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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Jiading’s Adventures

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 yellow rose.

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?

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