As the Grasses Wave

December 31, 2007
By Kirsten Onsgard, Elgin, IL

Diminutive streaks of radiance shined upon the early spring’s meadows. Winter had left behind some of its trademarks: the grasses were still lifeless, the trees: bare. A few valiant sprouts had shot up with the early morning’s sun and dewdrops a fortnight ago; they soon began growing into strong, young plants. The dew in this morning was embracing the grasses and wildflowers that were scattered so meaninglessly about. Their mother plant had unleashed them in the falls past; the determined seedlings had survived the harsh, malicious winters, and were now aging as she.
A cruel winter wind swept across the serene scene as a creature and her young laid in the meadow.
The mother gently raised her head. Scents danced throughout the wind, and her snout quivered at them. They were fresh and harsh, tempting and teasing her. As the breeze swept by once more, she again hid beneath the prairie.
Her People had left her a long while ago, when they first found that she was to give birth. Their rage and selfishness conquered them. Gun shots had echoed throughout that night, yet they had failed to reach their target. The grasses waved their last goodbyes. She was alone.
Her pups now lay beside her.
The two had been born during a fierce winter night far from her old home; Mother Nature had been gnashing her cold, piercing teeth at all life in these prairies.
That winter’s creatures had not been just to them. The rabbits had scurried into their quaint little warrens, sleeping in peace, disregarding the quandaries that lay just outside. The pups had never felt their nagging hunger satisfied.
Death was now near the mother.
Brightness glimmered in a farmhouse in the near distance. Such vile creatures, humans were. How they had betrayed her!
Yet, what choice did she have?
She heaved her head up, and gradually the rest of her; her pups following. With each stride came a bolt of pain, shooting throughout her limbs. The wind froze their noses and laughed at their pain; its joy bringing more sores and aches.
At last, wood scratched beneath the mother’s paw as she approached the aperture into the human’s den. She laid her head down before the doorway. The mother was weary; so she slept. Her pups wondered what she dreamed of, yet, they dared not try to ask and arouse her as her warmth seeped away.
A breath of warmth came from elsewhere, however. A juvenile human stood in the open entryway, looking like it simply could not believe its eyes. It cooed, and spoke a bit in its human tongue to another of its pack.
The human then, unsurely, took a few steps toward the two, extending a limb to them. It slowly, yet tenderly scratched them as their miniature snouts frolicked about this paw-like structure. A stream of warm, divine scents surged from the anomalous individual into their minuscule muzzles.
The pups were then concurrently lifted from their mother and taken into the human’s den. They were affectionately embraced by these peculiar beings as the door closed and the grasses waved their last goodbyes.
They were home.

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