Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Has The Cat Got Your Tongue?

by anita marie moscoso

Daisy Cutting was not normal- her parents knew it, her brothers and sisters knew it and her dog knew it too.

That's why Tarzan lived under the porch instead of above it and if they could have the rest of Daisy Cutting's family would have followed Tarzan under the porch too- but there wasn't enough room for all of them.

So the rest of the family was forced to deal with their world with Daisy in it in their own way. The Cutting Family learned to be invisible- which was easy when all anyone really noticed was Daisy.

She was very hard to ignore no matter how hard you tried.

On the day her parents found out they were expecting a baby their house burned down, on the day Daisy was born the sky above the hospital turned black.

Not from thunderclouds- from birds.

The noise they made was deafening and the smell was bad and then while they were in mid-flight they died and fell with soft wet thuds for miles around.

Mrs Cutting saw the rain of dead birds from her hospital window and she raised her baby to her lips and whispered into Daisy's ear, "what have you done Daisy? "

Of course Daisy couldn't answer because she wasn't even an hour old but she did laugh and that's when Mrs. Cutting saw Daisy already had teeth.

" Well, " Mrs. Cutting said " at least you don't have horns too."

Then Daisy laughed some more.

The funny thing about Daisy is that she never really laughed again after that day- she just smiled.

A lot.

Daisy Cutting had a normal life- she had her own room, she had her own toys and she got two full grown black cats from her family on her 12th birthday.

Her cats, Potato and Chips didn't hide under the porch when they saw her. Everyone including Daisy figured they hung around just to see what sort of odd thing she would come up with next but that was in the nature of cats and the Cutting Family understood that.

That's why they got them for her.

So at least now Daisy had a couple of friends- which is what her family wanted. Daisy, if they had asked, would have told them she busy for a social life because Daisy was always busy working on her collections.

-like her Bug Collection.

To be specific Daisy had a Bug Zoo in her bedroom.

Her bugs were in jars and plastic containers and in front of each little cage was a card with their proper scientific names and dietary habits.

Daisy also collected yo-yos that she displayed on her bookshelf and under her bed was Daisy's Grave Collection- it wasn't as organized as her bug zoo or her yo-yo collection.

Daisy collected those little candy boxes- the ones that 6 different pieces of chocolate come in. She'd buy a box or two a month, toss the pieces to Tarzan under the porch ( he buried them ) and then she'd take the empty boxes to her bedroom.

What Daisy liked about the boxes were the little pictures of smiling cherubs on the lids.

It worked for what Daisy put in them.

At least once a month Daisy took the bus to Morning Ridge Cemetery in Duwamish Bay and she'd go from grave to grave snapping petals and leaves from the Grave Flowers.

She always did it in a way that didn't disturb the arrangements- then she'd take the flowers home, dry them and put them in the little boxes.

Each box was numbered- Daisy had a map of the cemetery in her desk and when she got home she took the numbers and not the names from the Cemetery Map and copied them onto the inside lid of the boxes.

Daisy's room was full of her collections.

One Summer Mrs Cutting was in her kitchen reading the paper and drinking some juice when she looked down into her glass and saw two flies drowning in her lemonade

She took a deep breath because she was about to yell for Daisy- and how fair was that? There were two black blowflies in her juice and the first words out of Mrs. Cutting's mouth weren't going to be "yuck".

She was about to scream, " Daisy!"

Instead she took the glass outside and threw the entire mess into the garbage can.

The next day Mrs Cutting found four blowflies in the refrigerator, two in the toilet and instead of yelling " Daisy" she went to the store and bought some No Pest Traps.

It didn't work.

In fact, it got worse.

Much worse.

By the third day there was family meeting in the Cutting home that didn't include Daisy or her cats but did include Tarzan the Dog.

The result of that meeting was Mrs Cutting was sent up to Daisy's room to see if the newest members of the Cutting Family had something to do with Daisy's Collections.

Mrs Cutting took a deep breath and before she knocked she her her daughter-sounding flustered and a little angry- which was something Daisy never did. Daisy never got rattled- so Instead of knocking she put her ear to the door.

" Hey you guys...give those back this minute...I've got you ...let go of that Potato! Chips you're next hand it over....come out from under there you two- I mean it.

You guys are in so much trouble"

Mrs. Cutting looked back down the hall and almost called for somebody- anybody to go with her into Daisy's room.

But this was her daughter- and Mrs Cutting wasn't about to forget that. To be honest, Daisy wasn't the type of person you could forget even if you wanted to.

So Mrs Cutting took a deep breath and knocked on Daisy's door.

From inside of the room came a meow, a couple of hisses and a lot of growling and then she heard a door slam.

Daisy called, " come on in Mom."

Daisy's room didn't have a few flies buzzing around the way they were in the rest of the house.

There were hundreds of them and when one landed on Daisy's face and crawled around and flew off without Daisy flinching even once or trying to brush it away Mrs Cutting lost her temper.

" Flies Daisy? You're collecting flies now? That's...that's... Daisy that's not interesting, that's just stupid. What were you thinking? Look at your room...look at the rest of the house. Young lady you are in so much trouble!"

Daisy was standing next to her closet door and from the inside Potato and Chips had started to shove their paws out from under the door and were trying to pull it open.

" Let them out Daisy...and answer me, what were you thinking?"

Daisy bit her lip and shrugged.

" What were you thinking Daisy? Answer me or did your cats get your tongue?

" No Mommy, " Daisy said " they don't have my tongue..."

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