I am ensnared, panic seizing me. Trapped between a wall, the air conditioning compressor, and three vigilant cats: Princess, Osaka, and Psycho. I edge further away. Suddenly, two humans materialize. They gaze upon me with keen interest! The young woman exclaims, “It’s him; he was in the attic. I wonder how he ended up here.” The man beside her, eyes brimming with warmth, extends his hand.

Gradually, the cats retreat. They’ve sensed my aura. I, who fear not lions, for my name is Daniel, inspire distrust in felines.

This hand, slightly curled, draws nearer. I allow myself to be lifted. I am cradled in the palm of a hand afflicted by Dupuytren’s contracture. Curious! In Lebanon? Dupuytren’s; the disease of Vikings?

He gently raises me, and his eyes meet mine with such tenderness that I forget to let go. My incisors, embedded in his hand, draw blood, quenching my three-day thirst.

He leans to the right. The woman beside him screams, “Throw it, throw it.” He replies, “Stop! I don’t want it to get hurt.” Moments later, he chose the gardenia bush for my landing.

I quickly slip away and vanish into the branches of the neighbouring woods.

Savouring the precious liquid that floods me, I uncover a well-hidden aspect of the character who saved my life. No longer in his youth, this man steals unspoken love from his surroundings. He is fascinated by the golden ratio, a number that envelops our existence, we, the dwellers of nature.

The elders of our tribe initiated us into our mother’s secrets. But we were young and thoughtless, and the stories of old did not concern us. And suddenly!

The human in question is curious in both senses of the word. He is contradictory yet logical, impulsive yet reasonable, among other things… I relish his love for mathematics, lyrical flights, and sudden, unexpected returns to reality.

I wonder why this fascination with numbers mimics nature so closely. Typically, these creatures are either cruel to small beings, too fearful of our larger kin, or indifferent when a tree shares its shade with them. Sometimes, I realize I may not always be right when hidden in a bush, a little girl lets a cat, our neighbourhood companion, approach her, marvelling at the graceful purring it emits under her caresses.

I am captivated by the vapours of this magical liquid I tasted for the first time. So many buried secrets and hidden things, and suddenly, another revelation.

The human in question seems to be pursuing a goal that has haunted him for decades. Perhaps the sin of Adam? The pride of playing providence? Yet, I sense a deep love for his profession and a phrase that echoes as a leitmotif: “Develop once, deploy everywhere.” What exactly does he intend to do?

I surmise he is waiting for a prominent banker in the waiting room. Timid, Madame Joy, the boss’s secretary, looks at him politely. He waits. She grows impatient. Finally, gathering his courage, he asks, “Will Monsieur Fernand see me?” Madame Joy responds to this newcomer, “He’s waiting for Doctor Shannon, who has been delayed; he must have been caught up in his appointments.”

The newcomer’s reply: “Shannon, that’s me”…

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