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|STICKS AND THE CHRISTMAS KITTEN (standard:adventure, 1387 words)|
|Author: Rosie Jay||Added: Sep 26 2006||Views/Reads: 1826/1138||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Savvy young Freddie Ferguson recounts an accidental episode on Christmas Eve involving his best friend, Sticks and a stray kitten. Poignantly told, with humor.|
STICKS AND THE CHRISTMAS KITTEN By Rosie Jay Sticks and I have been hanging out ever since the fifth grade. That’s when he and his folks moved into the housing project a few blocks from my house. Now I’ll admit, we sure look goofy together, him being about a foot taller than me and kind of skinny, but none of that matters. What counts is that he’s the best bud ever—except for one little problem. Stick’s is accident-prone, BIG TIME, just like Buddy, my dog, always bumping into stuff and knocking things over! Two days before last Christmas Sticks did it again. He freight-trained into Ma as she was taking a plate of cookies to Mrs. Pentoli, next door. He was hopping the sidewalk shrubs—like he always does—and sailed smack into her. The cookies flew like missiles and the two of them were sprawled out like dead ducks. When I got there, Sticks was helping Ma to her feet. “Gosh, I’m really really sorry, Mrs. Ferguson!” he apologized, like he was pleading for mercy. Ma couldn’t talk. This funny noise was coming from the back of her throat. When we helped her back to the house, she went to her bedroom and stayed there for an hour. Sticks, of course, went home pronto, but he called me right away. “I’m feeling mighty bad about it,” he said. “Maybe I should stay away for awhile.” At first I didn’t answer, but then it sure made sense. “Yeah, maybe so,” I agreed, feeling mighty bad myself. Later, Ma limped into the kitchen. I was munching some of the cookies that missed the impact. “How’re you feeling, Ma? Can I get you a cup of tea?” I offered, hoping kindness would soften her mood. Ma just sighed, easing herself into a chair. “He’s real sorry, Ma.” “I know, Freddie. He’s such a nice boy—really—but sometimes I wish he’d slow down a bit, that’s all.” I decided not to push. I made Ma the tea, wondering how long Sticks would be too embarrassed to come around again. Well, not for long, it turns out. On Christmas Eve day I recognized the rat-a-tat knock at the back door and looked over at Ma. She took a long breath. “It’s all right,” she decided, bracing herself against a chair. “Sticks, old pal, come on in,” I said. “Glad to see ya.” But Sticks wasn’t moving. Usually he bolts in like thunder, but he just stood there. “Is it okay, Mrs. Ferguson?” he asked ever so politely. Another deep breath. Ma nodded her head. So, careful-like, he walks in. “Look.” he softly whispered. He opened his jacket and there peeking out was a small white kitten. “Wow, Sticks, did you get him for Christmas?” I inquired. “Nah. I just found him on the front steps of my building, all shivery and meowing.” The cookie massacre was fading fast. Ma started to melt. “I don’t know what to do,” Sticks went on. “I can’t keep him because there are no pets allowed in our building. I’d just like to keep him warm for a while because maybe he belongs to somebody around here, you know?” Click here to read the rest of this story (114 more lines)
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