He began to laugh. He laughed for awhile, his brain swept with the dancing and bouncing grasshopper thoughts. But pretty soon, like the sudden mood of a cat, he stopped laughing and began to rage. He raged at so many things, from the other shifts not keeping the kitchen clean to all the injustice in the world. He raged so much and so long that his co-workers, already frightened by his mad laughter, were even more frightened and wondered if they should get help. The customers, with no idea what was happening in the back, became impatient and angry. They wanted their food and they wanted it now. And really, who could blame them for that?
After the anger, the man began to cry. He was sad and cried so much the front of his shirt was soaked with tears. He cried for all the pain ever visited on him, and all the pain his family had endured, and all his friends, and his neighborhood, and all the hurt that ever was down to the spirits of the mice who would never find peace and the spirits of the cats who would wander forever and ever. He cried and cried.
Now, as I said before, had you or I had a spirit of a cat go through our heads it would have caused an upheaval, but we would not have been so affected. But since he had never been touched by a cat spirit before, the effect was too strong to resist.
If you are wondering what happened next, the sad answer is very little. The effect of the madness of cats wore off and he went back to his normal, sane self. His co-workers stopped watching him and served the customers who went off in a huff to continue their day. One of his co-workers later complained of him to the manager and he was disciplined, but not fired, a good thing since he was poor and could not afford to lose his job. And all the anger and laughter and sadness of his brush with madness was ignored and explained away, even by the man himself, because we have difficulty with emotions and it is easier to ignore than to fix the problems in the world.
You can tell I feel a bit pessimistic right now in the wake of the recent US presidential election. Especially when it comes to racial justice and the freedom of non-Christian non-whites in this country. A number of old fairy tales end unhappily. Girls dance themselves to death, the mermaid dies of grief, and so forth. I'm not sure if this one ends neutrally or is terribly sad.