Sunday, April 27, 2014
Sam and Evan
The scion of the Jellicle family – whose cats, known as the Jellicle Cats, were immortalized in T. S. Eliot’s book Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical Cats – was Evan.
Evan had a lovely daughter named Faith, whom he loved very much. When Faith turned eighteen, she went off to college and fell in with a crowd that was long on adventure and short on … Well, whatever it was, they decided that before the weather got cold they would go skinny dipping at a local quarry and put pictures of their frolics up on the Web.
Evan found out about this from his next-door neighbor Wes, who congratulated him for making the world a better place by having a daughter so willing to share her beauty with the world. When he heard this, Evan was furious, and for the rest of his life, every time he would see Wes in his backyard he would lean over the fence and yell, “You pervert! You’ve degraded my daughter! If I could, I’d lock you up in jail and throw away the key! The hottest part of hell will be better than you deserve!”
Meanwhile Evan had a friend named Sam, who would often invite him over for pool parties and barbecues. They got along very well because they had a lot in common. One thing they had in common was portliness; another was an intense dislike for a thin man named Moose. Now Moose was a pretty unlikeable person. He was part of the gun culture, and there were credible reports that people who showed up on his land unbidden didn’t come out again.
One day Sam decided he needed to spend some time on Moose’s land, so he went over. Knowing that Moose wasn’t a nice guy, he went armed with a double-barreled shotgun and kept his eyes and ears open. He had walked along for a while when he got to a pond, and he heard rustling in the bushes nearby. He quickly took cover, listened carefully, and looked around. There it was again – over there – branches were moving. Sam, certain that his life was in danger and not wanting to be like so many who had never returned, fired into the bushes with both barrels.
The motion in the bushes stopped. Sam crept closer and looked inside. There he saw the corpses of Faith and another girl covered in blood. They had apparently been swimming in the pond when they realized Sam was coming and had taken refuge in the bushes to get dressed.
When Sam explained the situation to Evan, Evan sighed and said, “Wrong place, wrong time. Can’t be helped. You were going after Moose, and that’s the important thing.” And after Faith’s funeral, Evan held a party to honor Sam, toasting him for his bravery in his pursuit of Moose.
We know that Evan did the right thing because the Bible says so. But for years afterward infidels who didn’t know any better would tell their children, “If you want to be wise, if you want to be a good neighbor, you don’t want to be an Evan Jellicle.”