Easily distracted

Easily distracted
Marianne von Werefkin (Russian / Swiss, 1860-1938), Mondnacht [Moonlit Night], 1909-10. Tempera and mixed media on paper laid on board.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Never Visit Venice, Redux

"Podolo" by L.P. Hartley can be read here.

....Angela climbed back into the boat. ‘I nearly had it,’ she said, her voice still unsteady from the encounter. ‘I think I shall get it next time. I shall throw a coat over it.’ She ate her asparagus in silence, throwing the stalks over the side. I saw that she was preoccupied and couldn’t get the cat out of her mind. Any form of suffering in others affected her almost like an illness. I began to wish we hadn’t come to Podolo; it was not the first time a picnic there had gone badly.

‘I tell you what,’ Angela said suddenly, ‘if I can’t catch it I’ll kill it. It’s only a question of dropping one of these boulders on it. I could do it quite easily.’ She disclosed her plan to Mario, who was horror-struck. His code was different from hers. He did not mind the animal dying of slow starvation; that was in the course of nature. But deliberately to kill it! ‘Poveretto! It has done no one any harm,’ he exclaimed with indignation. But there was another reason, I suspected, for his attitude. Venice is overrun with cats, chiefly because it is considered unlucky to kill them. If they fall into the water and are drowned, so much the better, but woe betide whoever pushes them in....

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