Once a long time ago, there was a man. For as long as he could remember he had always always been by himself. If he climbed down the mountain, he knew that he would meet people. But chose to be himself. Having the strenth of a thousand men. Having the lives of a thousand men. That man having a thousand memories. He knew that he was different from other people. This man was afraid of other people. He was afraid of getting hurt. While he had so many powers, he was afraid of this self that he knew was so different from the world.
And so to him, a cat came one day. This was a sudden encounter with another visiting him. The cat bowed his head and said,
“I have been following you for some time. You have a most unusual aura, I can’t help but be drawn to you. I realize I am but a stray cat. But won’t you please let me stay by your side? Please God.”
Since then as he said, the cat never left the man’s side. He never left for a moment ant that made God so very happy that a thought came to him.
“Perhaps, I can get along with them. If it was a being other than a human. If it is with beings who have had similar experiences, then we can have a fun banquet.”
And so, God wrote out many invitations.
In return, twelve animals arrived to see God. Following that, the thirteen animals and God had a banquet each night in the moonlight. Singing and dancing and laughing with each other. At the banquet for the very first time, God laughed out loud. Even the moon watched quietly.
However, after some time the cat collapses. His life had come to its end and there was nothing they could do. Everyone of them cried. Everyone of them realized eventually, everyone would die. No matter how fun it was, the banquet would end. No matter how much you love them, eventually.
Then God cast one spell. He drew a circle in the water with His finger. He had the cat take a sip of water. Then He turned to everyone else and said,
“Let us make our friendship last for eternity. Even when we die, let us be bound by our friendship for eternity. No matter how many times we die, no matter how many times we are reborn. Again, in the same way. No matter how many times, let us have another banquet. Everyone getting along for all of time. Let us be in eternal bliss.”
Everyone nodded in agreement. And the rat took the first sip. Then was the ox, the tiger, then the rabit. In their turn the water was divided equally. At the end, when the last drop was gone, the cat begin to gasp.
“God, God, why did you make me drink that? God, I do not want eternity. I do not want eternal bliss.”
Those were unthinkable words to say, to God and all the other animals it was rejecting words. Everyone was sad to hear them and they turned against the cat. Even so, the cat said,
“God, God, even though you are frightened, let us accept that all things end. Even though it is sad, let us accept that life ends. God, even though it was for a short time, I was happy being by your side. If I were to die, be reborn, and meet you again. The next time rather than in the moonlight, I want to see you smile in the sunlight. The next time I meet you, I want to see you laughing surrounded with people.”
And for the last time the cat raised his tail and died peacefully.
But none of the animals cared about the cat anymore. Because everyone felt they had been betrayed by the cat. After that, one by one, they all died. In the end, the dragon died last. And so God was alone once more. And eventually, even the day came that God died too. However, he was not afraid because his promise to everyone supported him.
“Again, we will have a banquet again. Once again, many times always laughing. No matter how alone I am right now. On the other side of that promise everyone is waiting for me.”
“Now this is a story from a time long ago. It is the first memory everyone has forgotten. The first promise. The first promise, since when did it became a “curse”? since when did it become a “burden”? when everyone was happy and struggled to part, love should have been there. Time has gone by. People have changed. And it became something that has made people suffer. I’m sorry. I’m very sorry. But, there is something I want to say to you for trying to keep the promise. Although it is not the promise that was originally made. To all those who kept it, what I most, most want to say to you is thank you. Thank you.”
The far far story, the very first memory that everyone forgot. The story of when the cat’s words came true was much, much, much later.
-the time when the cat’s words reached the heart of God. The far banquet ended at last. A new today from yesterday comes to God at last.-
these words are taken from Manga Fruit Basket by Natsuki Takaya
The best manga, I think. You must read it :)