Little town, it’s a quiet village
Every day like the one before
Little town, full of little people
Waking up to say
Bonjour! Bonjour!

And here we are, a pair of little women, raising from our sleep, not too shallow, not so deep.
We have classes today, and a weekend market to bid, for life, of ours, of theirs, the cats, their mothers, and their kits.

There goes the baker with his tray, like always
The same old bread and rolls to sell
Every morning just the same
Since the morning that we came
To this poor, provincial town.

Instead of listening, to the urban farming graduates, teaching us to grow sorghum in the pot, that we can turn into cereal, and help to feed the cats (and cows, and chicken), we were busy whispering about that little cat.

She was so tiny, her waist is unseen. She was so light, we can lift her with three fingers. She was confused, she cannot walk straight, she bumps all over, and slam the concrete – where we put some food on – with her nose!

Soon there were those whispers. Women with their religious attires, pretty ladies, with lips red and pink and fused.

Look there she goes, that girl is strange, no question
Dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?
Never part of any crowd
‘Cause her head’s up on some cloud
No denying she’s a funny girl that Belle.

We were funny because we read the modules the night before the class, and everything the scholar said is in it. We were strange because we moved away from the crowd and do our own business, so everyone can do their own. We distract ourselves then and there, so when the question and answer session came, at least one of us can raise her hand, and posed all the wonder we wrote down before.

At the end, that’s what we do. My caretaker talked to the old farmer who first (and until now) cultivated sorghum in pots as if they are roses, while I waited by the parking lot, with Belle in my arm.

Then, another whisper, another giggle.

Look there she goes, the girl is so peculiar
I wonder if she’s feeling well
With a dreamy, far-off look
And her nose stuck in a book
What a puzzle to the rest of us is Belle.

My nose is not stuck in a book, and I am not Belle.
This girl should not either.

Her eyes are crossed. One look down, and one look to the other direction; so she cannot walk straight.

She cannot perceive depth, she can only eat what we hold right under her mouth; but a stray as she is, who will give her food, let alone hold her food under her mouth?

Her teeth are not aligned. Her voice is coarse, and she can’t control her volume. She stayed by the window, and unless someone help her climb down from her perch, she will not be moving anywhere anytime soon.

But we doubt not, and she prove so, that she is loving and kind. She is generous and especially so with the kittens. She is patient, she is merciful. She sat by our feet and waited quietly until we are done with the other, so she can have her food.

She may have the ugliest of appearance, but she has the most beautiful manners.

It made her Belle to us, and she is why there are more than this provincial life, otherwise we’d both be gone.

~ Josie

Paragraphs in italics adapted from the song “Belle” performed by Emma Watson. Produced by Michael Kosarin, Matt Sullivan & Alan Menken
Album Beauty and the Beast: 2017 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Published by

Josie And The Whiskers' Syndicate

The first and only cat refuge in Bandung (West Java - Indonesia) a capital breeder of a nation without animal welfare law. We care for Bandung's unwanted animals, operate a TNR as much as our budget allows, and continue to educate people about compassion to animals

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