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Stories and Poems For Children
by Donna Flood
Kitty Litter in an Ice Storm

Marty was parked at the edge of the ridge which led up to her home. Those were the days before the county had realized this new addition was having the same problem with every ice storm.

The ridge that was such a lovely area in the summer became a looming enemy of ice on the road, and it dared anyone to come up over the ridge in their cars. People who owned trucks with heavy tires or those who had snow tires were the only ones able to get home.

So many of the women in the town whose husbands worked for the oil company at one or another time was faced with their husbands having to be a distance away and this left them with all the miserable little peevish chores to inevitably arise.

“Have you ever noticed that everything to go wrong, will go wrong the day your husband leaves?” One of Marty’s friends had complained to her over the phone that very morning.

“Well, kids, here we go. Hold on! I’m going to make a try at this! If it was mud I think I’d be more likely to make it.” Marty spoke to her children as a way of preparing them for what she was sure would happen.

Sure enough! Half way up the hill she was stopped completely, and going no where as the tires spun in place, while making a high pitched whine. They seemed to be quietly screaming, “I can’t make it, I can’t, Stop, Stop.” As soon as she let up on the gas, the car simply slid right back down to where they were when she started. This was where she was parked again.

The door suddenly was held open by the man who lived in a small trailer on the corner. He was a quiet person and even though the gentleman waved at them as they drove past on occasion, she really didn’t know him. Their children played together, though, and they were serious young girls, who dutifully attended church every Sunday. His wife was not with him. If he was sad over that, the reserved man never let anyone know. Now the light from the room of the small trailer behind him made his stature look larger than life. He seemed even more serious minded than usual as he half turned back to the space behind him to pick up a large bag. He carried it toward her car, easily with little effort. Without a word, while bending to one knee, took the contents of a bag of kitty litter and sprinkled it under the wheels of their tires, with a bit more on the hill itself.

“Now give it a try!” These were the only words the man had spoken so far. Why did she believe he had done this before?

With the ease and breeze as if they were out on a Sunday drive in summer Marty was able to cruise up the hill where he had sprinkled a bit more kitty litter.

“Guess how I got up the hill down the street?” Marty asked her husband when he called later that evening.

“You’ll never guess. Kitty Litter!” She chuckled out loud at the silence on the other end.

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