By way of an interlude here is a ‘travel story’ of a different kind …… there is much going on in the world ….. and many viewpoints regarding the significance (or insignificance) of the upcoming Total Solar Eclipse, on 21 August 2017 or 22 August 2017, depending on where you are.
I like the story shared about the myth of the Black Jaguar coming to earth during the time of the total solar eclipse … here’s is an excerpt from http://www.whitewolfjourneys.com regarding this myth ….
It is said that at the time of the totality of a total solar eclipse the Black Jaguar leaps into the world of man and hunts down where there is illusion and untruth, exposing it and destroying it. If we open to the power of the black jaguar the gift of sight can be given to see what we struggle to see. Solutions to the situations we face, a deeper understanding of the purpose behind every event in our life. It sets our soul free. It will hunt down where we hold untruths and judgments of ourselves and of others.
Years ago (it feels) Silke the Cat came into my life. The stories she brought with her are very cute – almost too cute – in the same way that a rich gooey cake can be just a bit too rich and gooey. But over time I find her stories to be more than cute.
Sitting quietly and reflecting on events, (and jaguars), it occurred to me to revisit the story of Silke the Cat and the Black Jaguar. Ancient teachers and philosophers told stories, or myths, to reduce what was a potentially overwhelming concept or dilemma into a smaller (incomplete) version, to make it easier to start thinking about it. An initial and less baffling step, could then lead to another, and so on. Hence the brilliant world of children’s stories. Starting points.
I don’t pretend to know the answers to anything going on in the world today …. but as a little escape from it all let us follow Silke the Cat as she travels into the jungle to meet the Black Jaguar
Here she is
Silke the Cat and the Black Jaguar ***
One day, Mummy Cat talked to Silke about violence. She said that it was not nice to attack little beetles and lizards and grasshoppers just for fun, because even though Silke thought they were toys, they were not. They were real living creatures and they experienced pain and terror whenever Silke the Cat attacked them.
Silke had not realised that the little beetles and lizards and grasshoppers were afraid when she attacked them. She thought that attacking them was a fun game to play. She did not realise that it was not fun for them.
So Silke stopped attacking things because she did not want to be violent. When Mummy Cat discovered this she told Silke how proud she was. Silke was proud because Mummy Cat was proud. It made Silke feel very grown up indeed.
Silke had been playing alone that week because Salty the Dog had gone away camping with his humans. Silke felt sad without Salty, and she began to wander further down the street than usual.
As she wandered she heard a yowling sound followed by the dreadful feeling of being pounced on by something that had very sharp claws and very sharp teeth. Silke felt herself being rolled and tumbled by something that was determined to rip her into shreds. She struggled free and turned to face her attacker. It was a Horrible Cat, who lived much further down the street. The Horrible Cat was determined to fight with Silke. His claws were ready, and his teeth were ready, and he was about to pounce again.
Silke suddenly realised what it felt like to be pounced on by a cat.
She suddenly felt so deeply sorry for all of the beetles and lizards and grasshoppers that she had ever pounced on during her life. As she stopped to think the Horrible Cat leapt through the air and pounced on her all over again. Silke did not know what to do because Mummy Cat had told her that she should not be violent. The Horrible Cat was ripping into her fur, and scratching and biting her, but Silke did not fight back because of what Mummy Cat had said.
Just then a car drove past and this distracted the Horrible Cat. Silke was able to struggle free, and even though she was bleeding and in pain, she ran and she ran and she ran and she ran and she ran. She did not know where she was going. She just ran until she could run no more.
When she was so tired that she could run no further, she stopped outside a strange new house that had an open garage door. A section of the garage was full of bags and boxes and shelves of stored items. Silke went inside the garage and burrowed behind all of those bags and boxes until she was far out of sight. There she stopped. Her little heart gradually stopped racing, and she found that she was able to take some time to lick all of her bleeding wounds and scratches. Then exhaustion overtook her and she feel into a very deep sleep.
As Silke slept the owner of the house came into the garage, and got into his car, and drove off. He closed the garage door behind him. Silke was so fast asleep that she did not realise any of this. She became trapped inside the garage as she slept.
Later Silke awoke. She did not know where she was. She crouched down low behind all of the boxes and bags in the garage. She heard no noises and she smelt no familiar smells. After some time she gradually crept out of her hiding place, slowly and cautiously, sniffing everything, and stopping with every step to look around her, watching everywhere for danger.
Soon her memories came back to her. She remembered how she had been attacked by the Horrible Cat, how the car had driven past at just the perfect time to distract the Horrible Cat, and how Silke had been able to run away. She remembered how she had run and run and run until she was so tired that she hid in the storage area in the garage of the strange new house.
Silke spent the next hour cautiously exploring the garage.
She discovered three things. First, that there were no other animals in the garage, second that there was no food in the garage, and third, that there was no way out.
She was locked in.
Silke remembered that there had been a car in the garage. She could see now that the car was gone. Silke remembered that the same procedure happened when Sophie went out. Sophie would get into her car, drive out of the garage and close the garage door behind her. When Sophie came home, she would open the garage door and drive her car back inside.
So Silke knew that all she had to do was to wait for the owner to come home and open the garage door. She went back into her hiding spot and waited patiently for the car to come home.
But the owner of the strange house had gone away for a holiday. He would not be back for a week.
As the days passed Silke became sadder and sadder. She did not know how long she would be stuck in the garage. She cried because she could not go and see Mummy Cat. She cried because she could not go and see Sophie. She cried because she had been attacked by the Horrible Cat. She felt so confused because she knew that she was very good at pouncing as well. She would have dearly loved to attack the Horrible Cat straight back, and to scratch it, and bite it, and teach it a very good lesson. But she knew that Mummy Cat was right. It was not nice to receive violence. It was not nice to be violent.
Silke realised that if she was never going to be violent again, then she would always be at risk of being attacked by Horrible Cats. It made her sad because she thought she might have to stay in the garage for the rest of her life. This seemed like the only way to protect herself from Horrible Cats.
So Silke cried and cried. She did not like being stuck in the garage. There was no food or water, there was nothing interesting to do, there was no proper toilet, and she was all by herself. She hated the idea of having to live in a garage for ever. She began to feel depressed. She remembered the days when she used to take such delight in pouncing on beetles and lizards and grasshoppers, and how she used to attack them for hours on end. But she had decided that she was not going to do such things ever again.
Silke became faint and weak. As the days passed she drifted in and out of sleep and became less aware of her surroundings.
Eventually Silke passed into a special kind of dream, in which she did not know whether she was asleep or awake, but she did know that she was in a jungle. Silke the Cat had never been to a jungle before, nor had she ever seen a jungle, but in her dream she knew straight away where she was.
She crouched beneath a short plant that had very large leaves. The leaves were so big that she could hide her whole body behind them. Every hair on her coat was alive, sensing her new environment. Her ears twitched carefully back and forth and she listened to every little noise. Her eyes darted quickly as she looked carefully at every single thing that she could see. She knew that there was danger in the jungle and she shrank back under the leaves. This was the worst place for a little cat who had decided not to be violent. In the jungle she was surrounded by enemies and predators. She knew that if she was seen by a larger animal she would not live for very long. She cowered behind the leaves and tried not to sob too loudly. She thought this was going to be the end of her life. She hoped that whatever pounced on her would not hurt too much, and that whatever attacked her would kill her very quickly. She lived in dread of being made a plaything or a toy for something bigger than her, in the same way that she had played for hours on end with beetles and lizards and grasshoppers.
After some time she heard a voice.
It was the voice of a Queen.
The voice purred, but it was a purr that Silke had never heard before. It was the purr of a very large cat. Silke could not see the cat but she knew that only a very large animal could purr like that. Silke crouched into an even smaller shape behind the big leaves. She was desperate to be invisible. She was sure that this large animal that sounded like a Queen would attack her instantly if she was seen.
To her surprise the voice spoke her name.
The voice asked why Silke the Cat was crouching so low, and hiding behind the leaves of the plant.
Silke was stunned. Before she could stop herself, her curiosity took over and she peeked her little head out from behind the leaf to see who was talking to her.
Silke looked straight into the eyes of the biggest cat she had ever seen. The cat’s fur was jet black and it had paws that were bigger than Silke’s head. This cat was the Queen of the Jungle, a type of cat known as a Jaguar. Silke immediately shrank back behind the leaves and tried to be small again. This was dreadful. She had never imagined there could be a cat so big, or so black.
But the voice kept talking to her.
Silke tried to ignore the voice, but then she realised that the big Queen Cat could have already pounced and attacked her by now.
So Silke timidly poked her head out from behind the leaves again and looked shyly into the face of the Queen. The Queen was looking at her very kindly.
The Queen asked if Silke would come out from behind the leaves so that she could talk with her properly. Silke eventually did. When the Queen saw that Silke was so afraid, she decided to take her to a safe place. She picked up Silke by the scruff of her neck, and carried her gently in her big powerful jaws to the cave where she lived. She showed Silke that inside the cave they were protected on all sides, and that no one could attack Silke because the Queen was guarding the entrance to the cave. The Queen gave Silke some food to eat and groomed her until she fell asleep.
When Silke awoke she saw the large black shape of the Queen guarding the entrance to the cave. She felt safe when the Queen was there. She walked over to the Queen and snuggled in between her huge front paws. She began to ask questions. She wanted to know how the Queen knew her name, and that she was hiding behind the leaves. She wanted to know who the Queen was, and how the Queen knew who Silke was.
Silke was very surprised by the Queen’s response.
The Queen told Silke that inside every little cat hides the spirit of a much bigger and more powerful cat. There are many different types of big and powerful cats, such as Lions and Tigers and Leopards and Jaguars. The Queen told Silke that every little cat would one day realise what the spirit of the bigger cat inside of them looked like. The Queen told Silke that because she was the Queen of Jaguars she knew the names of all the little cats in the world that had a Jaguar spirit inside of them. A Jaguar is a big, powerful, jungle cat. The Queen said that inside of Silke was the spirit of the Jaguar. This was why the Queen already knew who Silke was, and why Silke was so good at pouncing, and attacking beetles and lizards and grasshoppers. Even though Silke was very small, she had all of the skills of a big jungle cat.
So Silke told the Queen all about what Mummy Cat had said about violence and about how Silke had suddenly realised what violence was like when she was attacked by the Horrible Cat. Silke explained that she had decided never to pounce, or attack, or be violent again, but that this decision had made her feel sad, because now she would never be able to have any more adventures. Silke told the Queen how much she loved going outside and having adventures. She didn’t want to stay at home and hide in a garage, but she thought that this was the only way she would be able to stop being violent.
The Queen listened to everything that Silke said.
Then she was silent for awhile. She was thinking very carefully about Silke’s story.
After awhile, the Queen explained to Silke that there was a middle path.
The Queen said that she was very impressed with Silke, because she said it is part of growing up to realise your strength, and to realise that you can hurt and terrify creatures that are smaller and weaker than you. The Queen said that she could understand why Silke had made the decision not to be violent. She said that this decision showed that Silke had a beautiful and kind heart.
But she said that Silke should never stop herself from living life and having adventures.
She said that Silke should never live in fear, and she should never think that she was weak because she had chosen not to be violent.
She explained to Silke that the Horrible Cat was a bully. The secret of dealing with bullies is to appear as if you are stronger than them. Bullies, like the Horrible Cat, will never attack a cat that appears to be fiercer and stronger than them. Bullies will only ever attack cats that look smaller and more gentle. That is why the Horrible Cat had attacked Silke.
The Queen told Silke that it was important to protect herself from bullies. The Queen said that if the car had not driven down the road at the perfect time then Silke would have been killed by the Horrible Cat because Silke was not fighting back. If Silke had been killed by the Horrible Cat it would have been a terrible tragedy, and everyone would have been heartbroken, including the Queen.
The Queen told Silke to always remember that she held the spirit of the Jaguar deep inside her. She told Silke that she should always imagine herself as being large and powerful like a Jaguar. She should always walk with confidence and remain alert. She said that if she was ever again attacked by a Horrible Cat, she should immediately imagine that she had paws that were larger than the Horrible Cat’s head, and legs that ran faster, and muscles that pounced more quickly, and eyes that saw more, and ears that heard more, and teeth that were much sharper and much quicker. She said that if Silke imagined herself in this way, and unleashed her claws, and coiled her body ready to attack, and if she flicked her tail in a menacing manner and hissed very loudly, then all the bullies like the Horrible Cat would be instantly scared and would run away. This way Silke would have protected herself, but not used any actual violence.
Silke thought about this for a long time.
“But I am so small” she said. “I don’t look like you.”
“Ah, but I am always within you” said the Queen, “and that is the most important part. Even though you are small, you contain within you the spirit of the Queen of the Jungle. As long as you remember that spirit you will always be safe, because you will act like a Queen, and bullies will not attack you. Then you can enjoy more adventures, and you will not have to stay hiding at home.”
Silke was awakened by a sudden noise.
She woke out of her dream and realised she was still in the garage of the strange house, and that the noise was the sound of the garage door opening.
The owner of the house had come home! What a beautiful sound!
Silke waited until the car had stopped moving and then she quickly ran out the door of the garage while it was still open.
She was free!
But then she stopped in confusion.
She did not know where she was. She did not know how to get home!
The owner of the strange house was approaching her carefully. Silke watched him out of the corner of her eye and tried to behave like a Queen. She could see that the man was not trying to hurt her. She realised that the man was trying to look at her collar. She remembered that Mummy Cat had once told her that her collar showed a little tag with Sophie’s phone number on it. Sophie had put her phone number there in case Silke ever got lost. So Silke allowed the man to come close enough to see her collar. The man telephoned Sophie straight away to tell her that he had found her cat.
Sophie was beside herself with relief. She had become so anxious when Silke the Cat did not come home. She had rung every neighbour, and every vet, and every animal refuge. She had put notices on all of the electricity poles asking if anyone had seen Silke the Cat. But she had received no information or response at all, and Mummy Cat had been in a state of great despair.
Sophie and Mummy Cat arrived immediately in the car to collect Silke the Cat and to take her home.
Sophie put on her magic ears, and Silke told Sophie and Mummy Cat everything that had happened. She told them how she had been attacked by the Horrible Cat, but had not used violence. She had been able to run away because the Horrible Cat was distracted by a passing car, and then she had run so far that she had ended up in a strange neighbourhood where she had hidden in the garage. The owner of the garage had been away for a week and she was not able to get out. While she was trapped in the garage with no food and no water she had dreamed of being in a jungle and of meeting the Queen of the Jungle, who was a big Black Jaguar.
She told Sophie and Mummy Cat about how the Queen had told her that she had the spirit of the Black Jaguar inside her, and that if she always remembered that and behaved in a manner that was big and strong and powerful she would always be able to frighten away bullies like the Horrible Cat. She told Sophie and Mummy Cat about how the Queen had been kind to her, and how the Queen knew the name of every little cat in the world that had a Jaguar spirit inside of her.
Later that night, Silke the Cat had another dream. In her dream she was walking down the street and she saw the Horrible Cat. The Horrible Cat was creeping up ready to pounce on her again. Silke immediately remembered the Black Jaguar spirit that she held inside her. She coiled her body ready for attack. She unleashed her claws, and let every hair stand on end, and she growled and hissed and snarled at the Horrible Cat. As far as anyone could tell, Silke was ready to pounce on the Horrible Cat and tear it to bits. The Horrible Cat was terrified and fled. He did not even touch Silke, and Silke did not have to touch him. Silke knew that the Horrible Cat would never attack her again.
Mummy Cat dreamed as well. In her dream she was walking through a jungle talking to a beautiful big black Jaguar; the Queen of the Jungle. Mummy Cat was thanking the Queen for looking after Silke, and for teaching Silke how to protect herself from bullies.
Sophie had no dreams. She was so relieved that Silke was safely home. She fell into a deep sleep.
*** the above story is an excerpt from the book ” MORE ADVENTURES OF SILKE THE CAT ”
published in 2015 by Marygolde Projects & Publications
and please note that copyright applies
jaguar photos are from the internet and I don’t know who took them
title photo to this blog post is of Mummy Cat
and here is Silke