Spectatorial issue 2

Page 26

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And so, Albert became a kitten. As Albert grew, he learned what it meant to be a cat. He learned to strut and preen, to pounce and play. He learned to knead into his bed and how to lick himself clean so that his orange fur blazed against the brightness and pitch of the white and black patches. For a time he avoided the mice, remembering their names and their faces. But he was a cat now, and with time he forgot what it meant to be a mouse. As the years passed Albert became a fine mouser. He was as fat and proud as any cat, and could always be found lazing by the fire or purring deeply in his master’s bed. One day Albert’s master, who was a great hero of the town, rushed into the house. He was breathless and panicked, and ran to his sword and shield. Terrified shouts could be heard through the open doorway and several buildings were burning brightly. As Albert’s master turned, armed and ready, the roof was sundered and fire streamed into the home, setting the timbers ablaze. His master was swatted aside by a great dragon, which roared fiercely as he stood over the home. Thick, cloying smoke streamed through the house, dirtying Albert with soot. The dragon’s eyes pierced through the smog, pinning him to the spot with fear. The world shrank to a canvas of immaculate red scales, cleaned to a polish, and gleaming in the flickering light of the flames. Roaring once more, the dragon turned, ignoring Albert, to find its way back to its mountain lair. Albert hesitated at the threshold of the house, peering out into the daylight, watching the panicked humans. He looked back briefly to his brothers and sisters, who cowered in a corner, trying to evade the flames. Then Albert began to follow the great beast, determined and knowing that he would soon become a dragon, too.

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