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November 03, 2003

Ngnat's Bedtime Story

Once upon a time there was a little girl. Her name was Ngnat, and she lived in a yellow house with her mommy, her daddy, her brother Scotty and her three kitties; Hissy, Toby and Grey.

Ngnat had been a little girl all of her life. She was a little girl when she got out of bed in the morning, and a little girl when she went to bed at night.

But one day, when she woke up, something had happened. Instead of hands, Ngnat had a pair of paws! Instead of feet, Ngnat had another pair of paws! Instead of a bottom, Ngnat had a tail, and it swished back and forth, back and forth as she watched it. Ngnat had turned into a kitty!

"Mommy, Daddy," Ngnat tried to call out. But the only thing that came out of her mouth was "Me-ow, Me-ow."

It was early in the morning, so Ngnat's Mommy and Daddy were still asleep. They never got up before Ngnat, the lazy things.

Ngnat went into Mommy and Daddy's bedroom to wake them up, but when she tried to say "Mommy, come downstairs with me!" the only thing that came out of her mouth was "Me-ow, Me-ow."

"Oo-oo, oo-oo!" said Ngnat's mommy, without opening her eyes. She rolled over.

"MOMMY, GET UP!" yelled Ngnat. But the only thing that came out of her mouth was an extra loud ME-OWWWWW!

"Oo-oo, ooo OO!," said her father, without opening his eyes. Then he threw a pillow at Ngnat.

The pillow missed, but Ngnat ran out of the room. How dare her father throw a pillow at her! She was very sad. Then she was very surprised, for as she ran around the corner and out of the bedroom she ran right into her three kittys!

Hissy, Toby and Grey had been eating first breakfast when they heard Ngnat trying to wake up her mommy and daddy, and a strange cat meowing upstairs in their house was much more important than the dry food in their bowls.

"Who are you?" hissed Hissy, the youngest and smallest of Ngnat's kitties, pulling at the carpet with her claws. "Don't you know any better than come into a person's house without asking?"

Now, when Hissy talked, it sounded like "Me-ow, Me-ow!" But since Ngnat was a kitty, she understood Hissy better than when she was still a little girl.

"I'm Ngnat," wailed Ngnat.

"You're not Ngnat," said Hissy. "Ngnat is the little girl who chases me up and down the stairs all day." Hissy sat down and started to lick her tail. "Besides, you can talk, and she can't. She just makes monkey noises. 'Oo-oo, oo-oo,' all day long.

"But I am Ngnat, " insisted Ngnat.

"You're not Ngnat," said Grey, the next biggest and next oldest kitty. "Ngnat is the little girl who pulls my tail when I try to take a nap on the ottoman." Grey yawned, showing her white teeth. "Beside, you smell like a cat. Ngnat smells like crayons and peanut butter."

"Hush," said Toby, the biggest and oldest kitty. He was almost as big as Ngnat back when she was a little girl, and he was certainly older than Ngnat. "There are more things on heaven and earth than you could possibly know, sisters, and little girls who turn into cats are quite the least of them. In any case, it is simplicity itself to find out." He looked at Ngnat, running his pink tongue over his black whiskers. "What do you do when I am outside and want to get in?"

"I...I open the door?" asked Ngnat.

"And what do you do when I am inside and want to go out?" Toby continued.

"I open the door!" said Ngnat.

"That's a lie!" hissed Hissy. "There's no cat in the world can open a door."

"But there are plenty of little girls in the world who can open a door," said Toby. "So this must be one after all."

"Well," said Grey. "You do smell a little peanut-buttery."

"And you certainly sound a little bit like a monkey," sniffed Hissy. "I'd like to see you try and chase me up and down the stairs now."

"The important thing," said Toby, "is that you turn back into a little girl as soon as possible. Otherwise we will have to start splitting the food four ways.

"Oh, no!" said Hissy and Grey.

"And we shall have to share the sunny spot on the couch," Toby continues

"Oh, dear!" moaned Hissy and Grey.

"And," Toby paused for effect, for cats are naturally dramatic, "we shall have to let her go to the bathroom in our litter box."

"The horror! The absolute horror of it all," yowled Hissy and Grey, one after the other. "Let's turn her back into a little girl as soon as possible!"

"Oo-oo, OO-OOO!" yelled Ngnat's daddy from inside his bedroom. Another pillow sailed through the door, though it came nowhere Ngnat and the other cats.

"One day I am going to give that smelly ape such a scratching," said Hissy.

"He's not so bad," said Grey. "He gave me a shrimp, once."

"Hush," said Toby. "We've got more important things to do." He looked at Ngnat. "What was the last thing you remember from before you were a cat, little one?"

"Well," said Ngnat. "I was in my bed, and it was night time, and I was sleepy."

"When you fell asleep, " asked Grey, "what did you dream about?"

"I dreamed that, that, that I was a chasing a mouse." said Ngnat.

"Ahhhhhh," said all three cats together. "You had a cat dream."

"When you have a cat dream," Toby explained to Ngnat, "if you wake up in the middle of it, you are a cat. If you have a dog dream and wake up in the middle of it, you wake up as a dog."

"Disgusting!" spit Hissy.

"What you need is to go back to sleep." Grey said. "You need to go back to sleep, and dream little girl dreams, whatever they are. What do little girls dream of?"

"Um...." Ngnat thought for a moment. "Tea parties? And scissors? Sometimes I dream about bears."

"Not bears!" Toby interjected. "Dreaming about bears would be a bad idea, today, I think. Stick with the first two."

So Ngnat tiptoed into her room on her little cat feet, accompanied by Toby and Grey and Hissy. She jumped into her bed, walked around a circle and lay down to sleep with her tail curled over her eyes.

"Good night, monkey." said Hissy. "Dream about scissors."

"And tea parties." added Grey.

"Not bears," Toby looked at her hard. "No bear dreams."

And with that , Ngnat fell asleep, for cats can go so sleep whenever they want. When she woke up again, it was late in the morning, and her Mommy and Daddy were downstairs drinking coffee, and Ngnat was a little girl again.

"Hi, bedhead," said Daddy as Ngnat walked into the kitchen, rubbing the sleep out her eyes.

"Good morning, honey," said Mommy. "Would you like some juice?"

"I was a kitty." Ngnat told Mommy and Daddy.

"That's nice," said Daddy, reading his paper.

"That's nice," said Mommy, pouring the juice.

Ngnat saw Toby, Hissy and Grey in the corner, eating second breakfast. She walked over to them

"Thank you, kitties," said Ngnat, "for helping me turn back into a little girl again."

"Me-ow." said Toby and Hissy and Grey.

Posted by Bigwig at November 3, 2003 09:34 PM | TrackBack
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Good ending. Things were looking a little Kafkaesque at the beginning....

Posted by: clnsmi at November 4, 2003 12:26 AM

I was a little worried over Gnat's future among the cats.
But now I can go to sleep without worries.

Posted by: Camilo at November 4, 2003 03:26 PM

Nice story. Find an illustrator and get published!

Posted by: Yomamma at November 4, 2003 09:43 PM

OMG!! You so need to have this published into a children's book! :) What a GREAT story! :)

Posted by: Ellen at November 5, 2003 05:21 PM
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