Cheshire

 

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

-A conversation between Alice and the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland

I wish I had been the one to have this conversation. I’m afraid it might have gone differently though.

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
“I don’t much care where –”
“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”

“No, wait. It actually does matter. I wanna go to that castle on top of the hill. I think I wanna rule this kingdom. I have always wanted to be a queen.”

“Well, in that case, you have to take that road to your left.”

“Right. Thanks… Uhm, no. Look at that beautiful beach with the sea glistening, winking at me. I have always liked the water. Oh, and I could already imagine the feel of the sand under my feet.”

“Through the forest behind me you first have to go.”

“Yey! Thanks so much… But wait, if I wanna go to the beach and have fun there, don’t I first have to go home and finish my homework? It’s been lying on my desk for ages. So… which way is my house?”

“From right where you came from, don’t you think?’

Nervous laugh. “Right. Sorry for the trouble. I’ll be off then. See you later.”

A second later…

“Cat? Cat? Caaat? I need your head right now… Or at least your mouth so you can talk to me… About that ‘It doesn’t matter which way I go”, I think I wanna try it out. So, uhm, where should I go?… Right, it doesn’t matter… Hm, but you see, that doesn’t make much sense. What if I…”

“Boo!”

“Ah!!!”

I fall off a cliff and die.

 

 

 

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Am I Blue? by Alice Walker

type-animals.blogspot.com.au

type-animals.blogspot.com.au

Summary

In Am I Blue?, the author tells the story of her encounters with a horse named Blue and of its profound effect on her. The piece tells of the emotions that she has observed occurring in the horse, from boredom — with being alone all the time— to contentment —at finding a partner— and to hatred —for having the said partner taken away. The author points out how all these transpired due to man’s total disregard for animal suffering, much the same way man disregards his own fellow’s suffering.

Memorable Passage

“…white children, who were raised by black people, who knew their first all-accepting love from black women, and then, when they were twelve or so,… “forget”

I have often wondered about this. How can you possibly think of people who have raised you and loved you as mere tools afterwards? How do you forget? It’s not really the memories in their heads that seem to have been lost but the ones in their hearts. You don’t forget love. I don’t know how that can ever be possible.

“…animals try to tell us…“Everything you do to us will happen to you; we are your teachers, as you are ours. We are one lesson.”

I find this line awfully beautiful. I have always believed in the idea that a part of us resides in everybody and everything. That we share but one soul, and in the end we’re all just one whole entity. I believe this about nature, the trees, the flowers, the sky. But never have I thought about it with regards to animals. What pain we inflict on them, what joy we share with them will be a reflection of the same pain and joy that we make people around us feel.

Writer’s Point

At first look, two main points may be gotten from the essay. One obviously points out the author’s compassion for animals and her disappointment with man’s ignorance towards animal needs. The other idea that would be observed is how she used Blue’s situation as a symbolism for the evolving forms of discrimination in our society. But with deeper appreciation for the piece comes the realization that these two points are not and could not be separated from each other. The author throws light at the culture of discrimination in general. As in the passage I chose earlier, the author believes that we are one lesson. We are one. We cannot use or abuse people the same way we cannot do it to animals. We are one. Whatever it is you feel you deserve, whether it be love or respect or joy, every human and every animal deserves too.

How the Piece Might be Useful To My Writing

I am still starting to figure out the style I am comfortable in when writing. There was one time not very long ago, when I decided that I wanna be a dirty realist. I dried that out, I mean I tried that out. It was interesting but I figured I liked using more words. In Am I Blue?, I found some sentences that are too long but also some that are deliciously long. Not anywhere in the essay did I spot a pretentious tone. I like that. I strive for that.

Reason for Enjoying

I enjoyed the piece very much. The topics that the author delved into are ones that I have not directly tackled before. I thought because of this disconnect, I would not be pulled into the narrative. But I was. For the most part, the author’s approach was romantic and yet straight to the point. No part of it caused me boredom or disinterest. I was genuinely excited about what happens both to Blue and the essay itself.