she was six. six years of bone and skin and nothing could make her eat. they stuck her in a straitjacket this girl of six and her mouth like a bird’s and they shoved food down her beak, but still, nothing. so they called him. this doctor who loves God, they called him, and he answered and he and his counselors got down on all fours and entered her world. no food, just them and her in a room, her skin so thin they could see her soul pulsing.
a few days and this doctor’s driving home, and he’s praying, for she still hasn’t eaten, and then, a sign: “free kittens.” he pulls into the drive, asks for the runt, and the owner hands over a scruff of fur, an eyedropper, says, “it won’t live long.” the doctor says, “perfect.”
he turns around, drives back to the place he founded, the place with the room where the girl sits alone, and he gives her this kitten and tells her, “it’s your job to keep it alive.”
she rubs the fur off the kitten, and one day later, she asks for food. the counselor who had been on all fours, exits the room and stares at the doctor and says, “she’s asking for food. what do i do?” the doctor laughs. “give her food. give her whatever she wants.” she wanted pop-tarts.
she fed the kitten and she fed herself and the doctor found this: for some reason, her body hadn’t been producing growth hormone. but then she began loving on the kitten and her body began to grow.
in saving the scruff which went on to produce grand-kittens which saved other little children, the little girl saved herself, for love is this: the hormone that gives us appetite to live. without love, we die.
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*original and prints of ‘sunrise’ available here*