by Steve Toase
Fernando the cat had a paintbrush for a tail. While he slept by the fire of an evening his tail would produce maps of great beauty. Upon waking Fernando would regard them with a disdain usually only reserved for rodents and minor members of the royal family. A cat has no need for maps, even ones as elegant as these, that could lead the unwary traveler to lands that exist only in mists and stories.
Cats already know the routes to these places, through alleys and over bramble-covered bricks.
It is possible to acquire one of these documents. Purchase is not quite correct. No currency will be exchanged, but a price will be extracted, and there are conditions. You must find the shop where a man with a grey mustache and a red beard waits behind a solid oaken desk. While there you can only communicate in gestures, and only one map may be purchased in any one lifetime. How do you find the shop? Well, its location is only known through a map Fernando painted while billeted with the International Brigades during the siege of Madrid. Or you could try following a cat, through the alleys, and over the bramble covered bricks.
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