‘Hey Missus, Does This Belong To You?’
Dylan huffed and puffed his way through the green vegetation growing in next door’s garden.The thrush he had originally given chase to was long gone from sight. An old tin bucket half buried in the soil caught his eye. He reached up on his hind legs peering curiously inside. It was half filled with water, which didn’t appeal to the kitten at all. He trundled on his search for excitement. It’s a beautiful day thought Dylan, warm sun, blue sky, just right for adventure and daring. But where ..
He struggled on over the roughly dug soil which at times seemed quite mountainous to such a small cat. ‘What is this then,’ he stopped, watching a small object at his feet. it didn’t move …. so neither did Dylan. But he could sense it was watching him, so he watched back … VOOM!! VOOM!! Poor Dylan nearly had heart failure as the thing leapt about two feet into the air, finally coming to rest some distance away. Cautiously, Dylan approached IT! VOOM!! VOOM!! Two really big jumps this time set the kitten’s heart racing. Of course it was a frog, but Dylan had never seen one before, so how was he to know what to expect. ‘I’ll use cunning’ thought the kitten, ‘this time I’ll use cunning and stealth.’ And he did too. Actually all he did was creep up behind the frog, but he liked to think he was using cunning and stealth …
He did however manage to reach the creature without scaring it, Dylan put out a paw to feel the thing very, very, gently. There was no response from the frog ….. he rolled it over … it lay perfectly still … Dylan was by now feeling quite cocky, after all he was the bigger and stronger to the two. Why should he be scared? His black head came down to sniff.
Sniff … sniff … sniff, went Dylan. Not a sign of movement from the frog. He bent lower to have a lick …. nothing, not a muscle twitch … nothing! ‘Maybe if I eat it, the thing will taste better than it looks.’ Well it seemed logical to the kitten. This, however, proved too much for the frog who had, as it happened, more wisdom that Dylan gave him credit for. As the kitten’s razor sharp teeth flashed as in grinning victory, the frog kicked his back legs in Dylan’s face and was gone …. So was Dylan!
He shot like a bullet from a gun, his heart pounding, his legs galloping just as fast as he could make them go. No sense of direction, well there was no time to plan a route was there. Dylan was scared and he intended to get away … anywhere, through a flower be, over rows of lettuce and onions, scattering the birds he didn’t care just on and on and on. Smack!! a foot stopped him dead. Dylan looked up to see a scruffy, dirty boy frowning down at him. ‘What yer running for cat’? asked the boy. He bent down scooping Dylan up by the stomach, which was very uncomfortable. A woman approached, looking at them both with some interest. ‘Hi missus, does this belong to you?’ said the boy, holding out Dylan towards her. She shook her head not even bothering to stop. ‘Then yer lost aren’t yer cat’? muttered the lad putting Dylan back on the ground. ‘I’m off for me dinner now. If you’re still ere tomorrer then you can belong to me.’ Saying that the boy turned and walked away.
This monthly series of short stories is published with the kind permission of the author, Mrs Sylvia Hood. They were written in 1975. Part 8 next month.