Chapters 1-6 Summary
The novel opens on a calico cat who has been abandoned by the side of the road. To make matters worse, the cat is very pregnant and a rain storm has opened up. She wandered into the woods, far away from the road where she had been left by her family. The storm grew worse and lightning and thunder compounded its effects. Finally, the cat came upon an old tupelo tree with an abandoned nest at its base. Exhausted, the cat curled up and went to sleep.
The trees in this forest had been there for a long time; some of them for hundreds of years. At the opposite end of the forest from where the cat was sleeping was a loblolly pine that had been split in half by another lightning storm. The tree was located near a creek named Little Sorrowful. The lightning storm that severed the loblolly pine had come twenty-five years ago from the Gulf of Mexico, gaining steam from the Sabine River, which separates Louisiana from Texas. When it struck the thousand-year-old tree, the base remained standing despite losing its upper half.
When the storm struck the tree, it also had another impact deep beneath the earth. In the ground below the loblolly tree was a clay jar that had been buried a thousand years before. Inside of the jar was a mysterious creature that had been asleep for centuries. The lightning’s reverberations loosened the roots of the tree that had formerly held the jar in place. Twenty-five years ago, during that huge storm, the creature began to wake, knowing it would one day make its return.
The next morning, the cat awoke to the sound of a hound baying. The baying came in the form of a song, which told of the hound’s loneliness and captivity. After listening to the lament, she began to follow the sound of the dog’s voice.
The cat followed the song deep into the woods until she arrived at dilapidated, tilting house with an ancient, rusty truck parked outside. The hound dog was chained to the porch; he continued...
(The entire section is 501 words.)