Tribes of One

Tribes of One

A Story by Carol Cashes
"

Description of the tribes I live with

"

Tribes of One

 

They gather in the evening, these tribes of one.  Political alliances and petty feuds are set aside.  One by one, they climb up onto the dreaming place, each to his pre-claimed territory. Four tribes of one " each sovereign, each autonomous of the other; it is an extraordinary assembly. 

 

Their silhouettes would depict them as similar, but their realities are as varied as the leaves they would chase if unleashed into the natural world.  They differ not only in color and build, but in habit, ritual, and even perception of the space they share, as each would claim it as his own. They are lazy, self-centered and indolent and are fiercely loved for these very traits.

 

There are no young to perpetuate these tribes; none will ever breed.  If one should die, the perfect self-government clung to so fiercely will be gone.  Another may take its place, but will only be another tribe, with its own perfect self-government.  They share a food source, shelter from the elements, and a common dreaming place.  They share one trait " that of cleanliness, which is very near their godliness, and is not compromised or sacrificed even under the harshest conditions.

 

They often interact, one with another; form brief alliances for reasons known only to themselves.  These pacts can be, and usually are, instantly dissolved for the same unknown reasons as these tribes are loyal only to themselves.   Their sense of self-worth is inflated, over-blown, and perfectly deserved.  Dignity is their lowest standard of behavior, and to be acknowledged by them " even briefly " is their highest honor, and the most they will ever bestow.

 

There is no place, no space that is not theirs to claim should they desire it.  Open any door, move any object, and one may be found stretching, yawning, as if kept waiting too long and only napping to fill the time until discovered.   They object strenuously to being manually placed anywhere, even if only moments before they waged war on any who occupied the very same space.  Any decision not solely their own is wrong and not to be tolerated " ever.  Assistance is an act of aggression and the response is openly hostile, never grateful.

 

Evil and innocent, worshipped and cursed, feared and loved; these tribes of one exemplify the spoiled child in us all.  

 

They are my cats.


© 2017 Carol Cashes



Author's Note

Carol Cashes
This was a writing prompt many years ago - to write about something without revealing what it is.

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Reviews

haha, I had two cats and you've described them here. They would each nap on my lap.

Nicely done Carol. :)

Posted 7 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

7 Months Ago

It was never a surprise to me that the ancient Egyptians worshipped them. I' glad that you enjoyed .. read more
I enjoyed this poem. Cats do have their own personalities and rarely like to share. I liked the ending a lot. Thank you Carol for sharing the interesting tale.
Coyote

Posted 7 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

7 Months Ago

Thank you very much for reading. They can be quite stingy with sharing: themselves or the any spac.. read more
Coyote Poetry

7 Months Ago

I have my one cat. She is a handful. You are welcome.
I suspected you spoke of cats, but the actions described sometimes made me think "human". Clever, imaginative and well-written, as always. Like beans n taters, I always know your writing is good before I even bite into it.

Posted 7 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

7 Months Ago

"beans n taters"? You know thas' good stuff, there, Maynard....Thanks for reading.
Very clever. Throughout the story, of course, I was trying to guess what these tribes were. At the end of the second stanza, I thought "Hey, that reminds me of cats", and the rest of the piece seemed to fall in line with that. As someone who's lived with cats his entire life, I must say that you have perfectly described cats without ever outright revealing the topic. And you did so in a genuinely entertaining and intriguing way.

Posted 7 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

7 Months Ago

Thank you, and good on you for catching it. When you realize it's "cats", then it makes perfect sen.. read more
Clifford

7 Months Ago

There's just something about those little monsters. I have five currently. I had six until this past.. read more
Love the surprise twist at the end! I really didn't guess it. Very well-written, as an analytical piece. Eloquent, descriptive, original and absorbing . Good work!



Posted 7 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

7 Months Ago

I had a lot of fun with this writing prompt. Thanks for reading and for the gracious words.
Eloquently conveyed.
You fooled me.
Clever, Carol!

Posted 7 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

7 Months Ago

Thank you. I'm guessing you would be hard to fool, so good on me?
Oh you had me guessing there! My imagination was in suspense. Then, of course, they are cats! Beautiful piece of writing.

Posted 7 Months Ago


Carol Cashes

7 Months Ago

Thank you. I had four until this year and I lost my 20 year old and a 17 year old. Inside cats liv.. read more

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Added on June 23, 2017
Last Updated on June 23, 2017
Tags: fiction

Author

Carol Cashes
Carol Cashes

Biloxi, MS



About
I'm very cynical, jaded, just this side of bitter and the only reason I haven't crossed that line is a good man loves me. I am extremely empathetic, but seldom sympathetic. I can be a ferociously lo.. more..

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