Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul

Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul by Jack Canfield

Book: Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul by Jack Canfield Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jack Canfield
‘watch out’ is a noise that sounds like a high, two-pitched hum. But as you can hear by all this chirping, she’s pretty happy. In fact, I think she likes you,” she said, looking directly at the boy.
    “Yeah, yeah, sure! She just loves me,” the boy mimicked sarcastically. Again, Tippi ignored the ill-mannered remark. I couldn’t help wondering what had happened to make this boy so angry and full of spite.
    Tippi now turned the question-and-answer segment over to a young assistant. Then she motioned to me for us to leave. Walking away, we turned back to observe the group and now saw the belligerent young man with the smart mouth from a new vantage point. The boy, with his muscular torso and tight T-shirt, sat tensely in a wheelchair. One empty pant leg, folded under, hung next to his remaining leg and tennis shoe.
    Seventeen-year-old Cory had dreamed of playing major league baseball someday. That was his one and only goal. He lived and breathed baseball and dreamed of the day when he would have a following, fans who knew he was “the man.” No one doubted Cory’s ability, certainly not the lead university scout for baseball talent in the state. The scout had recruited Cory, confirming a promising future. That was before the car accident. Now, it seemed nothing could replace the joy that was dashed when the boy lost his leg.
    Cory lost more than a leg in the tragic accident; he also lost his hope. And his spirit. It left him not only physically disabled but emotionally crippled. Unable to dream of a goal other than being a major league baseball player, he was bitter and jaded, and felt just plain useless. Hopeless. Now he sat in a wheelchair, a chip on his shoulder, angry at the world. He was here today on yet another “boring field trip” from the rehab program.
    Cory was one of the rehabilitation center’s most difficult patients: Unable to summon the courage to dream new plans for the future, he gave up on not only himself but others. “Get off my back,” he had told the rehab director. “You can’t help me. No one can.”
    Tippi and I continued to stand close by as the group’s guide continued, “Cheetahs never feed on carrion; they eat fresh meat—though in captivity, they do like people food!”
    Carrion? The word somehow interested the boy—or perhaps it just sounded perverse. The unpleasant young man called out, “What’s that mean?”
    “Cadaver, corpse, remains,” the young assistant responded.
    “The cheetah doesn’t eat road kill,” the boy smirked loudly. The boy’s harsh sound seemed to please the cheetah and she began purring loudly. The audience, enchanted by Subira’s happy noise, oohed and aahed.
    Enjoying the positive response—and always willing to flaunt—Subira decided to give the audience a show of her skills. As if to say, “Just see how fast these spots can fly,” Subira instantly began blazing a trail of speed around the enclosure. “Oh,” sighed the crowd, “she’s so beautiful.”
    “She only has three legs!” someone gasped.
    “No!” the girl in the front row exclaimed, while the other astonished young people looked on in silence, aghast at what they saw.
    No one was more stunned than Cory. Looking bewildered at the sight of this incredible animal running at full speed, he asked the question that was in everyone’s mind. “How can she run that fast with three legs?” Amazed at the cheetah’s effortless, seemingly natural movements, the boy whispered, “Incredible. Just incredible.” He stared at the beautiful animal with the missing leg and he smiled, a spark of hope evident in his eyes.
    Tippi answered from our spot behind the group. “As you have now all noticed, Subira is very special. Since no one told her she shouldn’t—or couldn’t—run as fast as a cheetah with four legs, she doesn’t know otherwise. And so, she can.” Tippi paused for a moment, and turning to Subira, continued, “We just love her. Subira is a living example, a

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