Cat: Story Teller
The children had been told a million times that there was nothing to fear from a visit to the Dentist’s, but somehow… it was hard not to be a little afraid. They needed help, a distraction, a Stibler to keep their hearts from pumping too loudly. As if by magic, the white Cat appeared and settled himself carefully and slowly in front of Martha and Tom.
‘Once, when I belonged to a witch, we travelled all the way round the world and saw the green earth below and blue seas from high above the ground,’ said the white Cat, as he eyed the children solemnly, his two front paws placed neatly together, his haunches tucked in, long furry tail stretched out behind.
‘Wow!’ said Tom who loved flying to other countries. ‘Did you go in an aeroplane?’
‘Broomstick,’ said the Cat.
Martha, who was a little doubtful about the business of witches and broomsticks put her head on one side. ‘Didn’t you ever fall off? How did you see in the dark? Broomsticks don’t have engines.’
The Cat blinked slowly; there was a long pause and he continued as if the girl had not opened her mouth. ‘On our travels, the witch and I, we met merchants and kings, travellers, farmers and acrobats, creatures from the trees and skies and the depths of the earth.’
‘Wow!’ said Tom again, not quite sure what to say to such a speech. Martha said more helpfully, ‘That must have been fun.’
‘It wasn’t just fun,’ said the Cat. The children were flummoxed. Though unlikely, it did sound rather good to be travelling round the whole world on a broomstick, chatting to everything and everybody in sight.
Again, the Cat closed his eyes briefly, as if remembering his journeys and conversations from the past. ‘We Cats know so much!’
Tom couldn’t help snorting with laughter. ‘That’s silly. Cats don’t go to school’
As usual, Martha had one or two things to say about that. ‘You don’t just learn things at school, Tom. You learn in lots of different ways and places.’
‘I’m talking about stories,’ interrupted the Cat, his tail twitching slightly with impatience. ‘We Cats have collected stories for centuries from our earliest beginnings in Egypt. We tell strange and beautiful stories of magic and truth and all that is real and imagined.’
Martha rarely missed any opportunity to hear a story and had by now quite forgotten about the dentist appointment. ‘Come on then, Cat. Tell us one!’
‘Well,’ said the Cat, pleased with his audience at last, ‘Once, long ago, when the witch and I landed in Bavaria…’