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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
Kitten in the Tree

Riley liked to chase cats. He had four of them at his house and he chased them around, trying to pull their tails. “Stop doing that, Riley,” his mother said. “You're scaring the cats and you might hurt them.”

He didn't pay much attention to what his mother said. Whenever he saw a cat, he tried to jump on it and catch it. Nobody had more scratches on their faces than Riley did.

One day Riley's mother needed to go to town. “Riley, I'm going shopping. Grandma is in her bedroom sleeping. You go outside and play on your swings until I get back. Leave the cats alone.” She gave Riley a hug and drove off.

When he saw his mother's car leave, Riley smiled. “Now I can catch the cats and nobody will see me.” He looked under his mother's bed to see if any cats hid there. When he didn't find one, he snuck into his grandma's room. “I'll be quiet and peek under her bed.” He lifted the cover and a gray kitten ran out from underneath the bed. “Got you.” Riley grabbed the cat and held it. It clawed his arms and tried to get away. Cat's don't always like to be held.

Riley took the cat outside and sat under the tree with it. The cat wanted to escape, but Riley wouldn't let it go.

Grandma woke up and went to the door. “Riley!” She called for the boy. “Riley, where are you? You're not holding any of those cats are you, or pulling their tailes?”

Riley didn't want his grandma to see him so he let go of the kitten. It ran right up the tree, as high as it could go and started meowing. Riley said, “Shh. I don't want Grandma to see you.” Riley lifted his arms. “Come down, kitten. I won't hurt you.”

The kitten knew that if it came down that Riley would try to hold it, so it stayed up in the tree and meowed.

Riley's mother came home from shopping. She took the groceries into the kitchen and looked out the window. Riley stood with his arms in the air. “What is that boy doing?” She went outside and saw the kitten in the tree. “Riley, what have you done?”

Grandma came outside. “My kitten. It's up in the tree.” Grandma started to cry.

Riley watched her and felt sad. It was his fault that the kitten ran up the tree. “I'm sorry, Grandma. I won't chase the cats any more, or hold them, or pull their tails.” He ran into his Grandma's arms and sobbed.

His mother finally coaxed the kitten down. It jumped into Grandma's arms. She stroked it and it purred at her.

Never again did Riley tease the cats. Once they were sure he wasn't going to hold them, they walked past and let him stroke them. It was much better this way. The cats were happier and so was Riley.

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