Waitakere Writerss



50 Words: Despite a chorus of protest from around the world, the spacious Amazon rainforest, well known for its immense genetic diversity, continues to be decimated. Some is being destroyed by drug cartels who are using land to grow opium poppies, which are used  to make  a  highly addictive  narcotic called Heroin.


By Carl Kjellberg

Ithe spring of 2005, I found myself driving to Auckland in abeat-up Nissan Sunny. I used the last my money to buy the car from a fisherman in Paraparumu and the car, like me, definitely needed some work. A friend of a friend had promised me a job on a construction site on the condition that I make it to Auckland by Friday. Today was Thursday. As I made my way up state highway one, shortly after stopping at Hunterville to obey a call of nature, I began hearing a strange noise from the rear of the car. I knew that the car’s differential was shot -- at least the fisherman had been honest enough to point that out -- and so I paid little attention to the noise.I needed to get to Auckland. As I made my way up through Mangaweka, the noise became louder and more persistent. 

‘Damn,’ I muttered, pulling over to the side of the road. 

Surprisingly, the noise continued even though the car was now stationary and seemed to be coming from somewhere inside the boot. Opening it, I was greeted by the most pitiful thing I had ever seen. A young kitten, as thin as a rake, stared up at me with big soulful eyes. 

‘Mew,’ it called followed by a fitful sneeze. In the sidewall of the boot I noticed a rust hole. Evidently the kitten must have climbed in when I stopped at Hunterville, as I was sure nothing was in the boot when I put my stuff in. Grabbing a rug off the back-seat of the car, I gently gathered up the tiny trembling bundle and began to stroke  its orange striped fur. A loud purr was the response. It was a boy. I gently placed the rug containing the kitten on the passenger seat beside me and continued my wayup to TaihapeFor his part, the kitten seemed quite happy. He poked his tiny head out of the rug and watched  me with great curiosity. I could see his ribs were sticking out and knew that he had to be hungry. But where to get food? Pulling into the service station at  Taihape I met a young Asian girl called Cara  who worked there. After explaining to her my  plight,  Cara disappeared out back and soon returned with a warm bowl of milk and a hot pie.  The pie was for me.  Cara refused to take any payment. 

‘Cats bring good luck,’ she said while gently stroking the kitten’s fur.  What'his name? 

‘I don’t know,’ I replied. ‘How about Antonio?’ 

Antonio mewed as if to give his approval before tucking into the bowl of milk. 

Why Antonio?’  

As in Antonio Banderas, I replied. 

‘Oh, Puss in Boots,’ she laughed. ‘I must have seen that movie at least a dozen times! 

And so it was, Antonio came into my life and into my heart. I never did get that job in Auckland but with Antonio's help, not only did I did find a job but I also found the love of my life.  How exactly did all these things happen?  Well that’s another story. 

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