The Panther’s Claw*

I’m striding down the main road with the panther.  We’re going to be late for my course.  The bus has dropped us nowhere-near-where-we-need-to-be.  Am certain that last time it stopped outside the building.  Suddenly, the panther stops and stares into a shop window.

Coming to a halt next to him, I see a model panther sitting on a table.  He’s gazing at her, preening himself.  Maybe if I buy her for him, he’ll become a nicer person, I think.

Pushing the glass door, I enter the shop.  The panther slinks past me and stands opposite the object of his affection, puffing his chest up.

“Excuse me,” I say to the shop assistant.  “How much is the panther?”

She looks surprised.  “She’s not for sale,” she says.  “Just the furniture. I’m sorry.”

“Oh that’s a shame,” I say.  “Thank you very much.  Is it OK if I take a photo of her for my blog?”

“Of course,” she says, looking at me as if am not mentally normal.

After taking a couple of photos, I leave the shop.  The panther follows me, casting one last regretful glance over his shoulder at his lady.

“Look, I’m sorry,” I say, once we’re out on the street.  “I did my best.  If she’s not for sale, she’s not.  It’s not my fault…”

“It is your fault,” he says.  “Everything is your fault.  It’s because you’re so fat.  You didn’t try very hard.  Everything has its price.  You’re pathetic.”

You can see her in the attached photo.

Am writing this in bed.  The washing machine is running.  Soon will need to hang up the clothes.  The panther sprawls across the bed.  He’s asleep, but I’m wide awake: thinking about how soon I’m going to be back in hospital.

On the plus side, have ordered a couple of books to read whilst am there:

1.  The Past Masters: Politics and Politicians 1906 – 1939 by Harold Macmillan.  My tutor has read some excerpts out in the course and it sounds excellent.

2.  Faith and Beauty by Jane Thynne.  The fourth Clara Vine novel.  Love this series.  Am so excited – it ought to have arrived at the parental home today.

Happy Thursday everyone!
*1942.  American film.


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