By Margo Wayman
An orange butterfly with dark blue dots on each wing, fluttered from flower to flower, unaware that Tabish was watching its every move. The kitten hid behind a cluster of sweet smelling purple violets, ready to pounce at the butterfly. She watched intently as it landed on a pale yellow rose. Its antenna waved in the gentle breeze, and its wings moved back and forth as it sipped nectar from the violets.
Tabish jumped up from behind the flowers and landed right in the middle of the rose bush. The sharp thorns poked into her. She let out a very loud meow and wriggled herself free from the bush. She lay on her back in the dirt as the butterfly flew away. She stood up and ran home to her momma and the other kittens. Momma licked Tabishs wounds clean, lovingly scolded her, and sent her back to play.
It had only been a few days since Tabish had been allowed to leave her mothers side. Now she was able to go anywhere she wanted, which was great, as long as she could run back to her momma in a short time.
Tabish fluffed up her fur and went on her way. She ran through the dirt and came to a large rock. She stopped to look at it. She saw a plump, lime green caterpillar inching its way along through the tall grass that grew along the dirt path. It was wiggling its body up and down as it moved. Tabish went closer. The caterpillar didnt seem to mind the intrusion; it continued on its way. She bent down and sniffed the bug, but soon lost interest in it. She ran off towards a mimosa tree that provided shade for herself, and the other kittens in the heat of the day.
Right at the bottom of the tree was a mound of dirt. Tabish saw some tiny black ants going into, and coming out of the hole in the small hill. She watched it carefully. Some of the ants were carrying jagged bits of leaves. Others were carrying bits of food. Tabish took her paw and stuck it in the hole. She scratched and made it bigger. Lots of angry ants came pouring out and started biting Tabishs paw. She jumped back, but there were so many ants, that when she jumped backwards, she landed in the middle of more of them. Soon she was covered from head to toe in ants. They nipped at her. She shook her fur. Some flew off, but there were still many. She ran as fast as she could around the tree, then around the rose bush, and down the dirt path. Most of the ants fell off, but not all. Meowing as loudly as she could, she ran home to her momma. When Momma saw that Tabish had ants on her, she quickly used her paw to brush them off her kitten. She scolded Tabish, and sent her on her way, but reminded her to be careful and stay out of mischief.
Tabish walked slowly down the path, being very attentive to ants crawling along in the dirt. She rounded a bend and saw a tortoise. It was standing still. Tabish approached it cautiously. The tortoise still didnt move. She went right up to it and sniffed it. It didnt like her whiskers tickling its nose, so it pulled its head into the shell. Tabish moved backward. Where did the tortoises head go? She couldnt see it anywhere. There stood a shell with four legs and no head. She sniffed the hole where the head went in. Suddenly the shell dropped to the ground and all four legs disappeared into the shell too. Tabish was confused. She nudged the shell with her paw. It moved. There was no head, and no legs, but the shell moved. She rocked it around in circles. After doing this for a while she tired of the game and left. No sooner had she gone back around the bend when the tortoises neck, head, and all four feet came out of the shell and it walked away.
The sun was beginning to set. Tabish hurried home to her momma. All of the other kittens were there too. Momma licked them all gently and rubbed her body against theirs. Tabish snuggled up against her neck and fell asleep, along with the others. What new and exciting adventures awaited her the next day?