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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
A Gondola Ride


Winky curled up in a ball, tucked his tail under him and went to sleep. He dreamed of chasing mice through the alleys of Venice.

While Winky was sleeping, two boys, Vincenzo and Nicolo, snuck up behind the cat, picked him up and put him in a box. They took the box and hid it inside Nicolo's father's gondola. After giggling for a few minutes, the boys ran off and hid.

An hour later Nicolo's father arrived at the gondola. The boys watched as he changed into his black and white striped shirt, straw hat with red ribbon, black pants and shoes. He pushed the gondola into the water and picked up the oar. Heading for the cathedral across the lagoon, he rowed and rowed.

Winky opened his eyes. He didn't know where he was. He stuck his head out of the box and Nicolo's father saw him. He picked up the box, with the cat, and put it on top of the gondola. A smile spread across his face as he stroked Winky's head. "Nice cat. How glad of you to join me on my gondola. How did you get here?" He turned back to the square and saw his son and Vincenzo chuckling. "I think I know how. Anyway,  you'll have to come with me. I've got to pick some people up at the cathedral."

Winky didn't like the water. He stayed in the box the whole time, whining and crying.

After Nicolo's father picked up his fare, they rowed back towards the square. Nobody dared to touch Winky. He was shivering and frightened. Once they reached the square, Nicolo's father picked up the box and held it in his arms. "I think I'll take you home with me. Cats as pretty as you shouldn't be running around the streets of Venice." He took the cat home and fed him some fish and milk.

Winky was very happy. The next day Nicolo's father took Winky to the gondola again. Winky was scared and stayed in the bottom of the gondola. The day after that he went again and this time he dared to climb on the seat. From then on Winky went on the gondola every day and soon was so brave that he sat wherever he wanted. He was happy and so was Nicola's father.


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