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THE SHINY TREE
That morning her people had put her outside. She was so excited!  There were so many things to see and smell and do she didn't know where to start!  She was aware there was a lot of activity around her home with all the people coming in and out, but she had too many things to explore to take much notice. She walked all through the building where her people lived but all she found were closed doors.
She decided to go outside the building. She had stood in the window many times looking out and now she was there. She chased a few squirrels, played in the leaves and even tried climbing a tree for the first time.  Just when she was beginning to think she never wanted to go inside again, she heard a loud growl and turned around. There was a large brown thing coming at her! She hissed and took off running with the brown thing right behind her. It was almost on top of her when she came to a tree and used her new found tree climbing skills to escape. Whew! That was close!
She was scared and wanted to go home.
Outside wasn't fun after all. There were too many bad things outside.  She went to the door where her people lived but everything was quiet and still. She stood there for a long time but no one came.  It was getting dark. She was hungry and cold and wanted her nice warm blanket! She hid under the stairs and shivered. For the next few weeks, each day was a
frightening struggle to survive.
One day the weather turned especially cold. She decided to go to all the doors in the building and cry as loud as she could. Maybe someone would let her in or at least give her some food to eat.
Finally, at the top of the stairs, a door opened. It was a woman who bent over to pet her. She stood on her back paws and rubbed her little head against the woman's face. The woman went inside and came back with a bowl of food and a warm blanket!
While she ate the food, the woman stroked her little head. When she was finished eating she snuggled in the blanket the kind woman gave her.
Everyday for the next week, she came to the woman's door and waited for her food. And everyday the woman brought her a bowl and petted her while she ate.
Finally, one day the woman picked her up and brought her inside! She was so happy! It was warm and cozy and she rubbed the woman's ankles
purring. If only the woman would let her stay she would never go outside again!
She began to explore this new place. In one room she found a tree!  She couldn't believe her eyes! It wasn't like the trees outside. This tree was smaller with low branches and shining things all over it. It had shining boxes all around it. She walked around the tree sniffing. The woman wasn't in the room and she wondered if she would get in trouble if she climbed this tree. Her curiosity got the better of her and she started up the trunk. She went out on an upper branch and sat there feeling very pleased with herself.
The woman came back in the room and started calling her. Would the woman get mad at her for climbing the tree and make her leave? She got
scared. Oh why did she climb this stupid tree?
Just then, one of the shiny balls fell off a branch. It hit the floor with a crash and the woman jumped. She sat very still and hoped the woman wouldn't look up. Just when she thought she was home free, the woman was face to face with her in the tree. She just sat there and purred to let the woman know she was sorry.
She was so afraid of being put outside. She let out one tiny little meow and the woman, who had been staring at her with her mouth open, started to laugh! The woman reached out and took her off the limb. She snuggled in the woman's arms as the woman stroked her smooth little head.  The woman then said something that somehow let her know everything was going to be all right. "Merry Christmas, little one!" the woman said. She blinked her big yellow eyes and purred.
Author  ~   Ann Hudson