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the kitten and the crow

 

                           A KITTEN FOR NICOLE

 

Once upon a time;
In a far away land, there lived a beautiful little girl whose name was Nicole.  She was a happy child.  She was always smiling, and when others saw her happy face, it made them smile too. 

 She loved to have visitors.  Sometimes, when her cousins came over, they would bring their pets.  Nicole liked those times best.  She didn't have any pets of her own.

 

She especially liked Patrick's pet.  It was a magic horse that could fly!  They would climb upon the horses back and fly way up high, over the trees.  It was wonderful!

 Sometimes, she would ride in a cart pulled by Tim's dog.  Sometimes they would follow a trail into the forest to a magic place they had found.  A place where fairies and elves lived. 

 

They could do anything they wanted to do while in the magic place.  There, they could jump and run.  Could even fly!  They could change into birds or rabbits!  Even butterflies!   One day, they were having so much fun while at the magic place, they didn't notice how late it was becoming.  After telling their friends, the fairies and elves, good-bye, they hurried off toward home.

 

Well, they were almost out of the forest when Nicole heard a kitten mewing.  They looked and looked for it.   Finally, they found it under a bush.  Nicole held it in her arms and took it home with her.  Poor thing, it looked hungry.

 

 When Nicole got home, she took the kitten into the kitchen and gave her a warm bowl of milk.  After the kitten was finished, they went upstairs to Nicole's room.  Nicole fixed up a bed with an old blanket.  The kitten inspected the bed, decided it would do, and settled down to sleep.

 

During the night, a storm came up.  The lightning flashed, thunder rolled, and the rain came down in buckets.  Nicole couldn't remember ever seeing such a storm before.

 

Nicole could hear the kitten mewing so she called it to the bed.  The kitten jumped up beside Nicole and settled down to sleep again.  It was warm and cozy.  They both hoped the kitten could stay.  Mama had said, "We'll see."

 

Well, it rained for three days.  Nicole had to stay home.  So far, Mama had let her keep the kitten.  She wouldn't put it out in the rain.  As soon as the sun came out, Nicole and the kitten went outside.  Nicole sat and watched the kitten run around in circles.  She was laughing.

 

All at once, she heard a crow cawing.  She looked up and saw a crow sitting on the branch above her head.  The kitten ran to Nicole and sat by her foot.  The crow called to the kitten, but the kitten wouldn't go to it.

 

Nicole told the crow to leave them alone.  "Go back home," she said.  "I know who you are, you're the Wicked Witch who lives in the North.  Why are you here?  This is my kitten, you can't have her."

 

       BY GUESS AND BY GOSH
       THE KITTEN IS MINE
       UNLESS BY YOUR WIT
       YOU CAN MAKE IT THINE

 

        IF YOU DISCOVER THE SECRET
       BEFORE THE SUN SETS
        THE KITTEN IS YOURS
        BY GOSH AND BY GUESS!                        
                                                                                                                                    
Saying that, the crow flew away, leaving Nicole to wonder what she meant.
   
After breakfast, the cousins came to visit Nicole.  They were surprised to see her sad face. 

 "Why are you so sad?" they asked.  She told them about the crow that was really the witch of the North.  She wanted to keep her kitten but didn't know what the secret was.  How could she figure out anything by herself?  Being a little girl was hard sometimes.

   
Well, they decided to go to the magic place and see Grandpa Elf.  He was a very wise man.  Maybe he could help.  That made Nicole feel a little better.  
  
When they got there, Grandpa was sitting in his rocking chair, in the sun.  He said, "Just smell that air!  Don't you just love the smell of clean air after a good rain?  Makes me want to start my garden.  I believe I will plant more tomatoes this year. How are you children today?
I don't believe I've ever seen Nicole without a smile on her face.  What can the matter be?  Sit here beside me and tell me about it."

 

Nicole and the others sat and Nicole told Grandpa the story. She said she really wanted to keep the kitten, but how could she figure out the secret that would make the kitten hers?  Grandpa picked up the kitten and held it.  He told the children to go play and enjoy themselves.
He told Nicole not to worry, he was sure she would figure it out.

 

So, they all went to play with their friends.  Nicole talked to some of the animals.  She asked them if they had ever been someone's pet.  Pretty Parakeet and Polly Parrot said they used to live in houses.  The people kept them in cages and they didn't like it at all!  They escaped and would never go back!

 

Puddles Poodle said she used to live in a very big house.  She had her own dish and a big bed, her own sweaters and very good food.  Her house was warm and she had her own doctor.

 "Why did you leave? ," asked Nicole.  "That sounds wonderful."


''Well," said Puddles,"I couldn't ever go out and run.  I couldn't be myself.  It's no fun to not ever have fun.  Here in the magic place I can do what I want to do.  No one keeps me on a leash.  I can go when I want to.  I choose to stay here because I want to."

 

"Yeah," said Handsome Hamster.  "Me too, They put me into a cage and then laughed at me all the time." 

 

Jack Rabbit and Callie Calico agreed with the rest, and Callie added the fact that people don't choose their cats, cats choose their people.  Cats have always been independent, everyone knew that.

 

Well, Nicole went back to sit beside Grandpa Elf.  She sat and pondered all she had heard.  Her kitten jumped down from Grandpa's lap onto her lap.  She petted him and thought.

 

After awhile, the children got ready to go home.  They were saying good-bye to their friends.  Nicole had decided to leave the kitten there.  She didn't want the witch to take her away. 

 

They were walking home when they noticed the kitten was walking behind them.  Nicole told the kitten to stay there.  As they walked, the kitten kept coming.   Nicole thought about what Callie had said.  Cats choose their people.  I wonder, thought Nicole, could that be it?  Is the kitten choosing me?  Oh, I hope so, but what if I am wrong?   The sun was going down when Nicole heard the cawing of a crow.  She went out and saw it sitting on the branch. 

 

"Where is my kitten?" the crow said.

 

 "Well, The kitten is here, but she's not yours.  She will choose where she wants to live."

 

Nicole put the kitten on the front steps so it would know it could do whatever it wanted to do.  The crow called it and offered it a fish it had caught. 

 

"Come here pretty kitty, here's a tasty tidbit for you," said the crow.

 

The kitten sniffed at the fish.  With her head held high she walked back to the steps.  She sat at Nicole's feet, where she yawned and started washing her face.

 

Nicole and the crow looked at each other, eye to eye.  The crow cawed loudly a couple of times, hopped around a little bit.  She was flapping her wings furiously.  Nicole could tell she was angry.  Nicole said,

 

BY GUESS AND BY GOSH
THE SECRET IS KNOWN
THE KITTEN WILL CHOOSE
AND YOU WILL BE GONE!

and the Witch flew away angrily.                                       

 

So Nicole had a pet too!   Mama said she could keep it as long as it wanted to stay.  Now when her cousins come over to play,  every one has a pet!



 

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