by Mark Binder
Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved
Our story so far… (click here to read it)
Sam’s father has died and left him alone on the moon, with nothing but a talking cat. After providing Puss with a jaunty space helmet and space boots, the cat promptly vanished…
A week passed before the door to the compartment opened, and in strolled Puss, dragging behind it a sack, in which was the limp body of a fat pheasant.
Sam didn’t know which was more startling, the return of his cat or the corpse of the bird. The moon is by and large a very civilized place, and the concept of wildlife is something quite alien and unexpected.
Less than a day later, Puss arrived at the King’s Palace, boldly walked up to the front door, and greeted the guards. “I have a gift for the King from my Master, the Marquis of Carrabas.”
If Puss had not been a walking talking cat, there is no doubt that it would have initiated a full-fledged security lock down. Instead, they admitted Puss to the throne room.
The cat strode down the aisle, past whispering clerks and nobles until it came before the King and his daughter the Princess.
“Your highness,” Puss said, lifting its feathered cap and bowing very low to the King and Princess. “I have brought you a present from my Master, the Marquis of Carrabas.”
Puss reached into the sack and produced a pheasant.
“What is that?” asked the Princess, who had never before seen a real bird alive or dead, let alone a talking cat. Wildlife is rare on as civilized a place as the moon.
“It is for your dinner,” the cat answered, simply.
“Where did you get this?” the King asked suspiciously.
“My master,” said the cat, “has more like it and many other wonderful creatures on his lands.”
“Lands?” said the King. “Your master? Who is this Marquis of Carrabas, I have never heard of him. And where are his lands?”
“All in good time,” said Puss.
At a signal from the King, the guards jumped forward and tried to capture the cat, but it escaped and jumped out an airlock.
The pheasant was analyzed and declared fit to eat. It was carefully plucked and cooked and served to the King. The Princess, who had never eaten fresh meat overcame her initial fear and found it quite tasty.
When the meal was complete, the King pondered whether he had ever seen something as strange and wonderful.
Every day for the next ten days, Puss arrived at the door to the Palace with a present from its master, the Marquis of Carrabas.
One day it was a wild turkey, another a brace of fat rabbits, once a dozen fresh eggs (the like of which had never before been seen on the moon) and once an entire small deer.
When it was first settled, the moon’s chief executive was called the Senior Administrator. During a period when no one wanted the job, the title was changed to Coordinator Initiating Normative Government or CING. It was CING Richard the First, who changed the C to a K, and the rest was history…
Another of Richard the First’s innovations.