Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Oct. 18, 1999

Blackie, our kittens' best friend


Once, I had a puppy that was all black with white spots on his face, one around each eye. I was going to call him Spot, but everybody calls their dog Spot, so I decided to call him "Blackie."

Blackie got into a lot of trouble. We had a cat and kittens, and when we fed them, he would chase them away from their dish and drink their milk.

My mother finally decided to tie him up while the kittens were eating.

"Blackie likes milk, too," I told my mother. "Can't we give him his own dish of milk?"

So, instead of tying Blackie to the tree, we gave him his own pan with milk at the same time that we fed the kittens.

Well, Blackie quickly finished his milk, ran to the kittens dish, and drank their milk, too.

Mother said, "Maybe, if we hold on to Blackie while the kittens are eating, and when they are finished, let him drink the milk that is left in their dish, the puppy and the kittens could learn to eat together."

So we tried this. At first, Blackie didn't like to wait. But after awhile, he learned to let the kittens eat what they wanted, and then he finished up what was left.

The kittens and Blackie got to be good friends. Sometimes, I would even find them on the porch, sleeping next to each other.

Blackie grew up to be quite big. We lived by a river, and Blackie loved to go to the river when the ducks landed and bark until they all flew away. Then Blackie would sit down on the river bank and wait for the ducks to come back, so he could chase them away again.

One day, the kittens followed Blackie down to the river. Blackie didn't pay any attention to the little kittens. He got so excited chasing the ducks, that he ran right into the river, barking and barking until the ducks flew away.

The kittens followed Blackie into the water. But the kittens didn't know how to swim,

and they started to drown.

Blackie heard the kittens splashing and crying. He turned around and ran back to the struggling kittens. Then he picked them up by the neck and put them back on shore where they were safe. Blackie licked each scared, wet, little kitten until it was dry.

After that experience, Blackie seemed to keep an eye on the kittens and sneak away when he wanted to go down to the river, so that the kittens wouldn't follow him.

The kittens were very lucky to have a good friend like Blackie.

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