Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, April 19, 1999

Rock-a-bye baby, a baby to love


Once there was a monkey named Lena. Lena wanted a baby to take care of and love, but she was too young to have a baby of her own.

Lena lived with a young family who had a little girl named Kim. Kim liked to play with dolls. If she left her dolls on the floor, Lena would pick them up and play with them, too. When Kim wanted her doll back, Lena would run away with it and Kim would start to cry.

Kim's mother decided that Lena should stay in the basement where she could play with the kitten. Lena didn't like it in the basement and, besides, the kitten was afraid of her.

Lena sat in the corner in the basement, holding the kitten's pillow in her arms. She rocked back and forth with the pillow, as if she were rocking a baby.

Kim felt sorry for Lena. She went over to her and Lena jumped into Kim's arms. The kitten came and Kim picked the kitten up, too.

Kim said, "Here, Lena, pet the kitten." But Lena wouldn't even touch it.

Kim began to pet the kitten and the kitten started to purr. When Lena heard the strange sound the kitten was making, she reached out to touch her. The kitten just kept on purring.

Kim put the monkey and the kitten down on the floor. Lena stared at the kitten for a moment and then she grabbed the kitten and started to pet her. The kitten just lay in her arms and purred and purred.

Lena carried the kitten upstairs and sat down with her in Kim's little rocking chair. She rocked back and forth in the chair and the kitten went right to sleep. Lena grabbed a blanket off of one of the dolls and wrapped it around the kitten. Lena seemed to be smiling as she watched the kitten sleeping in her arms.

After awhile, Kim took Lena's hand and led her to the kitchen with the kitten. Kim put some milk in a dish for the kitten and gently took the kitten out of Lena's arms so she could eat. She made Lena something to eat, too.

After the kitten drank some of her milk, she went over to Lena and ate off of her plate. Lena just sat there and stared at the kitten.

When the kitten was done eating, she lay down next to Lena. Lena put her hand on the kitten very softly, and then she carefully picked the kitten up. She carried her over to the rocker, picked up the doll blanket, and sat down in the rocker with the kitten. She started to rock the kitten very gently, back and forth.

"I hope Lena won't hurt the kitten," Kim said to her father.

"Oh, I don't think she will," Kim's dad said. "Lena wants to take care of the kitten, just as if she were her baby."

Kim's dad picked up Lena, the kitten, and the rocker and carried them back downstairs to the basement.

Lena pulled the rocker to her corner, gently picked up the kitten and went back to rocking her to sleep.

Kim's dad said, "Well, I think Lena has found a baby to love."

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