Kitten Coal’s Lesson

Once upon a time, there was a short-haired black kitten named Coal who accompanied his family to a holiday on the beach.

Coal thought the beach was the most fun place he’d ever been. There was sand as far as he could see and there were shells and pebbles and all sorts of other things just surely created for a kitten to enjoy. Coal had a blue collar with a bell, a yellow beach umbrella set up so he could nap out of the sun, and food and water inside a small enclosure shaped like a blue-and-white striped tent. His family checked on him periodically and gave him plenty of hugs and cuddles.

It had been overcast all morning, however, and the sand was cool under Coal’s paws. All he wanted to do was play in the sand. He couldn’t make up his mind which pebble or shell was the most fascinating, so he dashed from one to the next, pouncing and batting before another would catch his eyes and draw him to it.

Coal looked around a couple of times, noticing that his umbrella was farther away than it had been, but there were simply too many things with which to play for it to concern him.

After a bit, however, the sun peeked out from behind the clouds and the sand began to grow warmer. Thirsty and a bit uncomfortable, Coal looked around. He wanted his umbrella and the enclosure with his food and water. He didn’t see it. Where had it gone? Why had it left him?

Confused and a bit frightened, Coal did what any kitten knows to do. He sat down and, tilting his head back and lifting his chin, cried out loudly, mewing his distress.

Sally, the little girl of Coal’s family, came running to him. She scooped him up and Coal curled against her pink swimsuit as only a relieved little kitten can do, not even patting at her auburn curls as he usually did. The bell on his collar chimed softly as she walked. Sally carried him back to the umbrella and put him down next to the enclosure so he could go inside and get a drink.

Coal realized that it was not the umbrella and enclosure which had moved; he had been so busy playing that he’d gotten farther and farther away from them. Though he was only a kitten, Coal immediately understood the lesson to be learned from his experience.

If you cry loud enough, someone will come to pick you up.


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