(This is a guest post from my friend, Nabila. For those who forget, she's one of my office friend back in Medan, as seen on this post).
Greetings! My name's Nabila, I shared a house with Dew in Medan. Suddenly in an early Ramadhan morning, I felt the urge to contribute while giving Dew a glimpse of her old life in Medan. I'll warn you first, though: It'll be different. Dew's naturally witty & cleverly sarcastic. Me, I just try to be. I have absolutely none of Dew's skill with drawings, & my very own skills of writing is almost nonexistent (so not true - Dew :D). Still, it's been a terribly long time since the last time I wrote, & so I figured, time to start honing. And what better place than here?
Have you ever read J. Norman Lippert's fanfiction of JK Rowling's Harry Potter? He made a series called James Potter (after Harry's eldest son). The second book contained a chapter entitled "The King of the Cats". Here's an excerpt from James Potter and the Curse of the Gate Keeper where one of James' friends tells a story for the Wizard Literature class:
He took a deep breath and began. "This man is going for a walk in the country one day, really far away from where he lives. No one else is around and there aren't any houses for days in any direction. All of a sudden, he sees a whole bunch of mice. At first, he thinks that he should chase them off, but then he notices that they aren't acting like regular mice. They seem to be walking in a sort of procession, and they are carrying something. The man crouches down behind some bushes because he doesn't want to scare the mice, but he's really curious about what they are carrying. As they pass in front of him, he sees that they are carrying another mouse on a little tiny bed. The man realizes that the mouse on the bed is dead, and that this is a little mouse funeral procession.
"As quietly as he can, he follows the procession deep into the woods until they come to a big, wide clearing, all bright in the sun. In the center of the clearing is a tiny stone stairway leading to nothing. It just goes up and stops. There is a big cat sitting at the bottom of the stairs, blocking them. It's all striped and golden and very serious and solemn-looking. The cat watches the mouse procession as it crosses the clearing, getting closer and closer. The man almost calls out to the mice because he is sure the cat will eat them, funeral or not. But then the mice finally get to the cat and stop right in front of its paws. They put the tiny bed down and back away. The big gold cat is watching the whole time with its huge green eyes. Finally, it bends down and says something to the dead mouse. The mouse jumps up, alive and dancing. It darts between the golden cat's legs and runs up the little stone staircase. The man watches, still hiding, as the mouse runs right past the end of the stone stairs, still going up. The mouse climbs further into the sky, as if on invisible stairs, until it is completely out of sight. The man can hardly believe what he is seeing.
"When he looks down again, the rest of the mice are all gone. Only the big golden cat remains, and it is staring right at him with its big green eyes. The man is scared of the cat, so he turns on his heels and runs as fast as he can out of the woods. He doesn't stop running until he gets back on the path, and he runs the whole path all the way back to his own land and into his own house. That night, the man sits down at dinner with his family. He tells them everything he saw that day, and the last thing he says is, 'That cat was surely the King of the Mice!' Just then, the big old family cat, which up to that moment had been sleeping in front of the fire, jumps up on its hind feet and says, plain as day, 'Then I am the King of the Cats!' And it leaps up the chimney and is never seen again."
Weird story, huh? I still don't get it, not until now. To me, all of Lippert's fanfictions are a little hard to digest & harder to accept than Rowling's original stuff. But I'm not writing to tell you about some strange story or to criticize Lippert. It's just that, the other day (or should I say, night), something happened that reminded me of that chapter's title.
At that time, there were three people in Pinky Residence who were doing the Ramadhan fasting, so these three people - Indah, Irman, & I - woke up before the dawn to have some supper to prepare for not eating & drinking the whole next day. Indah woke earliest & roused the rest of us, me last of all. As usual, I took some time donning my hijab & some garb more suitable in the presence of men than the ones I use for bed. Normally, when I get out of the room, the others would've been busy cooking or warming food prepared beforehand. Not that night, though
When I walked into the kitchen, the room was silent & both Indah & Irman were sitting quietly, staring at something. When I asked them what was the matter, Indah gestured for me to look at the sink. I did as I was bid, & at first I didn't see anything. Then, I noticed the tail curling lazily down the edge of the sink from underneath the upturned frying pan we put there after washing. That's when I realised what happened - a rat was perched underneath that pan, & both Indah and, yes, Irman, were afraid to go anywhere near it.
Indah was urging Irman to do something, to scare the rat away so we could get on with the cooking, but it was plain at a glance that Irman was actually more afraid of the rat than both of us were. He just sat there, as far from the rat as possible, staring at the tail. Indah was also afraid to move closer, so it fell on me to act.
First, I tried turning on the water from the tap & splashing that tail. The only reaction I got only served to madden me! The rat majestically hitched its tail upward a few inches, like a lady calmly hitching up her skirt to avoid a puddle! Cool as you please, could you believe it?! Then, I thought that it would take fright for sure if someone clangs on that pan. The only tools visible to me at that time were spoons, though, & none of us were bold enough to get that close to that rat. Just think if it somehow leaps & lands on our hands & crawls over our bodies! Brr... Disgusting!
So I took a small tupperware box & use its top as a missile. I threw it as hard as I could against that pan. Indah jumped at the racket I made, but the rat didn't react at all! Not even a twitch of the tail this time! Finally, I saw a long-handled mop on the corner of the room. Gathering my courage, I used it to swipe the pan away. It clanged to the floor, & finally the mule-headed rat ran away, leaving us to cook & eat in (relative) peace.
I guess it was the way that rat hitched its tail like nothing was amiss, or the way it just sat there, unmoved, when I threw something against it, which suddenly reminded me of the phrase "the king of the cats". Only this time, it's "the king of the rats" instead, perched upon its throne inside the pan-palace. Maybe it was truly the king of the rats in our house, who knows?
(I've been wanting (and forcing) everyone to write guest posts in my blog since forever - finally someone noticed, duh! Well big thank you to Nabila for contributing in my blog. And I always suggest (strongly suggest) her to write her own blog, and publish it - she has this journal thing in her iPad and her writing is nice, waaaay nicer than mine - as you can see on your own on this post hehehe. Okay, enjoy December everyone! ;))