Kittens For Sale

She stands at the end of her walkway next to a cardboard box. She can't be more than about seven years old with blonde pigtails and brown eyes. "Kittens for sale," she cries in a shrill little voice.

I crouch down. There are five squirming fluffballs on the old, well-worn baby blanket. "How much?" I ask. She thinks for a moment and chews thoughfully on a wayward strand of wheaten hair. "A quarter. Mommy said we can't keep them, so I'm finding them good homes."

I nod and pick up the black one who has a mark on his forehead resembling a clover leaf. "That's Lucky," she informs me with a bright smile. "He was the first one born. Daddy said we might not have to get rid of him."

I put the kitten back and pick up the white one with bright blue eyes. "That's Bianca," she informs me in a confidential tone. "Mommy said she's pretty enough to be in a 'Fancy Feast' commercial so...." "You might be keeping her?" I ask. She nods emphatically.

I next select the marmalade one who is chewing on Lucky's tail. "That's Ginger. Daddy said she's the runt 'cos she was born last. She's awful sweet." I reach for my handbag, but... "I'm thinking of asking if she can be my very own kitty," she confides in a whisper. Of course! I return the purring orange snowball to the box.

The fourth kitten has large, curious eyes in a pansy-shaped face and a tail which curls like a query mark. "This one's pretty," I say, stroking its small, button nose. "That's Mommy's favorite." The moppet announces with much certainty. "Her name is Chrissy and..." She doesn't need to say any more. I understand perfectly.

The last one is varying shades of grey with green eyes. He looks at me warily as I pick him up and then nips at my thumb with sharp kittenish teeth. "We call him Wolfie," states the little girl. I look up questioningly. "He sits on the step at night and wails at the moon," she explains. "Daddy said wolves do that." I have the feeling I know what's coming, but open my purse anyway. "The others would be so lonely without him," she says sadly with a trembling lower lip, "and he would miss his brother and sisters so much." I agree. It goes without saying really.

I stand up. "Thank you for letting me see them," I tell her. "You're very welcome," she answers with a bright and happy smile, rocking back and forth on her heels with chubby hands clasped behind her back. "They are all so very cute," I say, "and well worth a quarter."

She waves to me as I walk away.

"Kittens for sale," she cries in her shrill little voice.

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