My face is covered in mud. I can feel the taste of the twigs and leaves, as I slowly lift my head in search for my brother. He outruns me every time. I get back on my feet and start running again. Nothing gives me more pleasure. Wait….suddenly, I have a very familiar feeling; I will have more of it today. I can already feel the warm, creamy taste of the white liquid in my mouth. I remember when I first had it, ah the taste of wonder!
The only thing I was aware of was how warm my world was. How I was always protected by her, my mother. How she would always provide me with wonder, and even though I was barely aware of the significance of it all, I was aware of its taste. A warm and sweet juice, being poured into my lips until its white rivulets overflowed through my body. Then she would tell me it was enough, not through words of course, but through tender motherly understanding. My brothers would have their turn next. But it didn’t matter, because by then I would have already dozed off, still taking share of her love, her unconditional love.
When I reach home I can see my brother panting, sitting next to my younger siblings. They look at the both of us with puzzled, demanding eyes. Asking for something we cannot give. Unaware that we are in the same position as they: of expectation of the coming of our mother. She comes before the dark of the day, my brother and I had learned as much. We know she must be on her way. Isn’t she?
My mom always left in the mornings, just after my brothers and I were fed. I never figured out her business, I don’t think I ever needed to. The only thing I needed to know was that she always came back to give us her milk and warmth. My dad came with her sometimes, but I never really understood what his intention was. He would linger with us for a while, but he never gave us anything. He always seemed to expect something from my mom, and when she refused him, he would leave as if our place was not his home. I did not care, though. So long as I had my brother to play with, and my mother to come back at the end of the day, my life was a wonder.
The sunlight fades away. Darkness blankets my brothers, poor little creatures shaking from cold and hunger. My mother alone controls the light. Even in the darkness she can ignite our miserable lives, and make everything better again. I hold on to this hope as I watch them gather around and hug each other in a tether. My big brother does not join them. I watch his mature expression as he considers our situation; he has eyes deeper than any of us, his nostrils are infallible, but even he seems at a loss.
Suddenly I see a strange light in the distance. It cleaves through the thin veil of our privacy, completely exposing my four other brothers and me. My limited life experience is not enough for me to realize what is happening; what odd experience I am about to go through. I realize then to my despair that I had been away from my family the entire time. My family! They huddled together, I stuck away! I wince at the sudden brightness, when some monstrous vines suddenly grab me, enveloping the entirety of my body. I try to defend myself through my own means, but the growling sound I produce does not even faze my foes.
I have neglected all of them. My mother; I have taken for granted the milk, warmth, and limitless affection given to me every day. Big brother; a better friend I could not have, blood of my blood, who was always with me, in every single moment, until now. I have neglected them all. My only world has been turned into a world of strangers, and all my acquaintances were left behind.
My body was carried into the inside of a rumbling mechanical monster, such as those my brother and I always stayed well away from. My brother. Had he been in the same situation he would fight, fight even though it is hopeless. All I can do is whimper, whimper, and whimper. I am completely exposed to the eyes and odd face of a creature I have never seen before. As I whimper, it projects those vines into my head, caressing it from my pointy ears to my delicate furry tail. I whimper and shake, until I pass out.
I dream I am home, my mother by my side feeding me from the milk I’ve been craving the entire day. My brothers surround me, waiting for their turn. My big brother is at my side, and we all huddle together in mirth.
My dreams dissolve as I slowly open my eyes to interpret the reality I am facing. Mother? I whimper. No signs of her. The dirt and stones which I was so familiarized with are now replaced by solid ceramics and white walls. I have seen them before, but to my brothers and me they were always the opposite meaning of freedom. I hear an unfamiliar creaking sound echoing in the distance. Someone or something has responded to the evident signs of my awakening. It is my kidnapper. The one who separated me from my mother and my family. Its voice is soothing and comforting, like a calm breeze in the afternoon. It is too immense and powerful though; I inevitably growl and whimper as it attempts to grasp me with its vine-like paws. I can smell its tranquillity, how all my attempts to make the perpetrator back away have in fact the opposite response, encouraging it to approach and brush my body with its deft upper limbs.
I live presently in a shattered reality in which my caring mother and family were replaced by a mighty creature of greater strength and intellect, and my comfortable world was exchanged for a prison. I try to interpret the goodness intended by the creature that is responsible for all of this. I momentarily forget all that has occurred to me, upon the placing of a container full of creamy milk, much similar to the one I used to be given before. This moment is soon over when the perpetrator denies me a second, as I go after him happily licking my lips. Instead of another serving, I am given another intimidating brush which despite being mitigated by its tranquil voice, reminds me of my powerless position in this strange, new world.
I decide to extinguish my fear, keeping in mind the example of my brave brother who rightly chose to protect himself from the perpetrator who brought this sudden reality upon me. I endure every brush and even accept its refusal of second servings of milk and food.
I am finally taken to the outside world, a place where the old sun meets me with a smiling warmth, where I am given a break from the pedestrian sight of ceramic and the white walls. Despite those privileges for which I am greatly thankful of, the creature binds my freedom with an intimidating leash. It guides my path as I attempt to pursue different ways which are personally interesting to me, and that smell more like home than the horrid white cell in which I am daily forced to live. I eventually relieve myself in a place with an unsatisfactory amount of dirt, which firstly seems improper as the creature scoops my product with a plastic apparatus. I am praised however, by the creature and its famous soothing whispers and brush. The decision of following my brother’s example is momentarily left aside, as I happily return to my white cell.
As time passes by, the creature becomes less creature-like, the cell less prison-like, and my life less miserable. My mother, eternalized in the depth of my heart, is even seen slightly with the containers of milk and the creature’s famous whisper and brush. I do not forget the face of my brother, but I decide his judgement was not any less correct than mine. I try to re-interpret the creature’s goodness towards me, and I realize it is much more candid than I initially thought. I cannot call it love however, as it still refuses me second servings of milk and restrains my freedom in the outside world. I suddenly make a decision then and there: what I have been given may not seem enough as compared to what I had with my family, but in this new life of mine I finally found another place I can call home.