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A Fishy Tale
by Janette Nourse

Taking careful aim, Sam fired a jet of water at the large ginger tom cornering his cat Timmy behind the garden shed. Ginger let out a yell of anger and glared over his shoulder at Sam but did not move. Sam took a fast run towards the defiant cat, yelling like a banshee. Slowly ginger stalked out of the back gate, growling. Ten minutes of coaxing and rattling of cat treats, finally Sam sat with Timmy on his lap soothing ruffled fur, and examining a scratched nose.

“You’ve got to stand up for yourself Tim; I can’t always be around to save you.”

Timmy stared blankly at Sam with his wide eyes, definitely a “lights on but no ones home” kind of stare. Since Rambo the ginger cat had moved nearby he had certainly let the local cats know who was boss. Dinky the Chihuahua next door was terrified to go into the garden alone. It was no good trying to reason with Rambo’s owner, he just laughed when Mrs Grey, Dinky’s owner had remonstrated with him.

Next day, Sam, relaxing in the shade of his garden, with something cool and alcoholic, heard a strange mumbled meowing. He looked around for that blasted Rambo. The noise was coming from Timmy, strutting up the path with a large golden carp in his mouth, hence the muffled meow.

Sam realised this was an expensive fish from a nearby pond, going to the back gate he saw a trail of scales leading towards Rambo’s garden. Sam would have gone round and offered to pay for the fish, but knowing the temperament of Rambo’s owner, and just having paid another vet bill for Timmy’s injuries he felt disinclined to do this. Feeling guilty, Sam hurriedly cleared the tell tale trail of scales from the path so the fish thief would not be detected.

By day three of Timmy’s thieving Sam’s better nature kicked in and he prepared to confess to Gary, Rambo’s owner about the missing carp. The price of carp would be expensive, even more than the vet bills he had paid for Timmy’s injuries from Rambo’s bullying. Leaving his front door he ran into Mrs Grey the owner of the Chihuahua.

“Heard the good news, Rambo’s gone!” shouted the excited Mrs Grey. “Remember they had that huge pond the size of a swimming pool?”

Sam nodded afraid to ask what happened next.

Mrs Grey continued, “The carp in the pond were Gary’s pride and joy and he’s lost several over the last few days, a lot of money they cost him, two hundred pounds I believe. Anyway he caught Rambo with a fish flapping at his feet. I think he said your Timmy was there at the back gate. Gary said he knew it couldn’t be your cat because he is so stupid, so he has sent Rambo back to his ex wife’s house”

Later that evening Sam caught Timmy licking the residue of fish scales off his paws. Timmy gave Sam one of his best “cat of little brain” looks.