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.
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.