Friday Fiction - Butterscotch





I often put real experiences into my writings. I used the incident of my brother smuggling a kitten home in my novel "Going Home with Phoebe." Here is that scene -





Butterscotch

Phoebe sat on the barn floor and let the kittens crawl all over her lap, shoulders, and back. Their little sharp claws dug deep into her skin, but she didn’t mind. One little yellow striped kitten slept in her skirt.

Ondas,” called Maseppa.

Phoebe knew that meant ‘come’. Maseppa still said some Algonkin words, but she said them less and less.

Mrs. Reynolds stood on door step. Her hands were on her hips and her hair was in a bun, but the strands were falling out, like she had slept in it. Mrs. Reynolds liked to talk and when someone stopped by for some eggs, she took advantage of someone new to tell her woes to and gossip about her new neighbors.

“I don’t like the looks of that new family-shifty sort of lot, if you ask me. The man’s a drunk and the mother’s lazy, if you ask me. Their cows got loose and their kids steal my stuff...”

Phoebe put the kittens with their mother one by one, except for the yellow one sleeping on her lap. It had a crooked foot. Mrs. Reynolds said that a cow stepped on it during milking time when all the cats gather for a squirt of milk. Mrs. Reynolds said that it was too bad it didn’t die, since it wouldn’t be any good for catching mice with a lame leg.

Neither Maseppa or Mrs. Reynolds was paying any attention to Phoebe. She tucked the sleeping kitten under her apron and walked nonchalantly to the buckboard. She sat on the seat and waited for Maseppa.

“Now, you come back soon, you hear?” said Mrs. Reynolds. “I love to get company. It makes the day seem brighter to see a different face.”

Maseppa said "Farewell" before Mrs. Reynolds thought of something else to talk about. “Thank you, Ma’am. We will come back next week.”

“Yes, you do that! I’ll be right here. Good day!”

Maseppa shook the reins, and Ginger trotted out of the farm and along the winding dirt road.

“Mrs. Reynolds talk too much.”

Phoebe smiled because she knew Maseppa would say that. Maseppa had been telling her that since she was a little girl.

The sun shone on the fresh green fields. The snows of winter had melted, and the world was alive again. A few lambs were bouncing around in the pasture, and Phoebe laughed at their silliness. She wished she could play with them.

At the next farm, a young colt snuggled close to his mother. Its mane stood up in stiff tufts, and its tail looked like a fuzzy brush. The mare gave a nicker to Ginger, and she greeted her back. As if to say, ”Yes, I see your new son. He’s beautiful!”

Phoebe carefully felt the warm lump beneath her apron. Yes, it was still there, but it wasn’t sleeping anymore. It started to squirm and stretch. She gave a quick glance toward Maseppa.

“Phoebe, what is in your pocket?”

“My pocket? My hanky.”

“There is something moving under your apron.”

Phoebe knew she couldn’t hide the kitten anymore and pulled it out. She snuggled it under her chin, and it began to mew.

“That not be yours! You need to give to give it back to Mrs. Reynolds.”

“Maseppa, you heard her say that it would be better dead. She doesn’t want it. She won’t even know it’s gone! Please, Maseppa?”

Maseppa’s face showed no emotion-not anger, not amusment, not even annoyance. Maseppa just looked at the little kitten.

“When we get eggs next week, you ask Mrs. Reynolds about it.” She flicked the reins, and Ginger trotted off again. “I not want to listen to more of her talk today.”

Phoebe smiled and snuggled her nose in the kitten’s fur. ‘Yes!my own kitten. I need to give it a name. I think its fur looks like the butterscotch at the general store. Butterscotch—isn’t that a good name, Maseppa?”

~ ~ ~

Take a peek at more stories on Julie's place Surrendered Scribe . Be sure to leave a few comments.

4 comments:

Debra Ann Elliott said...

Again, another great story!

Julie Arduini said...

You make me want to get a kitten---almost! :) Great story, the picture is perfect to go with it. Thanks Vonnie for participating!

Marijo (Mary Jo) Phelps said...

You're taking me back to your Phoebe tale and I love that orange kitten! My heart goes out to long haired kitties but our orange one is short haired!

Catrina Bradley... said...

Oh, so fun and delightful! I'd want to do the same thing, but I wouldn't have had the courage. I love these stories about Phoebe!

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