Koneko

The man stands before a signpost making his choice.  His bowler hat is straight and his coat is clean.  Decision made, he moves on angling away from the more favoured path.  That is not where he needs to be, he has to take a different path.  Slowly he comes across a dense forest and slower still he makes his way through, it echoes his sorrow.  He breathes the free air as he leaves the forest and all its dark.  Before long, there is a cat on his path.  He doesn’t look at it but walks stoically past, determined.  The cat follows him with its eyes as he passes and disappears down a long road.

Eventually he meets a witch, hunched and twisted.  He takes off his neat hat and presents it to the witch.  She slowly puts a fish into the man’s hat and looks at him, jealous.  They both turn to leave, no words are spoken.  The man retraces his steps, carefully carrying the fish in his hat on the long road.  And there is the cat, waiting.

He lovingly gives the fish to the cat and steps back as it eats.  And then changes.  There is his wife, she smiles so sweetly as they hold hands.  Together.

 

8 thoughts on “Koneko”

  1. I enjoyed this ambiguous legend – I loved the barely told affection between the man and cat/wife. Enjoyed the string sense of all the characters knowing much more than the reader about the situation. And I liked the very straight direct telling of the facts.

    I found the last paragraph a bit hurried but don’t really have a constructive suggestion regarding it – perhaps the work ‘lovingly’ breaks the flow a little.

  2. I liked the imagery in this piece, although I did wonder why the witch was so willing to supply Our Hero with the fish, and what here jealousy was for. Like ElementalSystems, I assumed that this was because all of the characters knew more than we were being told (and when I reached the end I saw that it was).

    > His bowler hat is straight and his coat is clean.
    I liked the bowler hat. Made me of Wimpy from Popeye (although I pictured the character looking more svelte and probably not as lazy).

  3. Sweet little legend – enjoyed it! The man / fish / witch interaction is cool, and is nicely told.
    The bowler hat is a nice touch, especially for strolling in the forest with.

    I have a couple of punctuation points.
    “Decision made, he moves on angling away from the more favoured path. That is not where he needs to be, he has to take a different path. Slowly he comes across a dense forest and slower still he makes his way through, it echoes his sorrow. ”
    I would recast as
    “Decision made, he moves on, angling away from the more favoured path. That is not where he needs to be: he has to take a different path. Slowly he comes across a dense forest and slower still he makes his way through: it echoes his sorrow. ”

    I’m with AHS on the last paragraph.
    I would’ve liked a little more detail there, perhaps of the change.
    It would have to be quite straightforward, not flowery, to match with the rest, though.

  4. I loved this piece. It is magical and I like the lack of explanation. It allows the reader to fill in the spaces. I found the whole thing beautiful and charming, almost like a solemn folk dance whose symbolism one can guess at but not know entirely.

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