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Stories by Cait Oliver
The Harpshop Kitten

The wee kitten swayed to and fro, held tightly by the scruff of her neck by her mother. She and her five brothers and sisters had been born only two weeks before and were very tiny. Mother Cat did not think the place where her kittens rested, under a tool shed at the village allotments, was as safe as it should be. There were other large animals about, most especially a big Alsatian. So mother was taking her babies, one by one, to a hollow in an old oak tree that she had only just discovered.

Stepping carefully with her dainty paws, she tried not to awaken her little one. This warm gray ball of fur was the sleepiest of all her kits. She was the last to be taken to the new hiding place.

It was not easy for Mother Cat to live outside. She, along with many other strays in the village, had to hunt long and hard for food. Sometimes she had to go hungry before she found something to eat. But her new babies would have mother’s milk for a good while yet, before they, too, would have to hunt.

Suddenly a low, menacing growl frightened Mother Cat. A loud bark blasted behind her, causing her fur to stand on end. It was the big dog! She dashed wildly for the fence with the great animal on her heels. In her mad rush, she dropped her bundle, just making the safety of the fence. The large dog raced for the gate to continue his chase of the terrified Mother Cat.

The little one woke instantly upon being dropped, running blindly as soon as she hit the ground. SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! She was caught! In her confusion she had run right into the trap set out to catch rats! Being such a tiny cat, she fit right in it. . .almost. Something was holding on to the fur around her left eye. She squirmed, catching her wee whiskers as well. It hurt her to move.

She mewed frantically, louder and louder, calling for her mother, crying for help. She cried for a long, long time. Would no one ever hear her? Where was her mother? Cold and hungry, and as frightened as a little creature could be, she continued to mew.

Corning along the lane was a teenager, a girl who worked after school in the village harpmaker’s shop to earn pocket money. She swept up wood shavings and did other odd jobs. Happily she walked along, whistling a new tune that she had just learned from the radio. She stopped a moment to tear the wrapper open on a packet of crisps.

Then she heard the desperate cries of the captured kitten. She ran to the fence. She couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the little animal caught in the cruel trap. What to do? She couldn't climb over the fence as it was too tall. She couldn’t get in the gate as it was locked. The poor kitten continued with her pathetic little noises, but they were growing weaker as precious moments passed.

The girl had an idea. She bolted down the lane and ran pelt mell into the door of the old carriage house which was the harpmaker’s workshop. She dashed up the rickety steps two at a time, until she reached the top. She was out of breath with her chest heaving and her hair flying in every which way.

"Why Melanie," the harpmaker laughed, "I’ve never seen you in such a hurry to come to work before!"

"Tim, Tim! There’s a wee cat stuck you’ve got to come right away I think she’s hurt and you must hurry." She took hold of the cuff of his smock, tugging him in the direction of the stairs.

"Slow down, Melanie, and tell the story straight. Where is this unfortunate animal?" He placed one hand on each of her shoulders to steady her. "Tim, there’s no time to lose, it’s in a trap.. .in the allotments, and it’s crying! I think it’s hurt. Please come. NOW."

"All right, I’ll come of course. Just take a breath, then you can show me." They hurried clown the stairs, past the workers, and out the door to the lane. The worried girl loped along, taking two steps for every one that her employer took. Soon they heard the faint crying and saw the trapped kitten.

"Aye, aye! What’s this we have here! Very bad, indeed." He looked around for a way to get into the fenced field. The fence was tall and the lock held strong. He turned to the girl. "Melanie! Hurry back to the shop as fast as you can and bring me one of the tall stools David’s is closest to the door. I must get over this fence. Hurry!"

The girl needed no urging. In no time she was back with the stool. Tim climbed carefully up and over the fence to rescue the exhausted kitten. He released the spring on the trap, freeing the small body, which quivered and shook in his hand. He regained the other side and handed the injured animal to the girl, who cradled it gently in her hands all the way back to the shop.

"Oh, it’s poor little eye is all weepy with the hurt to it, Tim. Maybe it will need to go to hospital."

"We’ll see. When Jeannie gets back from her tea break, mebbe she’ll have a look at the wee thing for you. It’s very young, too young to be away from its mother. It may not live." Melanie clutched the small kitten to her, whispering encouraging little phrases in the kitten’s ear.

When they arrived in the shop, Tim’s assistant Jeannie was back from her afternoon cup of tea. She took one look at Melanie’s face and the kitty in her hands and clucked her tongue in concern.

"Why, Melly my dear, what have you there?"

Melanie told the story all in a rush as Jeannie took the small animal in her hands.

"Well now, let’s just take a closer look at this wee thing. Och! Look at the poor old eye. Come on, littlin’, we’ll just give your eye a bit wash up and see how bad it’s hurt." She took a rag dipped in warm water and washed the weepy eye, gently wiping the crusty bits that had dried around the edges. She stroked the frightened cat and kissed its little ears.

With a practiced hand, for Jeannie had had many pets, she thoroughly felt the tiny bones, checking for any breaks. Luckily, they all seemed to be fine. She found a box used for shipping small harp kits, lined it with an old cardigan she kept at the shop for extra cold days, and ever so carefully tucked the kitty in.

She sent Melanie round to the butcher’s shop for some mince. When the girl returned with the packet of meat, she was surprised to see that Jeannie intended to give it to the cat raw.

"Would you not cook it then—or give her some milk?" asked Melanie.

"Naw, naw, this is the best for her, you’ll see. Milk is not good for wee cats, unless it is the milk of their own mother. Cow’s milk is for baby cows! Now, see how we mash this meat very fine with the back of a spoon, then we mix a little water from the electric kettle to warm it up a bit, and then! Let’s see if she’ll take a bit. It will give her some strength."

Jeannie tenderly lifted the light bundle, still wrapped in the sweater, and using her little finger, dipped it into the food. The kitten put out the smallest pink tongue they had ever seen and lapped at it. She liked it! She was warm, she was safe, she was being fed. She ate a little, yawned, then snuggled into the improvised blanket. In a moment she was asleep. Jeannie and Melanie were enchanted and happy. Tim came over for a look, approving of the proceedings.

Melanie rang her mother to see if she would be allowed to keep the kitten. Her mother reminded her that it would need too much tending for a girl in school to manage and suggested that Melanie try to find the Mother Cat. Melanie was deeply disappointed. How she wanted that kitten for her own! But both her mother and father worked for distant employers and there would be no one home to look after it during the day.

Jeannie put her arm around Melanie to comfort her. "Don’t fret, dearie. The littlin’ will be fine with me. I’ll take it home and tend it at night, then when you come here after school you can see her. She can sleep right here by the gas heater during the day. She’ll be fine."

In the first installment of our story, we met young Melanie as she discovered a wee kitten caught in a cruel trap. She guided the rescue of the poor kitten, lost when its mother was fleeing from a large dog. Jeannie, Melanie’s friend, who worked for the local harpmaker, took over the care of the tiny kitten when Melanie realized she could not keep it. Spending her nights in Jeannie’s home and her days exploring the harp workshop, the kitten was ready for her next adventure.

Whenever Melanie was not holding her, the wee kitten loved to be cuddled close by Jeannie’s face, and cried when she was put down. So Jeannie took a shawl, wrapped it round her shoulders, tied a big knot in front, and snuggled the baby cat down in. It was a funny sight. The kitten was warm and contented and Jeannie could do her work. Soon all the crafts people grew used to seeing the kitten’s face peeping out of Jeannie’s shawl. She was like a lovely live brooch.

Melanie tried in vain to find the mother cat, or any other kittens. So the kitten became the harp shop cat. And, she had a name! Jeannie called her Arpeggio. Such a big name for such a small cat, but it suited her perfectly. It is an Italian word meaning to play the tones of a chord in a row, not all at the same time. Everyone loved the wee creature and they enjoyed playing with her.

David, one of the craftworkers and a skilled harpmaker, made her a small litter box lined with wood shavings. She looked so comical when she hopped out of the box with bits of curled wood trailing from her tail!

Her fur was filling out and fluffing up, her eye had stopped its weeping, and her tummy was full and warm with food. Markings were starting to appear - lovely white lines around her eyes, making them seem even larger than they were; a full white bib and white fluff peeping from inside her ears. She looked as if she was always smiling. She was thriving and growing, sleeping most of the time in Jeannie’s shawl, but she liked to nose around the shop as well. They all had to be careful not to step on the miniature gray ball.

One cold, rainy day, Tim asked Jeannie to have an extra key made for the shop when she went out for her lunch break. He had lost his. So she stopped at the ironmongers and handed Andy her key for him to duplicate. She put the new one on her ring for safe keeping and walked quickly back to the shop, the wind whipping her skirts. She shook the water from her cape, smiled and handed Tim the key, then hurried to the gas fire to warm herself and to see Arpeggio.

She needed to get some messages on the way home at the end of the day, so she left her kitten snoozing cozily by the fire and bade farewell to her friends at the shop. Jeannie stopped at the vegmonger’s and the butcher’s, then nipped into the newsagent for a paper, where she met a neighbor. They had a bit of a natter, then Jeannie was off, back to the harp shop. By then everyone had gone home; being a braw day they were anxious to leave the frigid shop and go home for their tea.

Jeannie fitted her key into the lock, turned it, and pushed. It didn’t work. Puzzled, she tried again. And again. Still it would not catch. "How odd." She muttered to herself, annoyed. She looked carefully at the key, trying to balance her shopping and brolly. Why, it was the new key! She must have given her old one to Tim, by mistake. Still, that should not matter. This new one should work. She rattled both the key and the lock but to no avail. Could Andy have made an error? Jeannie thought last. She pulled the key out of the lock, wrapped her cape tightly round her and dashed down the narrow lane to her own cosy cottage. Maybe Tim was home by now. There had been enough time.

She let herself in and rang him. No answer. She rang Alec, his nearest neighbor, who was home, thank goodness. "Oh aye, he was here just now to collect the wife, it’s late night shopping you remember. They’ve popped into Inverness. She mentioned a bit supper at the Dickens after the shopping, so I know you’ll not be getting him this evening. Sorry, love." She thanked Alec and rang off. Then she tried David, the only other one to have a key. His mum informed Jeannie that David was off with his mates to a disco. So that was out. The only thing she could do would be to break in, as the kitten was still too young to stay all night in the shop, especially with this freezing weather.

Arpeggio had snoozed as Tim and all the others collected their gear to go home. She did not awaken until the room in which she slept grew cold, then she yawned, stretched and raised her head. Why, it was dark in the office, the gas fire was out. "Where is everybody?" she thought to herself. "Where is mummy? Why am I here by myself?" She mewed but no one answered, a rare thing, as she was used to an immediate response to her tiny cries. Maybe she was a wee bit spoilt, but when one is only five weeks old and the fluffiest bit of kittenhood in Scotland, it may well be understood.

She rose from the folds of Jeannie’s old cardigan and hopped out of her box. No one in the office part of the windy old carriage house. No one in the drying room, only harp bodies drying from a fresh coat of oil. No one in the room where all the strings were kept either, only one bit of a red C string on the floor. Ordinarily, she would have had great fun playing with it, chasing it across the old boards, but she was too worried to think of fun at the moment. She padded on her tiny paws into the gallery part of the shop. It was very spooky at night. All the types of harps that Tim built were here on display. They loomed tall above her as she crept along noiselessly, with only the wind whistling through the cracks between the boards and the pounding of the sleet on the roof for company. She nosed her way to the stairs. Looking down made her dizzy! She was still too small to manage those; besides which it was uncharted territory down there.

A loose board slammed with the wind. She mewed, then scurried as fast as her little legs would carry her to her box. She burrowed down deep under the wool covering, shaking. Arpeggio began to sob. Life was unfair! Where was mummy? Where was Uncle Tim? And Uncle David? And tall Uncle Bill who wrote music books for the shop? Surely they didn’t all desert her. It certainly looked that way. She wanted her mummy to stroke her and cuddle her. She wanted to be tucked inside Jeannie’s warm shawl and called Precious Pet, the soothing way that Jeannie did. She wanted her tea in front of the fire at the cottage with mummy looking on with a smile. All the sadness, too, of losing Mother Cat pressed on her little kitten heart as well, causing her to wet her fur with floods of tears.

So stormy was Arpeggio’s grief that at first she didn’t hear the strains of the wire harp being played in the gallery. Soon, though, she raised her triangular face, looking up out of her box towards the door leading to the outer room. She saw a bright scarlet light as the music grew even louder and more jazzy. She had never heard any harp music like this before!

Cautiously, she crept towards the door and peeked through. The sight astonished the wee kitten. Seated atop the Queen Mary harp was a. . .fairy! She was dressed as no fairy ever rigged herself, before or since. She wore a short red costume of some sparkly stuff that seemed alive with colour; her hair was trained in peaks tipped with ruby; her wings shone with a blinding coat of metallic gold, and a wide belt of the same sheen encircled her waist. A pair of golden high heeled boots completed the picture. She seemed to be a living flame, on fire with the music that she demanded from the instrument, on fire with life.

Arpeggio was entranced. She crept closer and closer to the Christmas tree light of the fairy. The flashy movements of the fairy made the harp. . .dance. The beautiful creature finished her tune with a flourish and slid down the soundboard towards the wee kitten. Looking at Arpeggio she winked; a bold, saucy wink that surprised the baby cat even more than the music.

"Wit. .who are you?" Arpeggio asked with a tremor in her little feline voice."

So far in our story, we have become friends with Arpeggio, the small kitten who became separated from her mother and found love and shelter in the harpshop, spending her nights in Jeannie’s cottage. Unfortunately, one night Jeannie locked herself out of the harpshop, and could not get in to take Arpeggio home. It was in the cold dark of the shop that Arpeggio heard one of the harps being played, and looked to find a flashy, bright and very interesting fairy! "Who are you?" asked Arpeggio.

"Why, it’s Fiona, am I. It’s a Person of the Hills am I, which mortals call a fairy. What is it are you?" Her voice was like a splashing, silvery waterfall, twinkling down over the rocks.

"I am called Arpeggio. But you can call me Peggi, if you care to. Sometimes Mummy calls me that." She hung her tiny head. "She also calls me her Precious Pet." Arpeggio’s voice broke.

"Why sound you so sad if your mummy calls you such a soppy name?" The fairy had laughter in her tone.

Arpeggio raised her furry little face to the fairy. "Well, because she went away this evening and she hasn‘t come for me, and she always comes for me; then we go home - I ride in her shawl, all cozy and nice then she gives me my tea, and strokes me and loves me. We play in front of the fire 'till bedtime, then she tucks me into her big bed. I snuggle down into the duvet - it’s so nice - and go asleep ‘till morning. But she hasn’t come! I don’t know what to think."

"Why be thinking anything - she’s a human, and humans are strange, whatever." Fiona shook her spiked hair in a decided manner.

"Maybe so, Fiona, but she loves me. I don’t think she would ever desert me. Something must be terribly wrong." There was dejection in every line of the baby cat’s body. She put her little head down on her paws, starting to sob afresh.

"Well, to stop your fussing it is now the time, Peggie. Am I a Person of the Hills. And helping you will I be. Where lives this paragon of human virtue in this burg?"

"Well, I can’t really say, that is, I never see it for I’m always under Mummy’s cape. But it’s a lovely cottage, with such a nice fireplace."

"Ach! Is more help you’ll have to be giving me than that, you kitten silly. Are you not at knowing how many cottages are there in this village that fit that description? Am I not a magician."

She placed her hands on her hips, staring down at the cat. Arpeggio’s large almond eyes blinked back. "Fiona, I’ve never seen a fairy such as you before. The ones in Mummy’s picture book all dress in white."

"Ho, those Goody Two Shoes! Am I knowing them all! with the hair long of gold and the gowns all shimmery. All they want to play on the harp is such soppy tripe! It’s not on, say I. It’s the jazz and the blues that alive make a metal harp. My own kind of heavy metal." The fairy chortled. "Oh and love I the rollicking fast traditional stuff. Fly up here I do once in a blue moon to go at this. Now drying your eyes you should be. Aha! I know what will fettle you! A turn or two around the floor. We Persons of the Hills adore to dance."

The wee cat looked puzzled. "But I don’t know how to dance, Fiona."

"To learn you will never be younger. I’ll show you." She flew up to the ceiling, then around the room, landing at the astonished kitten’s feet. The fairy began to hum a catchy tune as she picked up each front paw. She tugged at Arpeggio pulling her forward, urging her to step in time. Clumsy at first, then the kitten began to hop a bit and sway. She was soon and dancing, to and fro with the music.

"Yes, that’s it, you wee smartie. Now keep up the toes, up with the tail!" She flew up to the neck of the harp beginning to play a snappy number as Arpeggio swayed, entranced with the movement and the fairy’s music. She danced ‘till her little legs would dance no more, round and round and round until she was so dizzy she dropped in a furry heap on the dusty floorboards, She sneezed violently twice, as Fiona laughed and the harp sang.

"That’s lovely fun, Fiona. And how well you play!"

The fairy beamed even brighter, a great blast of red line shone over the room "You’re liking it, and am I glad!. But tired you are. Now it’s finding your mother; so everything you remember, tell me." She perched on the foot of the instrument with her ear cocked towards the kitten.

Arpeggio gave all the information that she could to the fairy. She told Fiona everything she knew about Jeannie’s cottage, how long it took them to walk home, and what it looked like inside. She even grew so bold as to confide to her new friend all about Mother Cat and her five brothers and sisters, finishing her tale with the facts about the big dog, and the horrid trap in which she had been caught.

"It’s not worrying you should be. I’ll be at having a talk with some of the nearby trees. Magic are the People of the Hills!"

She patted Arpeggio on the head and flew up to the ceiling where there was a fairy-sized hole in the roof. Tim had been meaning to mend it, but, as he was fond of joking, he couldn’t do it on a wet day and on a dry one it was as good as anybody’s! Fiona flew out of the hole leaving a banner of ruby light following her. The kitten sighed, then out of worry and exhaustion, she fell fast asleep.

The fairy was as good as her word. She flew from one end of the village to the other peeping into windows. She saw families and children and old age pensioners; she saw dogs and cats on hearth rugs and budgies in cages. She even saw fish swimming lazily in bowls. Finally she saw the cottage that the little cat had described to her. yes, there was the mantle with the old lace, the spinning wheel that had been Jeannie’s granny’s, the basket with the balls of wool which Arpeggio had remembered with warm affection, all the things that the little kitten had said were there, were there.

But there was no Jeannie! Fiona peeped into all the windows to see. Arpeggio had said that her mummy liked to have the curtains drawn open, to look cheery from the outside, so the fairy was sure there was no human being in the cottage. Hmm. This might be a problem. But at least she knew where the place was. Now to see about Mother Cat.

Fiona flew towards the allotments to have a bit of a chat with a linden tree she knew there. He knew not of any particular family of stray cats, but informed her that there were dozens all over the sleepy village. She thanked the tree, then checked with several others in the general area. One venerable oak was able to help her. His cousin was sheltering a family of strays just over the way by the big meadow, near to the woods. She thanked him warmly, flying there straightaway.

And O! The luck of the fairies! The great old oak was there right where his cousin had said, and in the hollow of his belly was a whole caboodle of kittens! A mother cat was there as well licking one of her kits. She looked up inquiringly at the scarlet sheen that was Fiona. "Begging your pardon am I Mother Cat, but has one of your kits gone missing?"

Mother Cat stopped licking her baby, and regarded the fairy with head cocked. "No, Fairy," she replied with sadness in her voice. "A long time ago one was caught in a trap, my sweetest little one, but she’s been dead these long weeks I’m sure. I returned again and again to the spot where I dropped her the day the dog chased us, but she was never to be found." Tears fell on the fur of one of Arpeggio’s brothers.

‘Well, mistress, giving you good news am I. I’m knowing your wee one and where she is, pining sorely for you and her other relations."

Mother Cat sat up so fast the kitten she was licking squeeked. "Oh, where is my darling? Is she all right? Can you take me to her?" Arpeggio’s mother was ecstatic. Fiona told Mother Cat the whole story as she tucked her other babies cozily in, slipping leaves around them to keep them warm while she was gone. With Fiona guiding, they were soon at the harp shop, just in time to see a woman propping a ladder against the wall. The fairy flew to her side.

"Is yourself called Jeannie?"

"Why, yes." Jeannie was startled but not frightened. Granny had told her about the fairies. She never expected one to look quite like this, however.

"It’s Fiona am I. Helping the wee kitten. She’s not able to get out on her own."

"Oh Fiona, I’ve been so worried about her. You see, my key doesn’t seem to work right and I couldn’t get in to her. I had to go and take a lend of this ladder - Why, who’s this?" She exclaimed wonderingly, as Mother Cat rubbed against her legs. She looked just like Arpeggio only grown much larger and fluffier.

"Seeing that introduction are in order. This is Mother Cat. Mother Cat, this is Peggio’s human, called Jeannie."

Jeannie bent down, scooping the beautiful animal into her arms for a hug. "Why, you’re only gorgeous! Are you really my Precious Pet’s mummy?" The cat purred as loudly as a mixer.

Fiona coughed meaningfully. "Am I thinking we ought to get the wee one out of the shop."

"It’s right of course you are, Fiona. Will you not guide me with this ladder? I want to try the small window near the outer wall, I think there is a bit of a break in it." So the fairy fluttered and flew, helping to balance the ladder as Jeannie gathered her skirts about her arid climbed carefully towards the chosen window. When Jeannie had gained the top, she paused to hold on to a bit of board. The wind was howling round her, causing the ladder to sway, scaring her.

Fiona scowled up to the sky. "It’s knocking it off for a bit, you should be. We’re trying to save a wee creature"

The wind sighed, abashed. "Sorry, sorry, sorry," he whispered. The fierce blowing stopped. Fiona flew into the hole and Mother Cat purred anxiously below. In a very few moments, Fiona reappeared with a wide-eyed kitten in tow. As Jeannie reached up for the precious bundle of fur, Fiona pushed Arpeggio’s bottom out towards her. Just then, Lady Moon, who had heard about the situation from the wind, peeped out from her thick fleecy collar of cloud to smile down on them with a special radiance. An extra long reach from Jeannie, an extra push from. Fiona, and a steadying paw on the ladder from Mother Cat - it was done!

Arpeggio was hugged as she had never been hugged before; then Jeannie, with Fiona holding up the corner of her skirts, backed ever so carefully down the ladder. When she reached the ground, she burst into tears, happy ones to be sure. Her little cat was safe! Arpeggio purred, licking Jeannie’s face with such vigor as to abrade the skin. Fiona flew round and round clapping her hands in glee. Mother Cat mewed. Loudly.

Fiona blushed even redder than her frock. "Am I only sorry, Mistress. Arpeggio, it’s your mother; be taking a close look and see!" Arpeggio looked, saw, and could not speak for joy. Then a giddy bouquet of happy kitten mews punctuated the air! Jeannie placed Arpeggio carefully on the frozen ground. The wee cat licked her mother and Mother licked her wee cat. Then little Peggio began to dance, she was so happy. And Fiona danced with her. round and round. Jeannie reached down to Mother Cat. She lifted her up and hugged her. "Welcome, Mother Cat! We’re so glad to see you." Mother Cat smiled at Jeannie, feeling safe and happy.

Soon Jeannie, the fairy and the kitten were on their way to Jeannie’s cottage: Mother Cat went back to the old oak tree to prepare her other babies for a trip. For they were moving! Jeannie wanted them all to stay with her in her cozy home. As soon as Jeannie unlocked the door, Fiona flew straightaway to the fire. With fairy magic, she coaxed forth roaring flames. They performed a wild bright ballet on the hearth. The kitten was kissed and cuddled and called Precious Pet, much to her delight She was purring safely by the fire as Jeannie gathered up her market basket and a bit of old blanket for the other kits. Fiona explained to Arpeggio that they would be right back with all of her brothers and sisters.

With Jeannie hurrying behind, the fairy flew back to the big oak that had been Mother Cat’s bungalow. She was delighted to see five bright-eyed fluffy babies, all looking up at her and smiling. Mother Cat had hurriedly washed each one. The old oak shifted his weight, patting his belly in fond farewell to the kits he had come to love. Carefully, Jeannie reached in, the Mother Cat watching intently, taking one at a time and tucking them into the blanket. When they were arranged to Mother Cat’s satisfaction, she jumped down to the earth. Fiona flew beside Jeannie to help supervise in case a baby should be too bold and fall out. Jeannie turned to wave at the tree and Mother Cat thanked him with her eyes. "We’ll all come back to see you, dear Oak," she promised.

Arpeggio sprang up at the sound of the key turning in the lock. She raced to the door to welcome her mummy, her Mother Cat, her brothers and sisters and her first and best fairy friend. Such a happy melee! Such scampering and chasing, such friendly washing, such communication with tails. Jeannie’s little cottage was alive with fun and fur! (And a Person of the Hills, Fiona wants me to add!) it was the happiest old night in memory. Everybody safe and sound, home and dry.

From that day on Fiona visited the cottage to play her rollicking music as Jeannie had a wire-strung clarsach. Under Fiona’s direction, all the kittens learned to dance, and they did it well. So, if you should happen to visit the Highlands, you might peep in at Jeannie’s cottage window. But don’t be too surprised if you see a woman with a large gray cat on her lap, and a room full of happy kits dancing away to the loud, bright music being played by the jazziest fairy anyone ever saw. And if Fiona winks at you, be sure to wink back!

©2001 by Cult Oliver

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