Pandemic Seen from the Eyes of a Puma

By: Rivka Galchen
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When the news was about shortages of P.P.E., the figurines started to dress differently. They wore chocolate foil wrappers, string and tape.

The wolf could see no evil, or was a messenger of evil. I know I’m not supposed to take kids’ art seriously. But I feel it’s at least worth taking more seriously than my own inner life in a pandemic. The shifts in my six-year-old’s art projects tracked time better than the news, my moods, or the weather.

The chocolate foil protective gear evolved into a different hospital supply study. Now the animals were gathering sometimes in groups…

…and sometimes alone.

Dreams of foraging manifested.

Other times, the weirdness of the days made it difficult to sleep.

When the puma learned that there would be no going back to school in person for the rest of the first grade, she cried every morning, for many mornings. Her drawings, meanwhile, become more cheerful.

The little creatures were so close together! And could be looked at any-side-up.

And whatever this bird heralds I will be showing up for.

Sometimes animals were called up to drag a heavy, empty sled.

Still, one day it began to seem likely, that society would return, with its more customary threats and charm.

Words and photographs by Rivka Galchen

Art by Georgie Spark