Please read!

I’m very interested in your view of this quote by one of my favourite author-Alice Walker. I have this story on my wall in my study and don’t quite know

what other people think of it. It teaches a lesson- but I’ll like to know how you interpret it. it doesn’t have a title, but I’ve called it ‘LARA ‘ for the sake of post title on this blog!

So kindly spare few minutes and comment!


“Once   there was a beautiful young panther who had a co-wife and a husband. Her name was Lara and she was unhappy because her husband and her co-wife were really in love; being nice to her was merely a duty panther society imposed on them.

They had not even wanted to take her into their marriage as co-wife, since there were already perfectly happy. But she was an “extra” female in the group and that would not do. Her husband sometimes sniffed her breath and other emanations. He even, sometimes, made love to her. But whenever this happened, the co-wife, whose name was lala, became upset.

She and the husband, baba, would argue, and then fight, snarling and biting and whipping at each other’s eyes with their tails. Pretty soon they’d become sick of this and would lie clutched in each other’s paws, weeping. I am supposed to make love to her, baba would say to lala, his heart chosen mate. She is my wife just as you are.

i did not plan things this way. This is the arrangement that came down to me. i know it, dearest, said lala, through her tears. And this pain that I feel is what has come down to me. Surely it can’t be right?
These two sat on a rock in the forest and were miserable enough. But Lara, the unwanted, pregnant by now and ill, was devastated. Everyone knew she was unloved, and no other female panther wanted to share her own husband with her. Days went by when the only voice she heard was her inner one.

Soon, she began to listen to it.

Lara, it said, sit here, where the sun may kiss you. and she did.

Lara, it said, lie here, where the moon can make love to you all night long. and she did.

Lara, it said, one bright morning when she knew herself to have been well kissed and well loved: sit here on this stone and look at your beautiful self in the still waters of this stream.

Calmed by the guidance offered by her inner voice, lara sat down on the stone and leaned over the water. She took in her smooth, aubergine little snout, her delicate, pointed ears, her sleek, gleaming black fur. She was beautiful! and she was well kissed by the sun and well made love to by the moon.

For one whole day, lara was content. When her co-wife asked her fearfully why she was smiling, lara only opened her mouth wider, in a grin. The poor co-wife ran trembling off and found their husband, baba, and dragged him back to look at lara.

When baba saw the smiling, well kissed, well made love to lara, of course he could hardly wait to get his paws on her! he could tell she was in love with someone else, and this aroused all his passion.

While lala wept, baba possessed lara, who was looking over his shoulder at the moon.

Each day it seemed to lara that the lara in the stream was the only lara worth having – so beautiful, so well kissed, and so well made love to. and her inner voice assured her this was true.

So, one hot day when she could not tolerate the shrieks and groans of baba and lala as they tried to tear each other’s ears off because of her, lara, who by now was quite indifferent to them both, leaned over and kissed her own serene reflection in the water, and held the kiss all the way to the bottom of the stream. ”

Author- Alice Walker




3 responses to “LARA

  1. Touching and very true of many girls and women of all ages, size and race. That inner voice is what makes each of us unique, it’s the source of our strength, the source that baffles many yet brings peace to its beholder.

  2. Hey Becky,I cried when I finished reading this…Such is the effect of Ms Alice Walker’s works on me..The Color Purple had the same effect and this poem just emphasizes Alice’s attempts to connect her audiences with the theme of OVERCOMING ADVERSITY.. In this story, ‘Lara’ what Alice is saying to me, is that, YOU ARE YOUR OWN SOURCE OF SELF WORTH-IF YOU DON’T LEARN TO LOVE YOURSELF, WHO ELSE WILL??

    There are so many metaphors in this story…. The three symbolic things, The Sun, The Moon, and The Stone, to me represent the three stages that it takes for SELF ACCEPTANCE/SELF WORTH..

    The first stage, says,I like myself. The second stage,saysI accept and like and begin to love myself..The third and final stage, says, I AM WORTHY AND HAVE THE STRENGTH TO ACCEPT MYSELF, AND REFLECT UPON MYSELF AND INNER BEAUTY AS WELL AS OUTER BEAUTY… AND NOONE’S BEAUTY BEARS COMPARISON TO MINE..
    I AM AN INDIVIDUAL!! In essence, this third stage is her full and total recovery, from illness, both physical and emotional.

    All of these messages to me, are the same themes which are common amongst Alice’s works, and especially in this day and age, where self esteem of young women is rather low; Her writings should be read by young women to encourage them to accept themselves by their own standards-Something which Lara, did not acquire, due to looking to Baba for her own sense of self worth…Something which many women do all over the world.

    The other theme in this is LOVE, or rather the LACK OF IT.. Lara was not receiving love from her spouse and therefore did not even value herself, and the effect that it can have on someones life..The story highlights how neglect, can affect self worth and in Lara’s case general wellbeing.. There are many ‘Lara’s’ all over the world who eventually come to realize that the little bit of fight that they have, should be saved for themselves, and not for those who do not appreciate us ‘Lara’s’ out there…. Whoa… Sorry for the long message, but, you know what I’m like when I discuss things..

  3. Pingback: He’s Not Me « Black Rose·

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