THE BEST MISTAKE
by Raven, age 13
As Jack the Cat awakened from his nap, he stretched out his limbs and wiggled his paws. Then as most cats do, he sat up and started to groom himself. Jack was a simple cat that was content with looking for his food on the beaches of Hawaii. But Jack did not care for the slow life that most cats enjoy. If there was adventure or drama to be found, he did not hesitate to get involved.
One day, while Jack was snatching picnic food from baskets, he ran into what had become quite the problem for him. Dogs. Oh, why did such creatures even exist, constantly nagging him and barking as though stealing food was a problem. Luckily for Jack, there was a leash law. So, the only problem was he ether had to sneak past the dog or pass up good food.
But this particular basket was not to be passed. It had milk and fish in it! I mean, what kind of cat passes up good tuna? Jack knew this family was from out of town by the way they dressed. so, he had a plan.
Jack walked up to the basket like no big deal. The dog looked at him astonished that this cat was not the least bit afraid of him. Jack looked at the dog and his big white teeth.
Jack was caught off guard when the dog said.”And what do you think your doing, Twinkle Toes”? Jack replied quickly, “Oh you know, the usual.” “The usual?”. Jack smirked and then said, “Oh! You don’t know? Well, we cats search the human’s food for poison that can only be smelled by a cat. You see, the volcanos here let off a gas that’s so fine, the humans cant see it and it can poison their food.”
The dog believing the cat’s tale said, “Why thank you and here I thought you were a low-down, dirty cat off to steal my owners food.” Jack gulped ” No! No! Always here to lend a helping paw. Name’s Jack and yours?” “My name is Hedge”. “Hedge? Like the bush”? “Yup. My owners named me that cause they found me by a bush, ‘course, it was down TX not here.” “I see,” said Jack, who was quickly losing interest in the conversation.
He dug his snout into the basket and pulled out one tuna that he had dipped in milk. “Well, it’s a good thing I checked. This tuna is highly poisonous. I’ll have to dispose of it immediately. Hedge looked so relieved and happy that Jack, for the first time, was ashamed of his trickery, but he tried to let it roll of his back.
The next day, Jack set out on the beach and soon again met up with Hedge. Hedge didn’t look too good. He looked as though he had been given a beating. Jack said, “Hedge, please don’t find any poison.” “What!” said Jack. “Well, my owners weren’t very happy to find some of their food gone. They thought I had gotten lazy because they found cat marks, so they beat me.”
Hedge let out a whimper. Jack felt so bad that he couldn’t even speak. He didn’t want to look at Hedge. “Oh, who am I kidding?” Hedge said all of a sudden. “You have to check. It’s for the greater good of my owners you check. Even if I get hurt, at least they’re not being hurt.
The braveness of Hedge made Jack uneasy. It made him sad and disappointed in himself. Jack thought, “Why cant I be that loyal and kind?” Finally, Jack looked at Hedge. “Hedge,” Jack said, in scared low tones. “I lied. There’s no poison and cats don’t check baskets.”
Hedge’s face turned grave and he looked furious. Jack whimpered, “You can eat me. I don’t deserve to live. I’ve been a bad cat and you are such a good dog.” Hedge had entertained the thought, but told jack in a low voice, “No, I don’t think so. I think I’m going to catch you and show you to my owners.” Jack squealed, “No! No! I hate people. Please eat me instead.” The dog smiled, “People it is.”
Jack was pretty cute cat with orange fur and white little paws. He had a button noes and little pointed ears and people love cute cats. But Jack, being a full grown cat, did not appreciate the cuddling and petting, especially in front of female cat rar. Jack pleaded with the dog who had him by the neck fur already caring him close to the beach waters where cats don’t exactly like to go.
“Please,” said Jack, “am I not tasty? Just eat me.” “No,” said hedge. Jack continued to bicker and hedge got so fed up after ten minutes he dipped Jack into the water. Jack came up screaming. “What kind of dog are you? This is just plain torture.” Hedge laughed, “Your voice is torture.” Jack decided it would be best not to talk.
Soon they reached Hedge’s owners. They took one good look at Hedge and him and said, “Hedge, release.” Hedge immediately dropped Jack who was about to scurry off when Hedge let out a deep growl. Then Jack sat down and began to groom himself. Hedge was rewarded with pets and hugs.
Then a little girl ran up. Hedge whispered to Jack, “That’s the daughter. If you lay a scratch on her, I will dunk you 45 times and that’s just the beginning.” Jack didn’t move an inch. When the little girl reached the sand, she dried her hands and then picked up Jack.
“Sally,” said the tall grown up, “would you like to keep him? We know you want a cat and Hedge just brought him here, so we know they wont fight.” The little girl jumped up and down with glee. Jack, not so enthusiastic, hissed at Hedge. “I’m going to kill you.” Hedge laughed, “Its not so bad being a pet.”
That’s the beginning of this long friendship that would last forever.
Raven was inspired to write this short story using the “Unexpected Friends” writing prompt. Click here to view the prompt.