September 22- 28 is Banned Books Week. Let’s all read a banned book or two!
One of my favorite banned books is Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Here’s a little story about one of my favorite characters.
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Something crashed nosily through the forest. Curious, the Cheshire cat climbed from tangled tree branch to branch, until she crouched above the source of the noise. Another cat, drawn to the commotion, perched on a branch opposite her.
The two cats exchanged wicked grins before peering through the leaves to the forest floor below them, where a small figure struggled through brush and roots and branches.
Sniffing, the cat scented the unmistakable smell of human. Sometimes humans fell down the rabbit hole, and ended up wandering lost and alone. The lucky ones ran into help, the unlucky ones met up with the Red Queen, or some other danger, and never returned to where they came from.
This one, a lanky young male, wore ripped dirty clothes, and was covered in shallow scratches from branches. A few oozed drops of blood.
Tail swinging from side to side, the cat considered. This one didn’t look like he was doing well–a few years older than the usual young children that fell through, and hampered by each year. The older the traveler, the more time spent in denial, and the less quickly they adapted to the new rules. Before she could decide on whether to interfere, the cat across the narrow path–a darker-striped male missing a piece of his left ear–climbed, still invisible to non-cat eyes, down a few branches into easier view.
Slowly he faded into visibility, starting with his wide, sharp smile, as was traditional.
This particular human wasn’t paying attention to more than the holes and bumps that caught at his feet, and the branches that lunged for his eyes, however, and passed under the cat without turning his face up once.
The cats exchanged feline shrugs. From the path ahead came the sound of hoof beats, and both cats shrank into the concealing shadows as a black club came riding into view.
Perhaps he’ll get lucky yet, the cat thought, turning her tail on the scene below–the rearing knight and the cowering human. It wasn’t likely, but humans tended to be very lucky, even if they weren’t as smart as Cheshire cats.