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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
New Kitty

Bridget's mama bought her a new kitty. “His name is Scratchy and he's very playful. There are some rules. You must give him a bath once a week, even if he doesn't like it, and you have to feed him every morning.”

“I can do that, Mama,” Bridget said.

“You must be careful not to feed him too much, or he'll get fat and lazy and won't be able to chase mice,” Mama warned.

“I won't feed him too much,” Bridget said.

Mama put the kitty's food dish and the new bag of cat food down in the kitchen. She unloaded the groceries and started fixing supper.

Bridget took Scratchy to her bedroom and stroked him and played with string and balls. Scratchy was happy playing for a while, but then he meowed. “Why are you meowing, Scratchy?” She looked at his whiskered face. “Are you hungry?”

Bridget peeked around the corner. Mama wasn't in the kitchen. She was in the shower, so Bridget took a bowl of kitty food into her bedroom and fed the cat. It gobbled all the food down. She ran back into the kitchen and filled up his bowl again.

Every day she snuck Scratchy three extra bowls of food.

One day Mama saw Scratchy lying on the kitchen floor. “You're getting fat.” Just then a brown mouse ran across the kitchen floor. Mama screamed and jumped up on a chair. “Go and catch the mouse, Scratchy. Go on!” The cat didn't move. “Scratchy, go and get the mouse, you lazy cat.”

Bridget came walking into the kitchen. She saw the mouse and jumped up on the chair next to her mama and screamed. “Get the mouse!”

Scratchy had eaten so much food that he was so lazy and didn't want to chase mice. He wasn't hungry enough to eat a mouse. “See what you've done, Bridget? You've been feeding that kitty too much and now it won't catch the mouse. We'll have to stay up here all day until Papa comes home.”

Papa came home later that day and saw Mama and Bridget on the chair. “There's a mouse, Papa.” Bridget cried.

Papa looked at the cat. “Why isn't that lazy kitty getting the mouse?”

“I snuck food to him and he ate too much. It's my fault. I promise, if you catch that mouse, that I'll never feed Scratchy too much food again.” Bridget pleaded to her father.

He caught the mouse and threw it outside. Bridget and her mama climbed down from the chair.

From then on Scratchy got one bowl of food even if he meowed all day. Bridget would open the back door and send him out to catch mice and chase birds. Scratchy was happier and so was Bridget and her mama.

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