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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
I'll Get You

Oliver, the cat, stood at the bottom of the tree, looking up at the bird in the nest. “I'll get you, little bird!” More than any food, even more than catnip or mice, Oliver loved to eat birds. He didn't care if they were bluebirds, robins, finches, crows, or cardinals. He spent most of his days hiding in the bushes near trees, watching for an unsuspecting bird to land on the ground and when they did, he'd pounce on them and gobble them down.

One afternoon Oliver watched a cardinal land on the root of a nearby tree. His mouth watered, thinking of how delicious the bird was going to taste. “I'll get you, little bird.” He leaped from the bush, but the cardinal flew up to a branch high in the tree.

It sat in its nest chirping and smiling at the cat. “You can't catch me, cat. Ha ha ha.”

Oliver meowed and hissed and scratched the tree with his sharp claws. He stomped into the bushes. “I've got to find a way to catch that smarty pants bird.” He thought about it for several hours. The sun went down and the moon came up. Darkness covered the land. “I know what I'll do. I'll climb up the tree now that its dark and sneak up on the bird while it sleeps.”

The tree was very large. It had dozens of thick branches, making it easy to climb. Oliver moved to the first branch and then climbed the tree, careful not to make noise and alert the sleeping cardinal. “There it is. She's sleeping in her nest. All I have to do is creep along this branch and I'll eat her in one bite.”

One step at a time he made his way along the thin branch. He was nearly to the nest when he slipped. “Yikes!” He grabbed the branch with his front paws and hung, dangling from the limb.

The bird opened her eyes. She saw the cat hanging just a few inches from her nest. “Ha ha ha. Stupid cat.  You'll never eat me.” She climbed out of her nest and moved along the branch. Peck. Peck. Peck. Her beak dug into the cat's paws.

“Ouch! Ouch! Ouch! Stop that. I'll fall!” The caw struggled to hang on, but the bird didn't stop pecking. Unable to hold on any longer, Oliver fell from the high branch. He landed with a thud in a pile of leaves. He lay on his back looking up at the cardinal.

She stuck her head over and it shone in the moonlight. “You'll never get me. Don't even try!”

Oliver caught his breath and then slinked back into the bushes. The next morning he moved to another area. He'd had enough of the cardinal. His body ached from the fall and he knew he'd be sore for a week. Once he found the right tree to watch, he lay in the bushes waiting for an unsuspecting bird to land.

A bluebird landed near the bottom of the tree. When Oliver jumped out to catch him, the bird flew away. “I've heard about you, Oliver. The cardinal came and told me. In fact she told all the birds in the woods about you. We're all wise.”

Oliver hung his head. He left the woods, knowing he'd never be able to catch another bird. Just then a mouse ran past carrying an acorn. Oliver watched it for a while. “Well, I suppose I'll be chasing mice from now on. Wait up, mouse. I'll get you!” And off he ran.

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