El Gato Negro the Spanish called it,
La Chat Noir to the French,
The Black Cat to the Brits…
Beneath the brush the devil sat,
Poised and patient amidst the thicket it waited.
It felt the passers' steps vibrate beneath its paws,
Watched unseen as the feet of the unknowing passed.
When the right steps approach along the path, it will cross.
Until then, the trickster waited.
It thought fondly of old times,
From the very instant it became the saboteur of souls
To the present jinx it soon would spring.
The memories stretched back over the course of millenniums.
The curse of which it’s most fond it’d sprung on the Prophet,
Who when to dinner with a band of men was last to enter,
The fiend remembered counting twelve souls ere crossing the doorway.
The thirteenth man watched it pass without consideration at all,
And a day later was tried, convicted, and sentenced.
The cross had been the cat’s idea…
I cross his path and then he gets pinned to a cross, it thought.
The pun had seemed much more clever back then.
Another walker went by, sadly not the one he sought,
Then i’the mind the cat began reciting its favorite poem:
“If you see me around, you can catch me ousting happiness,
In grimy outposts or in dreamy houses.
I make a new enemy hourly, but first, hear me out;
Allow me to explain,” begged the cat then merely said,
Melnais Kakis the Romans called it,
Die Schwarze Katze to the Germans
The trickster heard the steps it had been waiting for
And skittered from the thicket onto the path.
A man walked toward it, hardly noting the devil’s presence.
The black cat crossed,
If you see me around, you can catch me ousting happiness,
The Crosser thought, then merely meowed.
And, alas, the man’s life was forever ruined.
Challenge: Write a story or poem about a person that says they'd sell their soul for ... Who shows up to buy that person's soul and how does it turn out when it's time to pay up?