We Have Always Lived in a Castle – Georgiann Carlson

I’ve never lived anyplace else
we have always lived in a castle
I was born inside these walls
you might think that’s a wonderful thing
but let me tell you
it’s not
the castle is cold
and damp
in fall and winter
and it can be positively broiling hot
in the summer
there’s no air conditioning
so sleep is something that only
drops by now and then
either I’m freezing
and covered with blankets
or I’m soaking wet
not even bothering with a sheet
and there are no window panes
or screens
so it’s either windy
or there’s no breeze at all
but there are plenty of bugs
and birds flying in and out
sometimes even bats
I usually keep the windows covered
with cloth
or blankets
depending on the time of year
so it’s often dark
a lot of the time
and there are a million stairs
all made out of granite
or slabs of something else
that makes my legs tired
and my teeth hurt
after running up and down them
all day long
we still use candles
I know that’s hard to believe
but imagine putting electricity
into this gigantic fortress
my parents love it here
I told them that as soon as I’m old enough
I’m moving out and living in a small cottage
with real windows and screens
they just laugh
and tell me that I’ll change my mind
once I’m older
they’re wrong
of course
although I do like the fireplace
in the Great Hall
it’s big enough for ten or fifteen tall men
to stand in
and the dogs like all the room they have
to run and play
the kitchen is kind of nice
always warm
and smelling like freshly baked bread
I mean it’s not all bad
the resident Witches make sure
that we’re never attacked by anyone
so everyone is safe
but I still don’t think I’ll change my mind
having said that
on a cloudless night
I can really see the moon and stars close up
from the roof
and the trees sing and whisper to each other
all the time
but it’s quiet enough
so that I can read
without being disturbed
and the crows
play with me
and tell me stories
they even take me with them
when they fly
they make me close my eyes
and slip into one of them
it’s not as hard as it sounds
once you get used to doing it
but believe me
everything looks different
when you’re looking down
from the sky
I have other animal friends
who are also generous
and take me with them
when they go into the forest
or dig under the ground
sometimes I even let them inside of me
but they only do that once
no one really likes being part of a human
they tell me that they feel sorry for me
and that’s why they let me see what it’s like
to be free and wild
filled with peace and happiness
I guess I’m very fortunate
to have such good friends
and maybe even to live in a castle
perhaps my parents are right
maybe I will change my mind
I’m not going to tell them that
at least not until I’m sure that I’m staying
I think I’ll run through the forest
with a deer
then maybe I’ll read a story
to the new bunnies in the flower garden
then go swimming with the swans
and the fish
if there’s time before dinner
I’ll stop and play with the new lambs
I know that sounds like a lot
but let me tell you
there’s always so much to do
when one lives in a castle

I’m an artist, a writer, a vegetarian, an animal rights activist, and quite a few other things as well. I love books, cats, philosophy, good conversation, Chicago and the arts. So my blog is full of bits and pieces but it’s the bits and pieces that make life interesting to me. You can read more of my writing at Rethinking Life

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