• A short story for children

On his walk around the neighborhood, when Marvin was passing by the old, white, wooden house, Boots approached him.

Boots was the name he had given to the cat, that always approached him on his walks around the neighborhood.

Boots was all black but had white paws, as if wearing white boots.

Hence the name that Marvin had chosen.

Boots was an unusual and curious cat. Why?

Boots was too excited, too playful, not reserved like all the other cats in the neighborhood. All the other cats in the neighborhood were more cautious and ran away. Boots was playful and curious, and liked to engage.

Marvin thought that Boots behaved more like a dog than a cat.

As Boots was rubbing up against Marvin’s legs, he bent down to pet Boots’ back.

“What up Boots!”, he said.

Boots enjoyed when Marvin rubbed its back. Afterwards it usually became more playful and started hopping around in the grass.

After playing with Boots for a bit Marvin continued walking.

When he had walked about a block, in the dark he noticed something unusual moving on the opposite side of the street.

Is it a stray dog? Or is it just lost?

Marvin thought.

In the dark it resembled a gray dog. He had never seen anything like that in the neighborhood. As he looked more closely, he realized that it was a coyote.

He started thinking:

Stupid coyote! What is it doing here? Should I be scared?

He continued walking and kept an eye on the coyote, which was moving in the opposite direction.

The coyote looked slim, as if it was malnourished.

Marvin started thinking:

Maybe I was unfair to the coyote. It is probably hungry and cold. It is just living its life as anyone else, trying to survive. It has the same right to be here as anyone else. Everyone is probably unfair to the poor coyote. It probably just wants to play, like a dog.

Marvin continued walking. He often circled around the block, usually distracted in his thoughts.

After some time he passed by the white, wooden house again.

He saw Boots still standing there, but also noticed that the coyote was standing about ten feet away and looking at Boots.

Marvin started thinking:

That’s funny. They found each other. Boots probably has never seen a coyote before. Are they gonna play with each other?

Marvin came closer and started petting Boots again.

He noticed that the coyote stepped back few feet.

After he was done playing with Boots, he continued walking but after few feet realized that the coyote was approaching Boots.

He started thinking:

They are gonna play with each other. Interesting!

Or wait, is Boots safe with the coyote?

As he was looking back, he could see Boots standing there, but now with its back curled up and its fur standing up a bit.

Boots was looking at the coyote and not moving.

The coyote was slowly approaching.

Marvin quickly walked back towards Boots. As he approached Boots, the coyote backed off again.

Marvin said: “Go away Boots!”

Boots just stood there. The coyote was also just standing there and waiting, and now looking at Marvin.

Marvin repeated: “Boots, run away you silly cat! What are you doing?”

Boots did not move.

He picked up Boots and tried to push it away so it would run away. But Boots just stayed there.

What a stubborn cat, Marvin thought.

So instead he turned his attention to the coyote.

He stepped forward and yelled: “Go away you stupid coyote!”

The coyote backed away a bit, looking confused, but continued staring alternately at Marvin and then at Boots.

What it may be thinking, Marvin thought at first.

He yelled at the coyote again, but the coyote just looked confused.

After a while Marvin started jumping around, yelling and waving his hands in the air to see what would happen.

The coyote seemed confused yet somewhat intimidated. So Marvin jumped forward and continued his gestures.

He continued yelling louder and louder and jumping and waving his hands.

The coyote slowly moved back and eventually turned around and started walking away. Marvin ran forward to make sure that the coyote does not come back and the coyote sped up and disappeared in the dark.

Marvin went back to Boots and said: “You silly cat, why are you so playful and curious. You almost got in trouble because of that.”

He picked up Boots and carried towards the fence of the white house.

As he put Boots down the cat ran towards the fence and disappeared.

All right, Marvin thought, now I can go home.

Marvin continued walking.

He pulled out his phone to Google, do coyotes eat cats.

He started reading: ”Coyotes typically hunt small mammals such as mice, voles and rabbits. If given the opportunity, they will also make a meal of a cat, tame or feral.”

He began thinking:

Stupid me and I thought they were gonna play. Looks like I saved Boots’ life.

Maybe that is why Boots approached me so much in the past. Maybe that is why they say curiosity killed the cat.

What a coincidence that I happen to walk by the white house again, just in time.

The Oracle