It’s a game like no other: there is one mouse and two cats.
The mouse is dressed in a blue-and-yellow jumpsuit, its belt tightening with every passing day, for the mouse is hungry and exhausted.
One of the cats is white, sleek with oil, its chest pumped up with gas.
Another one is black, its arms are so long, it can reach any corner of the playground and slap down a bird or dig up a rodent hiding in a cave.
The cats are having a ball: they love teasing the mouse with crumbs of cheese, then smacking it down with heavy paws. Once they even sent a paper aeroplane above its head: it landed on the mouse’s belly, blood spilling, entrails blasting across the entire playground.
Most recently the white cat has been scaring the poor mouse with toys, and its black playmate has been yelling “Terror! Murder!”, whilst throwing scraps to the mouse, terrified and trapped.
Enough. You get the picture. I now invite you to switch off your screens and glance up. You are looking for a friendly face, a beating heart, a real story. It’s not about Putin or Obama or Poroshenko, but about people who live and breathe, laugh and cry, travel, spill coffee and tease their loved ones. Perhaps, if we hold hands, governments will listen.
In this photo I am among Ukrainian tourists in Toronto. It started to rain, and a tour guide let me borrow her IKEA umbrella. I suggested we take a photo of friendship under the symbolic Ukrainian flag. I am so very glad they agreed at once.