The Gift, by Eija Vogel

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Cornelius and Lester were littermates. They were brothers! They were so much alike, yet so different; like negatives of each other. Cornelius had long hair, Lester had short hair. Cornelius was mostly black, with tabby stripes of grey, with a hint of red in the black fur. Lester was mostly grey, with tabby stripes of black, also with hints of red in his black fur. Cornelius looked like a Maine Coon, with white paws, and a white chest. Lester was all tabby, with grey paws and a white spot, about the size of a nickel on his chest. Yet they were deeply devoted to each other.
 
Cornelius was the calmer of the two, with Lester running in circles around him. Lester’s favorite snack was moths. He would literally climb walls to catch the moths flying around the back patio light. Cornelius watched his wiry brother with amusement, but, Cornelius did not care for moths.
 
Then Lester got sick. We took him to the vet, but the prognosis was not good. Lester might have either a growth in his bladder, or bladder cancer. This coming weekend would tell, either way. By Sunday, we knew what we had to do. Lester was now in constant pain and we could not allow him to suffer. I knew what I had to do Monday and we settled in for miserable evening trying to comfort our Lester as much as we could.
 
Cornelius was nowhere to be seen. At dinner, Lester was laying on the carpet by the dining room table as we tried to eat. Suddenly, Cornelius came bursting through the doggie door from the back yard with eyes gleaming. We could tell he was carrying something in his mouth and as we watched in amazement, he pranced up to his brother and seemed to place something on the floor in front of him. Then he turned and left as quickly as he came. Lester, who had been lethargic all day, jumped up to catch the moth his brother had brought in for him, eating it quickly.
 
I knew I had just witnessed the most precious gift I would ever see. The gift was a moth; a moth for dear sweet Lester.

 
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