Chapter 1 - The Mole
Once upon a time there lived a beautiful lady who gave birth to a sparkly eyed daughter. They lived in a small cottage deep within the forest far beyond the water mill which was located at the edge of the village. Long green vines grew up along the stone walls and the branches of the trees hugged the tiny cottage all around. Tiny gentle weeds grew between the tiles both inside and outside the building with only the ones that were blessed to have grown outside surviving that little bit longer than their compatriots that were frustratingly ripped out from their roots by the lady.
The cottage although compact was home to not only the lady and her daughter but to thin legged spiders who spun there web in the corner of the thatched roof or between items such as vases and lamps that the lady often forgot to run the duster between. The cottage also housed both mice who scurried throughout the night possibly scavenging bits of food that were accidentally dropped by the lady whilst cooking, and beetles who one could see going about their adventures occasionally.
The main inhabitants were the lady and her daughter of course. Although they lived far away from the village, secluded from everybody else, they were very happy to live together in this little safe haven buried in the forest. The lady was tall. She had dark beautiful skin that glowed in the warmth of the oil lamp and her smile seemed to light up the room. She had thick black tightly curled hair which she liked to slick back into a bun with a jewel encrusted pin. Everything about her seemed perfect and magical from the long flowy dresses she wore and the way she seemed to lightly floated when she walked around, to her honey like voice which had a sort of comforting aspect to it. Her dark doe like eyes mimicked the beauty of the universe, with her delicate touch ever so gentle – she was like a piece of art perfectly crafted in god’s hands.
Like mother like daughter, it would make perfect sense if her daughter grew up to be like her mother, right? Unfortunately, although like a work of art the lady seemed to be, she had gone through many tragic, traumatic, difficulties in life that she never wanted her daughter to experience. Almost perfect on the inside, she had a bruised soul and heart that she had been carrying for many long years, but she took it upon herself the moment that she found out that she was going to be a mother to harbour her child away from the evil and sadness of the world. She chose the cottage to be fit to raise her child to be the happiest and fittest of all children. Hopefully, her child will grow up to be immaculate and untainted away from the causes of heartbreak in the world.
One stormy night she gave birth all by herself to a healthy baby girl with sparkly doe like eyes, an exact copy to herself. She blessed the child with the name ‘Precious’ and promised the moon and stars that she would uphold all her promises to the best of her abilities till she grew old and weak and could not anymore.
As Precious grew up with her mother’s careful care she developed strikingly similar features to her mother. Her doe like eyes were just as shiny as her mother’s, her hair was just as black and thick, and her beautiful soul like voice was just as honey like. Perfect. She was growing up to be as perfect and as untainted as her mother had planned. But still, little Precious grew sadder and sadder each day. Her heart once filled with joy with solely having her mother around felt hollow.
Precious’ mother forbade her to leave the bedroom unless it was absolutely necessary to avoid being tainted from the outside world or encountering anything which might cause her harm, so naturally Precious spent a lot of time on the bed dreaming about what the outside world that her mom had describe as big and evil might look like. She couldn’t catch a glimpse of it by looking outside the window as the windows were boarded up not letting any natural light shine through. Precious wasn’t allowed to do anything by herself in case she might get hurt, even reading a book proved to be a problem to her mom as the pages could give one a nasty paper cut and “nobody wants that, mother knows best my dear trust me”. All Precious could do is trust her mother “Mother has been here on this planet longer than I and she has told me all these horrible horrible things that she has seen and been through, so it makes perfect sense to trust her right, Mr, Mouse, she only wants the best for me?”
Precious liked to speak to the mice that wandered by sometimes about her thoughts when her mother was out working, one of the only times she was allowed to use her honey like vocal chords without worrying her mother that she might damage them one unlucky day which might come.
As the years went by the Lady naturally grew older and weaker. Her once dark luscious hair turned as white as snow and like her body became very brittle. She could no longer float majestically when she moved, and she had to stop working. On the other hand, Precious’ limbs grew shorter and shorter because she was not using them as her mother was doing everything for her. Her voice grew quieter and quieter and because she was kept in the dark for all her life, her vision slowly worsened.
“My dear Precious…” the lady began with her brittle voice, “I’m thirsty, would you please make me a cup of tea”. She sat far back in her rocking chair with her eyes closed shut as she pointed at the door with her bony finger.
“Mother… I love you but I have no feet, I cannot reach the door” Precious whispered as she faced the direction that her mother’s voice was coming from.
Night fell, still sitting on her rocking chair her mother spoke, “My dear Precious, I’m hungry, would you please be a dear and fetch the biscuits that are in the bedside drawer”.
Precious shifted from one side of the bed and tried to open the drawer with her stumpy limbs and claws, after many long attempts she gave up. She looked sorrowfully at her mother and said, “Mother… I love you but I have no hands, I cannot open the drawer”.
In the light of the oil lamp Precious squinted her eyes and she just about made out the face of her old weak mother. Tears slid gently slid down her mother’s cheeks. Is this what sadness looks like? Her mother always happy looked very different tonight.
“Mother… are you sad?” Precious carefully asked.
After a long pause her mother began to speak “No my child… I am heartbroken. On the night you were born are promised to the moon and the stars that I would raise you and harbour you from all of the hardships and hurt in the world and I’ve spent all my time on this earth doing so. Little did I know that was a mistake.” Her mother slowly opened her eyes and looked at her daughter before closing them again and letting some more tears stream down her face. “Precious, I am ever so sorry, I too love you very much but because of my mistake I have not raised a human, I have raised a mole, a monster.”
Precious’ mouth opened with shock. She could not believe what she was hearing. She tried to fixate her poorly developed eyes on her short limbs and just about made out her short furry arm and claw like digits. She found that her feet also looked similar but smaller. She stroked her long pointy nose that was taking up most of her vision. She was indeed a mole.
Precious leaped out of the bed and ran to her mother screaming with her weak voice “Mother, tell me your wrong! This is not real! I am human!”. Amongst the calamity of her actions, Precious accidently knocked over the oil lamp that was lit on top of the bedside drawer causing fire to ignite in the bedroom.
Precious scrambled to her mother’s feet and to the best of her abilities tried to put her short arms around them. Tears came out from her small black eyes and streamed down her face. Her heart hurt so much; she too was heartbroken.
Her mother’s eyes slowly opened taking in the chaos that erupted in the room, she then looked down at her poor mole daughter. Her tears trickled down her cheeks and dripped onto her daughter’s little head. The flames grew bigger and bigger.
“My poor daughter,” she croaked, “I didn’t realise that this is not the way to live away from everything and everyone, scared to live your life fearing feeling hurt. I only wanted the best for you, and I wanted you to feel only happiness, but little did I know I cursed you for life”. The flames grew wilder and wilder, she let out a sigh and opened her eyes again to take one last look at her daughter. “My dear Precious, I am too old, and I am too weak, I will not be able to survive this fire. You too don’t have much time, but I think you should spend whatever time you have left out in the world and experience life yourself before meeting me in heaven.”
Precious sobbed harder and harder into her mother’s long gown. What a horrible reality she was facing.
With all the energy her mother had left she pushed Precious off her and shouted “Go, my child! Live! We shall meet again soon”.
Precious tumbled backwards and took one last look at her mother before using her claws to burrow downwards into the floor and far far away from the cottage.
Although hard to accept and digest what she had just been through with the loss of her dear mother, Precious began living life just like her mother had said. Even though she couldn’t see well she didn’t let her discourage her and amongst others in the animal kingdom she experienced hurt, anger, happiness, regret, love, along with many other feelings which would take too long to list. In her life she undoubtedly encountered many hardships but made many happy memories which she would never trade for anything. It’s all part of the beautiful journey which is called life.
Time went by and Precious grew old she looked at the sky and reminisced about everything she had done in her life, both the good and the bad. She smiled to herself and said, “Mother, I hope you would be proud of the life that I have lived and who I have become because I am”. She let out a sigh before saying “Mother, I think we might be meeting very soon, and I can’t wait to tell you about my adventures” and she finally disappeared deep into her burrow.