A pale orange butterfly fluttered
from flower to flower, unaware that Jiading, a small gray kitten, was
watching its every move. He was hiding behind a cluster of sweet smelling
violets, ready to pounce at the butterfly. Its antenna waved in the gentle
breeze and its wings moved back and forth as it sipped nectar from a pale
Jiading jumped from behind the
violets and landed right in the middle of the rose bush. The sharp thorns
poked into him. He let out a very loud MEOW and wriggled himself free of
the bush. The butterfly flew away and Jiading ran home to his mother and
the other kittens. She licked Jiading’s wounds clean, scolded him, and
sent him back out to play. It had only been a few days since Jiading had
been allowed to leave his mother’s side, but now he was able to run
anywhere he wanted. This was wonderful, as long as he could run back to
his mother in a short time.
Jiading fluffed up his fur and went
on his way. He ran through the dirt and came upon a large rock. He stopped
to look at a fat, orange caterpillar inching its way through the tall
grass that grew along the side of the dirt path. It was wiggling its body
up and down as it moved. Jiading came in for a closer look. The
caterpillar didn’t seem to mind the intrusion. It continued on its way.
Jiading bent down and sniffed it. The caterpillar ignored him and soon
Jiading lost interest and ran off towards an old willow tree. It provided
shade for him and the other kittens during the heat of the day.
At the bottom of the tree was a
mound of dirt. Jiading watched several ants as they went into and came out
of the hole. They seemed to be carrying bits of leaves and food that
they’d picked up at a nearby picnic. Jiading took his paw and stuck it in
the hole. He scratched it with his tiny, but sharp, claws and made the
hole larger. Within seconds, hundreds of angry ants came pouring out of
the hole and started biting Jiading’s paw. He jumped back, but there were
so many ants that when he jumped, he landed in the middle of even more of
them. Soon he was covered from head to toe in black ants. They nipped and
bit him. He shook his fur. Some flew off but there were still many
clinging to him. He ran as fast as he could around and around the tree. A
few ants fell of but not many. He ran around and around the rose bush. A
few more ants fell off but he was still covered with them. Meowing loudly,
he ran down the path, heading for home. When his mother saw the ants
crawling all over Jiading, she used her paw to brush them off. After the
last ant had crawled away, Jiading was scolded and then sent back out to
play. His mother warned him to stay out of mischief.
He walked slowly down the path,
being very careful to watch for ants crawling along in the dirt. He
rounded a bend and saw a tortoise. It was standing very still. Jiading
crept towards it. The tortoise still didn’t move. He went right up to it
and sniffed its thick, leathery, green legs. The tortoise didn’t like the
way Jiading’s whiskers tickled his nose so it pulled its head into the
shell. Jiading moved backwards. Where did the tortoise’s head go? He
couldn’t see it anywhere. All he saw was a brown shell with four green
legs and no head. He sniffed the hole where the head had gone in. Suddenly
the tortoise dropped to the ground and all four legs disappeared into the
shell. Jiading was confused. He nudged the shell with his paw. It rocked
back and forth and spun around in circles. It didn’t take long for Jiading
to tire of this game and soon he ran off to play. No sooner had he gone
back around the bend than the tortoise’s neck, head, and all four feet
came out of the shell and it walked away.
The sun was beginning to set.
Jiading hurried home to his mother. All the other kittens were there too.
Mother licked them gently and rubbed her body against theirs. Jiading
snuggled up against her neck and fell asleep. What new and exciting
adventures awaited him the next morning?