(I want it read to me)
It is magical to a child’s eyes the first time an adult makes appear a cookie that was a moment before hidden inside a cookie jar. And that is how she felt in Harry’s arms. It was like she was being allowed to taste something her world without him could never offer her. Each day all the stress that had been built up under her strong tense body would just fade into his touch.
This was the heart of her belief: Harry was magic. There was no-where else, where she felt such peace and tranquility.
It was here in Harry's arms that she learned to become a fully grown and strong cat.
And then something changed her life entirely.
Years later she thought about that moment when her path with Harry took a fast turn. It was just when she realized why Harry gave her the name. Estella-Starlight. Stars, she later thought, are bright points in the sky where she could safely put her dreams and hopes so that nothing could harm those wishes, or steal them away.
It was during this next cycle of the moon after she received her name that something strange happened to her body.
Except for the night of the dark moon, that one evening when the moon was thinnest, all the other nights and days her life was filled with playing a dire game of hide and seek. For it was during the other days that Estella ran not as other cats do.
On the finish of this one evening, the night when the moon was darkest and was only a sliver, her body changed. On the morning after the dark moon night, as the morning sun peered from over the canyon wall, a magical thing happened. Her paws, her tail, even her fur disappeared and were replaced with soft human skin. Her two back paws changed into two feet with five toes. Those feet were attached to two long, smooth, slender legs. Likewise, her front paws turned into two hands with long thin fingers attached to two arms. Of course, she could no longer walk on four feet, like all beautiful cats do. She walked on two legs.
The first time this happened, she accidentally looked into a reflecting pool of water to get a drink. She peered and saw a woman's face covered in skin that was haloed with long dark hair. "Ey-eeee," she screeched.
This was no accident or curse set upon her. It had happened to her by choice. A choice of love.
It had been only a few days since Harry named her. She had come home to her nest after a long day of exploring the canyon. Just as she was ready to climb up the side of Harry’s trunk, she noticed three long straight lines carved at the base of his feet. The bark had been clawed out with something very sharp. The tree ’s sap was just beginning to drip from the wounds. The cuts had been made that same day. She had never seen anything like it before. Stella climbed up onto her branch and asked Harry what had caused those markings.
As was his way, Harry invited her to come to sit for a while. She lay on the branch letting her body stretch while her one leg hung down into the air, and the other curled in front of her chest. There her eyes gazed at the stars. She felt the safety of his powerful and calming arms. The breeze blew through his leaves as he began his whispering story.
She let her head rest on his bark, her thoughts filled with many strange images. Some were beautiful.
She saw many big birds made of wood with white wings floating over a large body of water. Inside the bellies of those wooden birds, she saw what Harry called 'people.' Then he showed her where these people came from. She saw a large number of wood and stone buildings all bunched together. They covered the ground for far distances in all directions. No green forests lived there. This place Harry called cities. Harry brought her view higher into the sky so that she could see the land like a hawk flying so far above. Her thoughts saw many large cities spaced far apart. Between those cities, she saw only long stretches of fields of grass and dirt. There were very few trees.
Each city had many pillars of smoke pouring from the buildings so that a dark cloud of fog covered them. The people who lived in the towns coughed because their lungs were getting sick from breathing in so much black smog. Many people were getting sick and depressed from living in cities.
Then they got a bright idea.
"Let's go find a land," they said, "that has pure air, clean water, and is filled with many green forests so that we can cut down those trees and build new cities." Crowds of people listened and thought it was a great plan. They decided to leave the shores of their lands and go across the big waters to find new territories. They built lots of wooden birds. They entered the bellies of those birds and floated here, to the land of forests.
"They had arrived here," Harry continued to whisper, "long before you were born. They built a city not more than three days journey from Trinity's Canyon."
"Where is it?!" She asked in surprise.
He explained that it was toward the direction of the setting sun.
The breeze blew harder through the whispering leaves. The images of cities and fields disappeared and were replaced with new scenes. She saw large stretches of forests that had small openings of fields. In the center of those fields, she saw more people. These people lived in a group of many families that Harry called a village. The village had three long buildings woven from tree branches and strips of bark. The village was surrounded by a tall fence made of wooden poles. The forest surrounded the village. Nearby was a river snaking through the trees where they could gather fresh water, green river leaves and fish for nourishment.
Harry said that these people had lived in the forest for many generations. Harry called them the Forest People. The trees enjoyed these Forest People because these individuals saw the spirits who lived in the trees, in the same way, that they could hear and see the essence of each member of their family.
They could hear the trees speak in the wind, and like the cats, they loved the trees.
Stella saw these images fade and new ones appeared.
Wooden birds floating down a river until they arrived where the Forest People lived. Out of those wooden birds small wooden birds filled with City People. The Forest People greeted them. Both people talked about living in peace. They lived near each other. For the first few years, this was no problem.
However, each year brought more and more Wooden Birds from over the water. Eventually, the City People wanted to take the land from the Forest People, and that is when trouble happened.
The Forest People said that the City People could not have the land they had lived on for many generations. They tried to reason with the City People and said that there was plenty of land for everyone. More than enough for everyone. The City People said that they did not care what the Forest People thought. They wanted all the territory for themselves.
That is when the Forest People discovered that the City People had a weapon against which the Forest People had no protection.
Harry called this weapon, ‘contempt.’
She sat up. “What is contempt?”
“Contempt,” he said, "is a mental disease. It causes blindness to the thoughts. A person who is inflicted with this illness sees all life forms as slaves to their desires. The City People only see trees for the wood they provide to build more Cities and also, more Wooden Birds to carry more people to this land. Because they are filled with contempt, they see the Forest People as they do animals. They capture them so that they can use them to help them build more Cities."
There was a pause. Harry continued. "The City People had a name for the Forest People. 'Slaves.'"
"This is what the contempt does to people," Harry whispered. "It makes them sick in the head."
“This contempt,” Harry continued through the whispering voices, “is now spreading here, to Trinity’s Canyon."
As the whispering stories paused, Estella lay in Harry’s branch in shock. Her eyes grew wide. Then her eyes were filled with tears.
The wind shook the leaves. Harry spoke words that gave Estella hope. "Don't be afraid. You were born to help heal the minds of City People. I will show you how."