Wild Life
Chris Kammler
Texas Ruby Red
First Prize Award Winner
Carla's at the piano again. It must be dinnertime. If it's Chopin, it's probably tofu. Debussy; fish, red snapper with lemon and rice. Rachmaninov; goulash and Lady Fingers, a triple espresso for sport. Stravinsky; stroganoff, of course, rough Russian bread, schlivovitz and crescendos of shattering glass; laughter and swearing. No sleep with Stravinsky in town. . . . Ah, St. Saens, Prelude to Ocean Fishing or something like that. The doorbell. A dog barks twice. Perhaps a duet? Ferrant and Teischer? Oh, no! Not Flight of the Bumble Bee. Not again. I'll have to restrain the knick knacks! They love this song, will fling themselves to the center of the kitchen floor and make like a bee hive. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Buzz. Honey all over the floor. Then they'll want to play drones and Queen. That's all well and good, if you're in the mood. But it is a little disconcerting while stirring the polenta to have the spatula, suddenly overcome by the music, impassioned by the music, leap from my hand and cakewalk the cats off their perches and into their evening clothes. They'll want help, of course, buttoning the teeny, tiny, miniscule, red silk buttons on their teeny, tiny, miniscule, red silk gloves; zipping up the red velvet and chiffon, strapless, prom dress; tying cravats and fluffing their tails. Off they go into the moonlight, serenading the neighborhood with their Cante Jondo kitty style. Who knows when I'll see those cats again. All I wanted was a quiet night at home, then Carla started at the piano.

First published: July 1996
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