born or made)
but every citizen wanted to fly with all of their hearts,
and Softer mocked the fact that they could not simply by doing as she did.
And it was a sad thing.
The Dogs of Diamondy Draw hated Softer the Flying Cat most especially
and many went mad running in her shadow, barking and shouting curses
until their tongues lolled out their mouths and their muscles spasmed
and they collapsed from the sunny sun’s oppressive heat,
lying down in jade forests to die.
The leader of the Dogs of Diamondy Draw was a great white pit bull
with a big black spot on his back,
and with each day that this went by,
he would become angrier and angrier still.
He would chase her himself,
pleading with her to come down and stop torturing the dogs as she did,
but to no avail.
“If Softer the Cat,”
he would not utter the f-word,
“would like to kill our people,
we will kill hers instead.”
whined all of the Labrador retrievers and German Shepherds,
Beagles and Daschunds.
“There is no one as she is in all the land.”
“Yes, but there are many like her,” the pit bull said.
And so the Dogs of Diamondy Draw roused to the hunt,
and they set upon Cats of Opal Lake at once,
who were mauled to the last kitten.
Not a one escaped, and no more Cats lived there
until the end of the age.
But the Flying Cat gave no heed and continued to fly-sing-whisper
as if it was all she was made to do.
“Let the fire-sky turn ash or die,
I care not when or why.
Light and warmth are quite divine,
but I like the cool and darkness fine.”
Big Black Spot the Pit Bull for a time was pleased.
He now controlled two lands not one,
and promptly made a treaty of friendship and mutual defense
with the yellow-painted Typhoon-class submarine in Opal Lake
and neighboring Badgers of the Turquoise Hills.
Quickly, however, the singing of Softer the Flying Cat
floated into his floppy white ears again,
and Big Black Spot’s joy turned to rage,
dark as his spot.
He called for a meeting between the Dogs of Diamondy Draw & Opal Lake,
the Yellow Painted Typhoon-class submarine,
and the Badgers of the Turquoise Hills.
“The Rats of Jasper Mountain are very high up,”
said Big Black Spot,
“They are very near the sky and mock us with her.
I can stand it no longer.”
The Yellow Submarine was suspicious,
but the Badgers of the Turquoise Hills had long desired the Jasper Mountain,
and it was agreed that in mutual defense
they would force the Rats out of the mountain
for the benefit of all.
The fighting was very fierce.
Many Rats died, and those who survived fled in every direction,
becoming a nuisance to all Gemstone & Platinum Submarine Land
by eating the young, old, and sick of every place.
But the victors still rejoiced
for they had won a great battle.
The Dogs of Diamondy Draw, Opal Lake, & Jasper Mountain
resolved to split the mountain with the Badgers,
and all were satisfied with their holdings.
Nearer now to Softer the Flying Cat,
they hated her more,
and set about finding ways to bring her down.
The Badgers worked to make catapults with jewel shard missiles
while the Dogs met with the Codgers of the Topaz Plains
and convinced them to use their shotguns and broomsticks to tear Softer’s wings,
For weeks they prepared,
Badgers making catapults,
Codgers cleaning their shotguns,
and the Yellow Submarine re-calibrating its targeting system
as the Dogs spread out all across Gemstone & Platinum Submarine Land
looking for and following
Softer the Flying Cat.
Soon, the day had arrived
and the Beagle raced to the Jasper Mountain
to tell all of the Dogs and Badgers and Codgers of this news.
Dozens waited on the side of the mountain,
when all of a sudden from behind a cloud there appeared the Flying Cat,
doing as she always did.
“On the meaning of life there is much debate,
but ’tis nothing less or more than to love and mate.”
Hearing this, Big Black Spot barked the order to fire,
and fire they did.
Softer was caught completely by surprise
and only realized what had happened as the first shard and buckshot
tore through her wings.
Staying aloft, she tried to glide away,
but the missile from the Yellow Submarine exploded in the air above her
and she tumbled, tumbled, tumbled
toward the ground below.
The Dogs gave chase and found her near the edge of Opal Lake,
panting and crying.
“You should not have flown above us as you did,” Great Black Spot growled,
putting a firm paw on Softer’s belly,
“Had you walked as the rest of us do,
you would have lived much longer.”
“Is eating me a sin for you to do?”
as she realized their intentions.
“No. We are Dogs
and this is our way.”
“Then I have no regrets.”
And they ate her
until they had cracked her bones for the marrow.