"The Misfit" written 21/10/1985 by Wilhelmina Verschoof

The warmth of the sun shone on my face which was most welcome, especially after a long and arduous night of searching for food. The birds weren’t much of a problem, they practically slept all night on the upper most perches of their wired cage. I am very lucky not to live in a cage as I should not be able to come and go as I please. These birds are unable to leave their compound and will possibly never experience the feeling of freedom.

I’m only 6 months old and have this insatiable appetite for wandering. My mum encouraged me considerably and always told me to look after myself. She was totally devoted to the family and looked after eight of us diligently. One day she said “Son, I have a lot of mouths to feed and I can only do so much. When the time comes that you have not been fed, you must search on your own”. I never wandered too far from home as the necessity never arose because my tummy was always full.

I stretched, yawned and uncurled my tail, flexed my whiskers and wriggled my nose. After shaking the sand from my body I couldn’t help but notice my reflection in a piece of tin that was located against the shed wall. I must admit I looked good; every hair was in place, something like a “John Travolta in the movie ‘Grease’”.

Mum was busy looking after my sisters and brothers, so I decided, seeing how I felt and looked so good, to embark on an expedition on the other side of the fence. I told Mum that I would be back in a little while and scurried along the fence line.

Wow, isn’t it amazing what you can see when you leave home for the very first time? Mum had taught me quite a bit whilst I was at home; she explained a lot of things that were in books and showed me photographs of humans, birds, insects and numerous edible varieties of bird seed. What I now saw in front of me was like nothing I had ever seen before in real life. Carnival colours were everywhere, from the rich green grass to the precision-made petals of all the plants in this vibrant garden. Butterflies danced from petal to petal in effortless flight, whilst ants raced along the earth oblivious to my presence.

Not wanting to miss out on all the fun, I raced over to join in the activities. I became so engrossed in what I was doing that I was unaware of being touched. It felt so gentle but strange, not like the touch my mother would use when she was caressing me. I looked up and saw a grey furry animal one hundred times bigger than myself. It had big yellow eyes and a long fluffy tail, and white whiskers so long that it put mine to shame. I was consciously aware that this was a cat. It touched me once again, this time a little harder, and its voice sounded unusual.

I stood on my back legs in awe of this creature. Mesmerised, I could do nothing to stop it from rolling me around on the ground. From out of the gentleness I had felt earlier, I now experienced pain. My whole body was catapulted into the air, eventually thudding back on the ground gasping for breath. No sooner had I inhaled and I was once again thrown towards the heavens.

Stars danced before my eyes and through them I noticed a human restraining my attacker. I wanted to escape but was so disorientated, I knew not where to go. I looked up and saw these two creatures wrestling with one another. My one and only thought was that I wanted to be home again with my mother.

The human looked at me sympathetically. I regained some of my balance and headed off in the right direction towards home but there was no camouflage to hide me from perhaps another onslaught. I was completely vunerable and again cornered by the cat.

I don’t remember terribly well what happened after that, lapsing in and out of consciousness. My breathing was very shallow and I could not move from where I laid. The human found me again and deliberately rolled me onto a dustpan. I felt the soft wind flow over by body causing my hair to move in the opposite direction whilst being transported to another garden, towards home.

"The Misfit" written 21/10/1985 by Wilhelmina Verschoof

Wilhelmina

Riverton, Australia

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Artist's Description

My first attempt at creative writing in 1985.

Artwork Comments

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