On Inauguration Day, I want to share with you one of the weirdest things I’ve ever created: it’s a children’s book that I literally came up with in a *freaking dream* a few months back. Usually when you have a brilliant idea in your sleep, you realize upon waking that it’s incredibly stupid. But this idea actually turned into a proper story that I’m rather proud of!
I didn’t get any nibbles from publishers, and (despite my unemployment) didn’t have the bandwidth or skill to illustrate it myself, so I’m setting it free. Hope you enjoy it.
Black Cat, White House
Hans was a black cat who lived in the bushes next to a big white house. Every day, many people would come and go from the house on their human business, and every night Hans would hunt for food on the grounds.
Sometimes Hans would get a scratch from a passing tourist, or a bit of tuna sandwich from a friendly guard. Once, a very friendly lady1 picked Hans up and told him he was a good cat. He liked that a lot.
Then one day, things at the white house changed. The friendly humans got in their large black cars and drove away; a new set of cars brought a new group of people.
They weren’t so friendly.
Hans heard the humans yelling at each other all the time. They interrupted his naps. The leader of the pack was a man who never laughed; Hans didn’t think he seemed like much of a leader at all.
As time went on, the humans in the house grew more unpleasant. When Hans tried to meow for a bit of food or a scratch, they yelled at him or even threw stones! Hans could tell that the people outside the house weren’t happy, either. Every day, large groups of them would gather and yell angry human words. An enormous wall was built to protect the white house from the outside world. But Hans didn’t feel very safe.
“Humans are awful,” thought Hans disgustedly one afternoon, after the guards sent people running with clouds of unpleasant gas. Hans hardly even remembered that people could be kind.
And then one day, a fleet of large black cars arrived again. Hans watched with interest as a new group of humans moved into the house. He recognized the new leader as someone who had once given him a bit of cheese. One night Hans saw the man passing by, and poked his face out of the bushes.
“I remember you!,” said the man with surprise, immediately reaching down to give Hans a scratch. Hans purred in relief. Maybe the white house could be a happy place again.