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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Rescue

Three big black crows had been flying above the farm all day long. Now and then they’d stop to rest on the branches of a tall tree, but most of the time they swooped around in lazy circles above the house.

Duncan had gone outside early in the morning to see if there was some cheese or a few grains of wheat lying about and had spotted the crows. "I wonder what they’re up to," he said. He thought of the scarecrow hanging on the wooden pole in the cornfield. "The scarecrow will keep them away," he felt confident.

He ran from here to there and noticed that whenever he ran, the crows flew from the branches and started to fly down to where he was. He was just too quick for them though. He could hear them cawing loudly as he nibbled on some wheat that had dropped from a burlap bag. "I wish they’d go away. I don’t like crows almost as much as I don’t like cats," he mumbled.

Kennedy came outside a while later. He too noticed the crows. The first thing he did was check the cornfields. The crows weren’t near the corn. They seemed to be searching for something below. "I wonder where that pesky mouse, Duncan is. Has he seen the crows?" Kennedy sighed and ran towards the house.

Duncan came running out of the barn and headed to the horse’s watering trough. Kennedy spotted him and watched in horror as one of the crows swooped down and picked Duncan up by the tail. Duncan was squealing and squirming, trying to get out of the crow’s talons.

"Those crows can’t do that. Duncan is my mouse. I’m the only one allowed to eat him," Kennedy thought angrily. He watched the crow as it flapped its wings and headed up to the high branches of the tree. The other two crows sat nearby.

Kennedy was pretty good at climbing trees, as most cats are. He ran silently towards the bottom of the tree, staying well hidden, so the crows wouldn’t see him. He could see Duncan. He was still dangling from the crow’s claws. Kennedy started climbing the tree. He jumped from branch to branch, getting higher and closer to the big black birds.

Duncan hung upside down. It was a long way to the ground and he didn’t know which would be worse; to be eaten by the crow’s sharp beak or dropped. He looked at the tree and saw Kennedy climbing up. "Oh great. The cat’s after me too," he pouted. None of the crows saw the cat. Slowly Kennedy crept and finally came to the branch the crow was perched on. Duncan watched the cat move along the branch. He thought it better to be silent. Suddenly, Kennedy leapt and grabbed hold of the crow. It squawked and cawed. The other crows started swooping down, trying to peck him.

"Grab onto a leaf or something," Kennedy shouted to the mouse. Kennedy was flung around as the two animals wrestled. Duncan finally caught hold of a leaf and no sooner had wrapped his tiny arms around it when the crow let go of him. All three crows started pecking at Kennedy, who nearly fell to the ground. They flew away and Kennedy lay still. He was tired.

Duncan crawled up onto the branch and sat in front of the cat. "You rescued me from the crows. Why?" he asked.

Kennedy huffed and puffed. He couldn’t speak. He was too tired. "I…I…I….," was all he could say.

"Well, thank you," Duncan said. He ran down the tree branches, grabbed hold of the trunk and soon reached the ground. He looked up at the cat, who was still holding onto the branch. "Thanks again," he shouted up to the cat and then ran back to his mouse hole.

The cat lay still for an hour. "The next time I try to rescue that mouse, I had better think twice." He climbed down slowly and went into the house. Exhausted, he lay in front of the fire and didn’t move till morning.

When he opened his eyes, there was a bowl of thick cream lying in front of him. A little note was attached, "Thank you for rescuing me, Duncan." Kennedy smiled. For a while he felt good about saving the mouse, but it was only for a short time. By the time the sun had risen over the horizon, he was back to chasing Duncan all over the farm. Duncan didn’t mind. He was happy to have things back to normal.

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