Gone Missing!

By Susan Sundwall -

The car tires crunched on the gravel road that led to the strawberry field. Corinne and her mother had come in the late afternoon to pick strawberries at Aunt Jenna’s farm. Her cousin Kayla waved as Corinne got out of the car. They always spent the first week of summer vacation together.

“There’s a big surprise in the barn,” Kayla squealed.

“Did Tully have her kittens?” Corrine loved Kayla’s large tabby cat.

“Sure did,” said Kayla. “They’ve had their eyes open a week!”

“Oh Mom,” cried Corinne, “may I go see, pleeeease?”

“Go on,” said her mother, “but remember, you promised to help pick berries for your dad.”

Kayla and Corinne bounded into the barn. A great bundle of fur lay on an old gray blanket. Corinne gasped as she looked down at Tully and her six sleeping kittens. She knelt beside the blanket and ran a finger gently over the little bodies. Tully arched her back and gave a soft ‘meow’.

“Do the kittens have names?” she asked.

Not yet,” said Kayla. “I convinced Mom to wait until you got here.”

“Cool!” exclaimed Corinne.

“Corinne!” That unmistakable Mom voice.

“Ugh,” said Corinne, “I better go out and help pick. Meet you back here in half an hour? I pick fast!”

“Deal!” said Kayla.

Two buckets of strawberries later Corinne was back in the barn. She sat down to examine the kittens. Two had white foreheads and three had black tipped tails. But wait! Weren’t there six kittens? As Kayla came through the barn door Corinne called out, “How many kittens were there?”

“Uh . . . six,” she answered. “Why, has one gone missing?”

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