Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Aug. 9, 1999

The cats who cried wolf


Toby and Tabitha are kittens. They are sisters and they have a brother, named Tom.

Tom is always getting into trouble and blaming his problems on his sisters.

One day Toby and Tabitha were playing by the lake. They liked to look for little fish, catch them and play with them.

Tabitha splashed some water and got Toby all wet. Toby thought it felt good.

"Do you know how to swim?" Toby asked Tabitha.

"I don't know," Tabitha answered. "Do you?"

"Let's try it," Toby said.

So the kittens walked into the water.

"Oh, this water is cold," Toby said, and she jumped back onto the shore.

But Tabitha stood very still in the water and she said, "Just stand in one place and you will get used to it."

So Toby tried again, and after a few moments she decided that it wasn't so cold after all. The two kittens walked in a little deeper. They splashed around and got each other all wet. They were having a great time.

"Here comes Tim," Toby said. "Let's play a trick on him. He is always trying to fool us. Let's get back at him"

So Toby lay very still in the water.

And Tabitha started to cry.

"Help me," she called to Tim. "Toby is drowning."

Tim came running as fast as he could run. He jumped right into the water.

"Yeow. It's cold," he yelled.

He tried to pull Toby to shore, but she was so wet and heavy that he could hardly move her. He tried and he tried.

Then Toby raised her head.

"Ha, ha, Tim," she laughed. "How do you like it when someone plays a trick on you? she asked.

Tim ran out of the water. He was very upset. He ran to Mother Cat and told her how the girls had tricked him.

"Stop laughing," Mother Cat said to Toby and Tabitha. "It isn't funny.

"Why, what if you really were drowning, and no one would come to help you because they thought it was just another one of your jokes?

"You must never, ever call for help unless you really do need someone to help you. Never, never again will you play a joke like this on anyone, do you hear me?"

"Yes, Mother," the girl kittens answered. "I guess this joke was not very funny."

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