Metamorphosis

It's funny how the world works. September the 11th changed many people's lives with terrorist attacks all over America.

September the 12th changed mine. A black cat came into my life.

When I look back to the beginning of September, when the world began its search for Osama Bin Laden (who seemed to have disappeared into thin air) and Benny arrived in our house, the coincidence begins to seem too great.

I'm not sure when the idea of metamorphosis first came into my head or if my memory of those early days is distorted but I keep coming back to the idea: how come the world's only great superpower cannot find one man.

Well what if metamorphosis is possible? What if he could become this black kitten?

What better way to hide from the world?

No one would look for him in a village farm house.

I wonder when I see him asleep on the sofa or the bean bag if he knows that I know who he really is. I wonder when I see him chasing a catnip mouse if he knows that I know that that one white whisker on the end of his nose (that wasn't there when we got him) is really a radio aerial.

Can it be that when he disappears into the pile of straw bales in the farmyard he's really checking on the stash of guns and ammunition that all international terrorists must have?

It's only just struck me that all those black cats he plays with might all be in this with him. I just find it hard to believe that it's a coincidence that Benny can metamorphose and the black cats in the village are strays. They could just as easily as Benny metamorphose too.

It's funny to think that the biggest nation in the world is after him and they can't find him because he's in the store room asleep. Is it my imagination or is it just coincidence that he only hangs from the TV when there is news of the Afghanistan situation on.

When I see the Al-Qaeda network members wearing their black hoods in Cuba with the slit eyes I turn round and find Benny staring at the television with his head tilted to one side the way he does looking as magical as ever and I realise just how special he really is.

My face suddenly feels wet. I properly wake up. It's Benny licking my face. Oh what a relief it's just a dream - but then is it?

I stare into his eyes and all of these questions are still unanswered in the world and he's still here. Are you really just a black kitten? Oh, I do hope so.

I look back on September the 12th and all the happiness you have brought us and I don't want to believe in metamorphosis any more. I want you to be Benny forever.

Fiona Camm, now 10, is a pupil at Copthill school, Stamford, Lincolnshire

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