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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
The Kitten and the Pea

Once upon a time there was a furry gray kitten. Her name was Princess. She was a spoiled kitten. At night she slept on a soft pillow and in the day she was fed fish and liver and all the things a kitten likes to eat. She wore a golden crown on her head.

“Princess, you're such a fluffy, sweet kitten. Mama loves you,” said Princess's owner, Arana. “Nothing's too good for you.”

One fine day a man came to visit Arana. He saw the cat sitting on the pillow. “That's an awfully spoiled kitten. What is it's name?”

“The kitten's name is Princess. Why do you ask?”

“I think all cats should be made to sleep outside under the stars and they should have to find their own meals. I've never heard of such rubbish as a cat wearing a crown of gold.”

Arana, furious with the man, shouted at him. “I beg your pardon, sir. My little princess is a real princess. She's entitled to wear that crown of gold.”

The man scoffed. “If she's a real princess then she should be able to feel this pea.”

Arana laughed. “Of course she can feel the pea. Any cat could.”

“Ah, but madam, I mean she should feel the pea when it is under her pillow.”

“What nonsense? How can a kitten feel a pea under a pillow,” Arana snarled.

“I didn't mean one pillow, I meant under five pillows.” The man piled five pillows on top of each other and put a pea under the bottom one. “Let's see if your Princess is truly a princess.” He called to the kitten, picked her up and put her on the top pillow. He stroked her while she purred.

An hour went past and all the kitten did was sleep. “See, she's not a real princess, just like I said.” The man folded his arms across his chest.

After the man had left, Arana picked up her kitten. “What's that you've got there?” The kitten held something in its paw. “You've got a mouse and it's holding the pea. How on earth?”

The kitten purred and rubbed her head against Arana. “I knew you were a real princess. It doesn't matter what anyone says. You're my Princess and that's all that matters.” She put the crown back on Princess's head and brought her a can of fish on a crystal dish. “Yes, you're my Princess.”

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