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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Leith, the Mischievous Cat

Victoria was very tired when she and her mum got home from shopping. She’d bought several gifts for Christmas and had picked up a box of peppermint sticks to hang on the family Christmas tree. After supper she went right to bed. She laid the box of peppermints on her desk.

During the night it snowed. When Victoria saw all the snow, she put on her boots, gloves, coat and scarf and went out to build a snowman. Her mum and dad joined her. Stephen, her baby brother, was still in bed sleeping.

Victoria’s cat, Leith, had slept well that night, all cozy and curled up in front of the glowing embers in the fireplace. When they had gone out the front door, Victoria had slammed it shut and this woke Leith up. He yawned and stretched, as cats do, and set off to explore the house, since nobody was inside. The first place he headed was to Victoria’s room. He jumped onto her desk and saw the peppermint sticks. He sniffed them and started chewing the plastic wrapping off. He licked the peppermint and liked the taste. His sharp teeth crunched parts of it. He chewed another and another until the whole box had been opened and licked.

Leith, the Mischevious cat

The fur on Leith’s face, ears, and even his back and paws were coated with sticky, red goo. After he’d tired of the peppermints, he jumped onto the bed. He rolled around on it, making a mess on Victoria’s beautiful white duvet. A feather from her pillow popped out and stuck to Leith’s leg. Still curious and anxious to do a bit more exploring, he jumped onto her drawers. A pink hair ribbon clung to the sticky hair on his back. When he went into the bathroom to lick water out of the sink, some toilet paper stuck to the bottom of his paw.

What a mess he was. He was so sleepy that he didn’t notice all the different things that were clinging to his fur. In the kitchen he spotted a plate of caramel shortbread. He leapt to the counter and gobbled a few pieces of it. Crumbs were everywhere, including being stuck to his whiskers, ears and cheeks. Yawning, he lay down under the Christmas tree and fell asleep.

Victoria and her parents finished building the snowman and came back inside to warm up. She ran to her room and saw the mess on her bed. How did that get there? She saw the chewed up peppermint sticks. It must have been her baby brother, Stephen. He must have gotten out of his crib and eaten them. She stomped into his bedroom but he was sound asleep and there was no sign of him eating the peppermints. Confused, she walked into the living room. That’s when she saw Leith and the crumbs, hair ribbon, toilet paper, feather, and sticky red mess all over him.

She wasn’t very happy with him. She picked him up, waking and startling him and scolded him as she walked to the bathtub. Leith started scratching and clawing in her arms. He didn’t want a bath! Why was she doing this to him? What had he done? She put him in the warm water and washed him with soap. She fluffed him up with a dry towel and sent him on his way.

Victoria bought some more later that day and hung them up. She warned Leith not to eat them, but that wasn’t going to be a problem. He didn’t want another bath! He wasn’t about to ever eat another peppermint stick again.

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