After waking up from a long and luxurious rest, I stretched, twitching my whiskers and waving my tail. My muscles felt very tense and sore, and I was unwilling to get up. I was unaccustomed to the hard, rigidness of the ground I slept on, and I longed for my warm, dry bed at home. My bed at home had been lined with the softest, smoothest fabric my mother could find, and it was always fresh and clean. My makeshift bed of fabric strips was meager in comparison, and it was wet with morning dew. Undaunted, I laid the fabric strips onto the dry bark of my wagon, hoping it would dry throughout the day.
Shaking the sticky dew drops off my ears, I picked a dandelion stem to eat for breakfast, but the stem was too tall and slick for me to hold. It blocked my vision, and I ran into the maple tree. A piece of bark fell, opening a hole in my new shirt. I realized it was time for a change. I decided to spend one whole week under my maple tree shelter, patching clothing, gathering food, and doing other miscellaneous activities. I wanted to gather food, but my clothing was in need of repair, so I decided to patch my shirt in the bright daylight, and I could use the dim light of the night to gather food. That way, I could make use of my time while staying safe under the cover of night.
I grabbed a clean, white shirt from my wagon, ducked behind the tree to change, and emerged with the torn shirt in my paws. My day of sewing was about to begin.
I had never been good at sewing – that was always what Sarah had loved to do. My younger sister would happily patch clothing while I gathered food and materials for the family. I never had time to watch her sew and mend, so it didn’t surprise me that I was clueless right now. However, I was spared the trouble by the surfacing of a distant memory. In the memory, I was watching my mother sew, her furry paws warm and soft from hours of chores. She was mending a pair of overalls, and she was instructing me. “Charles,” she had said, “I know you don’t sew. But even if you do, some time in the future, you need to remember to always watch the needle and the fabric. You can’t let your eyes wander and stray or you could hurt yourself.”
With the memory fresh in my mind, I set to work. Grabbing some tough weeds and grass, I tore the grass into thin shreds. I had found a human-sized needle, and I worked the shredded grass into the hole of the needle. The job was a lot harder than I thought. The needle was too big, so I had to hold it with two paws. It took me the entire day to patch the paw-sized hole, but it was better than nothing. Only until I had finished did I realize how hungry I had been. I had been concentrating so hard that I forgot to eat lunch! Oh, well. I guess I’d transition straight to dinner!
For dinner, I ate the leftovers of the dandelion stem I had eaten this morning. The plant was delicious, and it satisfied my hunger and thirst. Sitting on my favorite tree branch, I reflected on my day. I realized that this was the life I had always wanted, one where I could explore and figure things out for myself. I enjoyed my new independence, and I wanted to make it last. Watching the sun set, I could form only one thought in my mind. Nature has given us many gifts in life – my gift is the ability to explore and enjoy life in a completely different perspective.