Her destination loomed up ahead. Large and frightening....a blot on the otherwise pristine landscape.
The Mother shuddered with a mixture of fear and loathing. Her heart pumped manically through her veins, her palms sweating, her brow furrowed with concentration.
She had a plan...to get in and get out as fast as she could...with minimum loss of life and limb.
This was her job, her responsibility, her role. The Mother, The Gatherer....so gather she must.
On her arrival, she saw that many had arrived before her. It was a chaotic scene of tempers and frustration. She joined them; clutching her youngest child protectively to her chest.
She fought for position, for dominance. To procure the best for her offspring. To ensure that they would survive. I am Mother....hear me roar.
Her child wiggled and flailed about. She struggled to restrain her as she tried to
collect the necessities she needed. The Mother hastily fed the child the last of her dwindling supplies. She, herself, ate nothing. Operating on pure adrenalin alone.
Then, she saw one. Another of her kind. The same panicked expression, the same frenzied grabbing of provisions. Holding her child securely, attempting to ward of any unwanted intruders or worse, bestowals of advice.
They looked at each other, the Mothers, and between them crossed a look of understanding, a common goal, the same instinct of survival.
The Mother approached the end of her journey with relief. Still not letting her guard down, but with a sense of impending freedom approaching.
And then she was out, finished, complete. Child safe. Supplies gathered. Her job was done.
As she drove away the sun shined, the birds sang, the child slept. She sighed with relief as she looked in the rear view mirror - at the quickly fading reflection of the giant 'Woolworths' sign.
'Thank god that's over' she muttered....until next week anyway.