March 16th, 1990
Six days, I have been lying here, face down in the dark. Plucked bodily from my fine if slightly remote place at the top of Ruairí‘s bookcase and dumped unceremoniously into a cardboard box amongst other recent evictees. Various books and an intact piggy-bank, if it’s worth mentioning. It was that woman, of course. Not Ruairí. The boy is too thoughtful. He will have me out of here the moment he notices my absence.
April 17th, 1990
Thirty-two days. Nothing to report. Occasionally the blackness lessens some and I can hear someone rummage in the closet for a shirt or trousers. Then the door shuts and normal darkness returns. I wish I could sleep. I wish I knew how to sleep.
September 03rd, 1991
The moment I’ve been waiting for these countless months arose in the afternoon. I felt the movement of air as the louvered door of the closet opened, then almost immediately my box began to shake and rattle as a visitor unseen shifted through the objects stacked on the floor. Light flooded in, bright as I’ve seen since first I was entombed. Then a pause, the press of fingers and up, out I was lifted into the light until I found Ruairí‘s face in front of mine, frowning inquisitively. His features slightly altered — narrower and elongated with a coarseness in his cheeks. He turned me over once or twice, then dropped me back without a word. He retrieved some book from the mess around me and left. I know now that my banishment was no mistake. At least I’m on my back, for the moment. And Ruairí‘s careless closing of the box has left me a chink of light through which I can see the soft rays thrown under the louver.
June 04th, 1993
A rare treat tonight, my friends! A wondrous confluence of small accidents. Ruairí left the door to the closet open, and by a happy coincidence the curtains are also drawn! I can see a sliver of night sky through the gap in my box’s flaps. I shall watch the stars and think of happier days roaming the garden with Ruairí.
June 18th 1993
The boy was evidently away for the summer holidays as my view went unimpeded for two weeks, with barely a stir in the house. I saw the moon pass almost every night! The stars would fade in its approaching glow before the sharp white edge broke my slice of heaven. During the day, a blanket of blue interrupted only by a passing swallow or bumblebee. This evening my closet door sealed itself and the curtains rattled shut, but no matter. The good fortune has elevated my spirits no end.
February 13th, 1996
Some bad luck today, I think. After fierce commotion through the house all morning, I heard the closet door open and felt my container dragged out onto the carpet. Persons unknown taped the lid above me shut, killing the last of the light coming in. No sooner that than hands gripped the box both sides and I was lifted, carried some forty paces (including a number of ringing metal steps), then set down somewhere else. Within five minutes I felt the cold seeping through the cardboard walls. I fear I am in the attic. At least I landed on my back.
July 14th, 2001
Time passes slowly now. There are few distractions but the murmur of television and muffled footfalls from the hall below. in winter the mice snuffle through the sawdust nearby. In summertime I hear the crinkle of wasp nests. I have not yet learned to sleep, but I have begun to stop to think. To wish. Perhaps a few years more and I will learn to stop to be.
May 05th, 2009
The strangest day. I don’t know yet what to make of it. Returning from a week-long fugue, I find my box roiling down the attic ladder. Scissors tearing through the lid and I’m lifted out and placed upon a kitchen table. The kitchen table, the one I remember. I am rubbed all over with a wet rag, then dried and folded into paper. More tape, pinning my body tightly through the wrapping. Throughout this I fail to see my handler’s face. The hands belong to a man. Strong and dextrous. I am left swaddled on the breadboard.
May 06th, 2009
Noise and light all morning. Shadows moving through the thin paper. The sound of running. Children laughing. I am moved several times. At lunchtime I am taken up by hands less steady than before. The paper is torn from my head and the room comes into view. A childrens’ party. Cheers ring out. The hands extricating turn me upwards and a curious face appears. It’s Ruairí! But not Ruairí. Younger, much younger. Ruddier. I’m confused. Dizzy. Have I passed? To whatever’s next? Am I sleeping, finally, and this is what it is to dream? A jump, bump and we are tottering through the kitchen surrounded by noise, then out the back door into the garden. With my leg clasped firmly in one fat fist we barrel across the lawn. I can feel the sun on my grey shell and the smell of adventure rides high on the wind. This may be heaven, dream, I don’t care. There’s exploring to be done, and the afternoon opens ahead of us like a thousand coming summers.