Much later that day, the man-servant was relaxing in his chair in the living room when Odessa, Jaxon, and Dewey walked in. All three of them stood in front of the man-servant, and then Odessa hit Dewey with a wing, and Jaxon gave him a gentle kick with one of his back legs. “Go for it.” he whispered to Dewey.
“Please, Mr. Man-Servant,” said Dewey, “would you be so kind as to share your fish with me the next time you decide to have it for breakfast?”
The man-servant looked at him in disbelief. “Well yes, of course I will, Dewey,” he replied.
Dewey was smiling now. “When you have a free moment, would you please put some more food in my bowl?”
The man-servant did not know quite what to say except, “Of course, Dewey. It will be my pleasure to do so.”
Odessa and Jaxon were smiling at each other. They were both amazed at the transformation. “I am really good.” said Odessa to Jaxon. “Who would have thought that Dewey could be trained to be polite? He is a cat after all.”
Jaxon looked up at Odessa. “You’re a genius.” he said.
That was the tone for the rest of the evening. Odessa was feeling very proud of herself. Jaxon was in total admiration for what she had achieved, and the man-servant was still in shock at Dewey’s transformation. Dewey, however, had a sly grin on his face.
The next morning, the man-servant was in the kitchen with the intent of getting his breakfast, but he could not find anything. The cupboard where he kept his cereals was empty. His tins of salmon were gone, and even his bread had disappeared. He decided to make himself a cup of tea and relax while he sorted out what was happening. However, not only had his box of tea disappeared, but his kettle had also gone missing.
“Good morning, Man-Servant,” said Dewey with a big smile on his face. “Did you have a pleasant sleep?”
The man-servant looked at him. “You’re being very nice this morning. Do you know anything about all the stuff that is missing here?”
“I may well know a lot about the missing stuff,” said Dewey.
The man-servant was not very amused. “Dewey … I want my breakfast, so tell me what you have done with everything.”
“Tell you?” said Dewey. “Tell you? What kind of request is that?”
The man-servant stared at him. “Dewey, you had better tell me or you will regret it!”
At that moment, Odessa and Jaxon wandered in. Odessa soon picked up on their conversation. “Man-Servant,” she said, “you and I should have a talk.”
“Not now.” said the man-servant.
“Oh, I think that now is a perfect time.” said Odessa. “Let me ask you a question. How did you feel yesterday when Dewey very politely asked that you share your fish with him? How did you feel when he politely requested that his bowl be filled with food?”
The man-servant looked at Odessa. “What?” he asked. “What has that got to do with anything?”
“It has everything to do with anything, because you were so happy when Dewey was being polite, and yet you feel that you can be rude to him. You’re just as bad as he was.”
The man-servant thought for a moment. “I am sorry, Dewey,” he said. “Now would you please show me where my breakfast things are?”
“Nah!” said Dewey. “Sweat it out, Man-Servant. You’re not dealing with your average cat, you know?”
Odessa was shaking her head. “You can dress him up, but you can’t take him anywhere.”
Jaxon looked puzzled. “When did you hear that saying, Odessa?”
“A long time ago. It’s an old human expression,” she said.
Meanwhile, the man-servant was trying to resolve the problem of his breakfast. “I’ll tell you what, Dewey … you show me where you hid my breakfast stuff, and I’ll share my fish with you at dinner this evening.”
“Okay,” said Dewey, “but I also want my cushions fluffed up and fresh water in my bowl.”
“Okay,” said the man-servant, “but then I expect you to tidy up your play things before going to bed.”
Dewey looked at him. “Deal!”
Jaxon moved up closer to Odessa and whispered, “What just happened?”
Odessa rolled her eyes. “Two of nature’s strangest creatures negotiated what could well be a working relationship, and in a language of which neither has a very strong grasp. Our lives here could well be much easier from now on … but I doubt it.
** *** ***** *** **
“The Odessa Chronicles” is available around the world from all the usual on-line book retailers. More information is available by clicking the book cover in the right hand column (may need to scroll).