Want to keep reading?

You've reached the end of your complimentary access. Subscribe for as little as $4/month.

Aready a Subscriber ? Sign In

The Old Water Wheel

There was a day on the farm that was not like the others.
Because the orange cat (we named her Claire) had finally come up to us,
and she was ready to flirt with us. She meowed at us, begged us for attention with
mischievous eyes, but when we tried to pet her,
oh, the sight! She scurried away as if we were hurting her.
She told us she thought our hands were dirty, and if we were a self-conscious family
we would have looked at our hands,
and we would have run inside and washed them and glared at the cat out the window,
who would be licking herself like nothing had happened.
This was the day that we learned a funny thing, that Trevor was a girl
and that Claire and the black-and-white cat (Patricia, Pat for short)
were boys, through and through. And yet, as we learned their real names, we
forgot them all the same, and the only cat’s name we could remember was Trevor’s.
Trevor’s name was Fern, and my parents called her that,
but I was so used to Trevor that I continued to mix up the cats,
girl for boy, boy for girl.
And then we met another miracle! A miracle that only nature herself could have given us.
Another cat, who did not belong to the people on the farm
but came and ate all the food anyway.
And this cat’s name was a name that I remembered:
Lint. Like the stuff that sticks to clothes. This cat stuck to the farm,
with its grassy hills and beautiful skies, and the high grass that my dad led my
mom and me into, despite my warnings of tick territory
(it did turn out to be tick territory),
and so we squelched through mud, only to find that the forest did not have a trail,
as my dad had hoped, so we squelched back to the house,
and we took showers and glared at my dad. And onwards our adventures
stretched throughout the week we stayed, so many I cannot tell you about all of
them, and they were too perfect and beautiful to be written down in words anyway,
and it will exhaust me to tell the tale out loud,
so I am content the way things are. I know nobody likes cliffhangers.
But hold onto the cliff and climb up onto it
and you will see the farm, and everything we did there.

Emma Hoff
Emma Hoff, 9
Bronx, NY

Lucas Hinds
Lucas Hinds, 13
Lenoir City, TN