Our Legend

In a far remote snowy plateau, across the range of Tibet’s gaze, stands a haven named Laddakh. From the Chinese borders, spreads this small sunny land out the crest of North India. White cats with long silky hair once populated the sire. No people from the hot plains of the Ganges’ river or the distant city of Srinagar climbed over there. The land was locked inside a crown of ice walls, in the precious core of the Himalayan Range.

There, no human steps were found, 

There, no human voices were sounded, 

There, white diamonds of snow paved the soil. 

White rabbits, white doves, white butterflies, and white cats wandered among white frost berries.

Nobody truly knows how these diligent cats succeed there and who was the first couple of the specie. The feline inhabitants of this remote crest were mostly trapped during the ice wave. They reached the virgin land on a hazed date, put their white paws down the crispy mat covering the soil of the remote plateau. They ran wildly with the wind as sole guide. Their eyes reflected the pure deep sapphire color of the altitudinal sky, saturated with oxygen and sparkling silver stars by night. While daytime shine, the sun glistened on their coat with swift golden lightning dashing in their pale ivory fur...

On day, however, they were found, gently rambling, fearless of human apparition. They saw strange beings in procession along the river.

The doom of human invasion could not be prevented. Where men put their feet, nature bow in slavery. The large, tender white puffy paths of the country became "civilized" and paved with grey, hard concrete roads. Skyscrapers soon leveled the remote valley and cut the skyline with vertical scratches.

There, sounds of cars' horns were found; 

There, steps of men covered the white carpet with brown mud; 

There, all the golden sun was harvest away. 

The cats were all trapped, exposed in cages and suspended above the doors. The free land was covered with fences, electric and barbed wires.

  Among the white native cats, one was particularly witty. He had seen his first ray of light in captivity long time after the arrival of the first two legs. His mother had told him tales of the free wander time, when they used to run in the white fluffy valley, free to follow the wind as sole guide. His master was a cruel fellow, drunken most of the day and night; taking pleasure at throwing empty bottles of feer (a local alcohol made with white berries) to the cage where our cat laid suspended, tangling above the entrance door. The door, often, was left under the guard of the northern freezing breeze. 

There, the wind bristled his hairs;

There, the door banged incessantly, screeching on its hinges;

There, hordes of roaches climbed the vault, far from the light.

The Laddakhi cat, wise in his thoughts, meditated on a way to carry his destiny ahead. A vast operation involving most of the retained cats was in order. A plan to migrate to another land was envisioned! The cat spent months to ponder about it. He observed patiently and listened carefully the frequent globetrotters stopping at the fringe of the door. But his best source of inspiration came once from a pale butterfly named Vitral. Such beautiful seasonal pearled butterfly’s wings he had ; 

There, no shadow of gray was found;

There, no remnant of dust fuzzed;

There, the glistening light reflects the infinite sky!

Needless to say it is, that a walk on the wild; a tangle in the breeze; a whisper as you wheezed, would make one's mind clear as an autumnal day lacking feer; a shady day with no tears; a shaky wave with no meerschaum to jump in the foam. The mind of the Laddakhi's cat grew so bright that one day, he did see, - but some light -, how to set his life free, for a ride on the wind as sole guide of his breed. 

Every Moonday, black-jay donkeys, brought over from narrow dales, went south, east south, towards a distant country, in the nearness of Siam land.

A land made of goldenly sun, 

And cherry-red sparkling rubies;

A land of pale blue sapphire lakes

And dense green cat-eyes's emeralds trees,

On the equestrials' flanks of the donkeys hung wide, spacey bags, ovoid pockets filled with wool and silky boards, and far more space to be embraced! That's what thought the witty cat, with the wind as sole guide!

Every day, around noon, all humans, is that soon, sank in coomb, in a phlegmatic drowsiness. That, he knew; and his crew too; for cats are no fools, best observers, they make rules! No loquaciousness; no merchandizing; no fidgeting labor; at that time of the day, clocks were suspended.

There, the donkeys stay stiff as a poker; 

There, remnant air is piling up on the smoker;

There, the shadow is too tired to grow longer.

The streets were quiet. The Ting and the Tang of the bells; the song of the Buddhist's monks, disrupted the air with their vibrant hummed hymn. A translucent white butterfly flew by the cage.

The tantalizing stardust lepidopteron landed graciously on the lock, its four wings ventilating his fragile body. He only had one full week to live, six revolutions of a day and a night, for, fragile pretty creatures only live one season; a time for a flowering; a time for a brief shivering, and then, they crumble into dust. 

Golden particles settled on the bolt. The wit cat slipped the iron bar and unlocked the cage. 

There free lands and gay rivers smiled;

There, the crust of time smelled like fresh cookies;

There, wild winds called for folly and wandering.

The air’s slipper flew to the other cages and with stardust opened the gates. Hundred of white cats found a way out. 

They smuggled to a land of thousand and one sounds, 

ringing like a crystal bell.

They snuggled to a soil of unexpressed wounds, 

fading to a solar cell.

They crumpled to a ground of fragrances bounds, 

strolling to the herbal smells.

They departed to a land furrowed with a raging river, blue-turquoise like the Himalayan sky. They pass the queen of Asia –the Indus River– the mother of life; above and over shamans’ curse; above and over two legs' fences. Here and now they go, flying south, carried in donkeys' dorsal bags, and companions of fresh herbs and pebble stones.

Down the purple mountains; 

Down the snowy ravines; 

Down perilous’ deserted rock lands; 

Swift on the paths, they shook their knucklebones on donkeys' rumps. They hide in sweet Kashmir woolens' balls. They wandered away far and long ways, leaving their beloved country in distant sway. Behind they left, part of their soul, part of their heart; goodbye the fluffy valley; goodbye the furry rabbits; goodbye the fancy berries; goodbye the feeble translucent butterflies. All country's flags waved to them when they vanished away. 

By frozen nights and warmly days, they went the Silk's Road’s ancient way. The butterfly, five days completed, went as their fay, guiding their sleigh. But morning dew of the sixth’s day, he lay lifeless in the bright ray. 

There, no more sparkling wings talk malice;

There, the tombstone's grave is a chalice; 

There, the stronger cries for the feeble. 

There, the feebler cares for the struggle. 

By bridle path they branched off way, where the Putao pulls out its sway. On donkeys' backs, they plodded in May, and reached a sea of emerald’s clays. To Kashin State they went with jays, to the jewel of Burmah's bay.  

But say, another tale is taking place. That one you know is other trade; by Miss Adams, in France was made, and everywhere will find its trace.

There, Buddhist monks, in tale are hailed 

And goddess, men fight whole together, 

There, a white cat finds love and care 

And save the world from wretched affairs…

© 2010 Du Laddak Birmans

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