“Felines, what is that sitting on the table? It looks like a golden chicken.”
“It is a golden chicken Mrs. Human, a reward for your services as official slave to my esteemed self, Tabby my litter sister and assistant, and Fluffy, our honourable apprentice. Not every feline slave is awarded such an honour by the court of Bast, and you should now show your gratitude by preparing a speech to be delivered to the local feline population. They are awaiting you wise words outside in our territory.” And so spoke Nera the chief feline.
I took a peek through the window and was astonished to see the complete feline population of the village sitting outside.
“But Nera, I am totally unprepared.”
“No Problem Mrs. Human, I though you would be, so I wrote it myself, you can just read it.”
“It is with pleasure that I receive the award of the golden chicken for my constant labour to ensure that the three felines that own me are satisfied and happy. I had a long road to take to achieve this balance of give and take, but it seems that I have achieved the perfect result with giving and my felines find that taking for them has been a reward worth waiting for.
It is not an easy task to become a perfect slave, fulfilling the wishes and giving my best for the felines that adopted me. All beginnings are difficult, but thanks to the guiding paw of Nera, my chief disciplinarian and slave master, I have achieved perfection in my task and today receive my reward, the Golden Chicken.”
Here I had to pause whilst the felines clapped with their paws and meowed in approval. I then continued.
“I would not be standing here today, were it not for the support and encouragement of Nera, my slave driver and her team. Thanks to their guidance I soon learned that just serving one helping of tuna fish per week does not qualify to become a true feline slave. It is to be served at least three times during the week. Vitamine pellets are no substitute for tuna fish, but are to be regarded as an addition to the feline diet.
The feline tray is to be emptied regularly and no traces of the recycling process are to be left. Feline fur should be brushed immediately from the surfaces of their cushions. Their places of relaxation are to be revered and treated as blessed, a quiet place for meditation and restful sleep. Their territory is to be regarded as a sacred place, where no other felines are to tread and it is my duty to ensure that this rule is obeyed.”
The last sentence was greeted with a few hisses amongst some of the feline spectators, but Nera put them to order with protruding claws and threatening gestures.
“And now it seems, after receiving this token of recognition for my eternal duties to my three felines, the prize will now be cooked and served to all felines present at this presentation. May Bast be with you all.”
I found it strange that an award I had received will now be taken from me and served to the feline audience. Whilst they were tearing pieces of flesh from the bones of the chicken I had a few words with Nera.
“Nera I do not get this. I read the speech you prepared. I cannot say I was entirely in agreement with the words, but now all the felines in the neighbourhood are eating my prize.”
“Mrs. Human, we are felines, you are our slave. Since when do slaves get the breast of the chicken. There might be a wing or some of the parson’s nose left for you, if my feline colleagues agree.”
Today I learnt something: never trust a feline when they want to give you something. There is always a drawback somewhere.