The Tin Can That Loved

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What happened to her and why she was there, would always be a mystery. Sadie, on the other hand, could remember everything about her time in the house.

When Sadie had found the child, she had been wrapped in an old sweater, and had been placed on a step at the front door. She didn’t cry at all – the baby only smiled and gurgled. Sadie could remember all of that exactly.

In the past, Sadie’s role had been to look after her families, to cook for them, to clean for them, and babysit the younger humans. It always ended up being more complex than that. Humans were complex, their lives even more so.

With this little baby, Sadie saw it as a chance to become one of them, to raise the baby as her own. She called the infant ‘Tiny’, as she’d heard one of the humans referring to a doll with that name. She had the name stored in her memory for the day she might need it.

Although the baby had been placed at the door for someone or something to look after her, Sadie, herself, had been forgotten about. Like any old hardware, she had been left at the house when the family had moved on. For several years, she had kept the living space tidy, and when parts fell from it, she would repair them.

Her wish had always been to nurture, to be a mother, just like the humans. So when Tiny was left at her door, she felt that whatever God had been listening, had answered her prayers. Two lonely souls abandoned in a cold universe.

Sadie could never cause harm to a human but that didn’t exempt her from theft. Sadie stole milk for the child, then later she would steal more sold foods for her little Tiny.

At first, Sadie was determined to teach her little loved one herself, but after a few months of these well thought-out activities, she realised that Tiny needed the company of other humans.

Sometimes it was hard to tell mechanical hearts from the real thing and so, Sadie was able to convince the school that she was Tiny’s mother (which she was) and get her enrolled in a nearby school.

Tiny never questioned that her mother was a robot – to her Sadie was the universe, entire. She was a love source in an uncaring world.

As Tiny grew taller and stronger, Sadie never aged – not that it worried Tiny. Except at school, when comments were made about how her mother never seemed a day older – not like their mothers. Sometimes Sadie would disguise her face a little with a scarf so as not to make it so obvious that she was not like them.

Sadie watched as her daughter grew into a beautiful woman. She smiled as she saw Tiny fall in love and Sadie hoped that one day Tiny would settle with someone who cared for her as much as she did.

Then the world fell in on them both. Someone reported Sadie, some mother who was probably jealous of Sadie’s ever beautiful looks.

They came for Sadie and when she protested, as did Tiny, she was told that mechanical hearts were not capable of loving humans.

There was a trial about the moral rights and wrongs by the State and the Church; and as the media reported it: ‘the tin-can that loved’ – Sadie stood no chance, no chance at all. Sadie was, after all, a S(elf) A(ware) D(irect) I(nterface) E(lectro) and that was the beginning and the end of it.

Tiny made one request that on the day she was to be married, that she wanted her mother, Sadie to be there. This was granted.The following day, Sadie was taken away and destroyed but she was always remembered as the first mechanical heart that loved a human.

There are many kinds of love in this world, as many as there are people (and robots), and all of them are beautiful.

 

bobby stevenson 2017

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