Whiskers and the geraniums

Whiskers and the geraniums

A Story by jen -- JG

Story of a goat trapped in a yard with his lunch the other side of the fence and how he got to eat it...











Whiskers didn’t mind the children coming into his yard. He didn’t mind too much, when they tied him to the clothes line. But he did object when they ran away and left him alone, still tied to the clothes line.


He snorted and stamped.


But it didn’t do any good. He was still tied fast by the rope around his neck.


He ran in circles as fast as he could. The clothes line just followed him. He stopped running. And the clothes line kept going around, then jerked the rope so tight that he had to start running again or he would be pulled right off his feet.


Then, he began to slow down properly so the rope wouldn’t pull so tight on his neck.


Suddenly Whiskers thought of a good idea.


He’d pull the clothes line right out of the ground! He pulled and pulled. He grunted and strained. He pulled as hard as he could. And he groaned and pulled again.


But the clothes line did not fall over.


Then Whiskers saw why.


The clothes line was stuck in the cement!


It couldn’t fall over, even if it wanted to.


Whiskers puffed and snorted with anger. Then he saw a bit of broken glass on the path behind him and thought he could use that to cut himself free of the rope.

So he stretched his neck out as far as he could. But he couldn’t reach the broken glass.


He stretched his legs out, much, much further than ever.


But the glass was still way out of reach.


Poor Whiskers! He was so sad he just plunked himself down then jumped quickly up. He’d sat right on the prongs of the garden rake.

OOOOhhhhhh, it HURT!


He reached around to rub the sore spot and was about to kick the rake over the fence, then stopped. He might be able to reach the glass with the rake!


Very carefully, he slid the rake along the ground and, oh yes, yes the glass was caught by the prongs.


Holding his breath, he dragged it back to where he could reach it. Then he stuck the glass into a crack in the path and rubbed the rope against it.


After a long time he was free at last.

But the children had locked him inside the yard. And his lunch was outside. Whiskers became very upset. He was hungry and had no way of reaching his lunch.


He stamped and grunted. He snorted and bucked. He ran up and down, bucking and kicking. He groaned and shook his long beard, but no one came to let him out.


He rammed the gate with his shiny horns, but the gate did not open. He backed up to the gate and kicked, but the gate stayed firmly shut.


He sniffed the air and could smell his lunch on the other side of the fence.


"OOOOOOWWWWW" he roared. "I’m so hungry!" and then he started to cry.

Two large blackbirds had been watching all this and now they flapped down from their perch, in a large tree near the back fence.


They asked, "What is wrong Mr Whiskers? Can we help?"


"I don’t know what two birds can do to help?" grumbled Whiskers. "I am very hungry and I can’t get my lunch. It is outside the fence."


"Hmmmmmm!" said the blackbirds. "Two of us can’t do a lot, but maybe the rest of the family can help." They flew away, "Caw, cawing" as they went.


Soon the sky was black with birds and the air filled with the sound of flapping wings. Then dozens of huge birds flew down to land close to Whiskers.


"Can you tell us what you want us to do?" they chirped.


"I don’t know." Whiskers said. "I just know I’m very hungry and I can’t get to my lunch. It’s outside the fence. And the gate is locked."


"Maybe we can lift you over the fence," said the black birds as they settled on his back and head. Two birds lifted each ear. Six birds lifted his tail. Ten birds lifted his long beard. Birds clambered over his back, clinging with beak and sharp talons. A dozen perched on his shiny horns.


Then all the black birds flapped and flapped and flapped.


Whiskers’ tail went up. So did his ears and beard. Even his head was lifted up. But the rest of Whiskers stayed down.


He was just too heavy to lift all at once.

"Sorry Mr Whiskers, but we just can’t do any more," chirped the black birds, and then they all flew away.


Whiskers was sorry too, and very sad again, and very sore as well. The beaks and claws were very sharp and they hurt a lot while the birds were trying to lift him over the fence.

"I’m still very hungry" he moaned. And a large tear slid down his cheek to plop into the dust by his hoof. "How am I ever going to get my lunch?"


Mrs Grey Cat was taking her three kittens for a walk along the dividing fence, when she heard Whiskers sigh.


"What’s wrong, Mr Whiskers? You look so sad. Can I do anything to help?" she asked.


My lunch is on the other side of the fence and the gate is locked and I am very hungry and I don’t know to get out to eat it," replied Whiskers, all of a rush.


"My word, that is a shame," said Mrs Grey Cat. "Wait until I take my kittens home then I will see what I can do." And she hurried away, calling the kittens to follow.


A little later, the most horrible noise filled the air. "MMMIIIAAAOOOWWWW. MIIIAAAOOOWWWW." Whiskers tried to cover his ears with his hooves.


Later still, there was the sound of scratching, scurrying, scrambling and soon the yard was filled with cats. Big cats, small cats, black, brown and grey cats. Cats with spots and patches. Cats with stripes and cats with long tails and short tails. A few cats had no tails at all.


Whiskers had never seen so many cats at one time.


Mrs Grey Cat trotted up and said "Mr Whiskers, I’ve got all my relations here to help," then she began giving orders.


Cats were sent to fetch a long ladder, cats cleared away a space to prop the ladder against the fence. And cats held the ladder firmly at the top and bottom.


"There you are, Mr Whiskers, now you can climb the fence," the cats cried.


Whiskers was overjoyed. He beamed his pleasure and trotted over to the fence. He wasn’t very happy when he looked up at the top of the ladder because it seemed a long way up.


Then he smelled his lunch again, and he started to climb up the long ladder.


He was half-way to the top, and his legs became tangled in the rungs. He wobbled and almost slipped.


THEN … The ladder snapped in two, and Whiskers landed with a KERPLONK in the middle of his yard. The broken ladder fell smack bang on his head, and the rungs were caught in his shiny horns.


For a moment, Whiskers stood very still. Then he raced around, shaking his head and bucking and snorting. The broken ladder was stuck tight on top of his shiny horns.


He roared and stamped. He snorted and bucked. He twisted and shook, but the ladder did not come off his head. At last he charged full pelt into the fence and shook it very hard. And the ladder fell to bits and dropped right under his nose.


"At last!" sighed Whiskers, very relieved. "That ladder was getting too heavy. He backed away from the fence, but did not get far. He just couldn’t get any further away. He pulled harder, but still could not move away. He wriggled his head, and the fence shook again.


Now he knew what was wrong.


His shiny horns were stuck fast in the fence.


"OOOWWW!" he cried out. "I’m stuck!" and he tried to buck in a fit of temper and couldn’t do that either so he snorted and mumbled instead.


"Come on," called Mrs Grey Cat. "We’ll have to pull him free of the fence." Then all the cats gathered around and caught hold of whatever part of Whiskers they could reach. And they pulled and pulled. Some pulled his beard and some pulled his tail, others pulled his hooves.

And suddenly he was free.


He popped out of the fence so fast, he rolled over and over like a large hoop. His beard and tail became tangled and his legs were nearly tied in knots. He rolled right into the far side of his yard and crashed to a stop against his clothes line. He crumpled into a heap and shuddered.


"My Goodness, Mr Whiskers!" cried the cats. "Are you all right? Mr Whiskers, are you all right?"


"Yes thank you," Whiskers replied. He was really very sore from all their pulling when they tried to tug him free, but he didn’t want to seem ungrateful, so he said nothing.


"What’s all the fuss about?"


The strange voice made them all spin about to see Bruno, the great Dane, staring at them from over the fence.


"Hello, Bruno," Whiskers said, while the cats tried to hide behind him. Then he continued, "I am very hungry and the gate is locked so I can’t get to my lunch."


"Oh, I see," said Bruno. "But what are all those cats doing there with you? Can’t they get out either?"


Mrs Grey Cat became very indignant, "Of course we can. We just came in to help Mr Whiskers. That’s all," she said in her most ‘toffee’ voice.


"And can you?" asked Bruno with great interest.


"Well, we put a ladder against the fence and Mr Whiskers started to climb over, but the ladder broke and he fell down again, with the ladder stuck on his shiny horns." The cats spoke together, feeling a bit braver because Bruno was still outside the fence.


"I see!" Bruno tried hard to stop the huge smile, but his eyes twinkled as he said "and what happened then?"

"Mr Whiskers was very angry and after running and bucking for awhile, he charged into the fence. The ladder fell off, but his horns were stuck. We have all just finished pulling him out of the fence, and we are having a rest before we try something else." Mrs Grey Cat explained.


"I see," chuckled Bruno. He tried very hard not to laugh out loud, and had to duck down behind the fence to stick front paws in his mouth to drown the chuckle he felt bubbling up from his tummy. He rolled over and over, kicking his legs and shaking with mirth. After awhile he stood up and ears twitching, poked his head over the fence again.


"I’m hungry!" Whiskers complained.


"Wait a bit," said Bruno. "I’ll find some help," and off he bounded, barking and howling for all he was worth.


Soon, the air was filled with barks, growls, howls, sniffing and scratching, as dozens of dogs answered Bruno’s calls.


A puppy found a hole under the fence and dug his way into the yard. Soon, all the other dogs followed, each one digging the hole bigger and bigger. At last Bruno scratched his way through and stood beside Whiskers.


"Look at that!" he barked in delight. "The hole. We can push Mr Whiskers through the hole."


Whiskers wasn’t too sure about that idea, at all. But he peeped through the hole and could see his lunch waiting, just outside. So he decided to give it a try.


Down went his head, under the fence and his nose twitched again as the scent of his lunch reached him. "Hmmmm, that does smell good," he smiled.


The cats and dogs pushed and shoved Whiskers from behind, and slowly, very slowly, he began to slide under the fence.


Suddenly he stopped. He was stuck!


He couldn’t move either way!


"OOOOOWWWWW!" he cried. "Stop pushing. I’m stuck!"


Now this was a problem. Most of Whiskers was still inside his yard, but half his head was outside!


The dogs and cats decided that it would be better to pull Whiskers back into his yard again. So the cats climbed over the fence and pushed, while the dogs pulled from inside the fence.


Very slowly, Whiskers slid backwards.


Then his horns became jammed in the ground and he stopped moving again.


Two of the largest cats grabbed his horns and twisted and pulled them free, then they all pushed and pulled again. And with a wild slide, a SLURP, and a groan, Whiskers was back on his side of the fence.


Oh, poor Whiskers. He did look strange.


His horns were no longer shiny. His long grey beard was a mess. All tangled and streaked with red mud and grass. His eyes were red-rimmed, and a small tree root dangled from his ear. He was a very sorry sight.


The cats and dogs took one long look and burst into fits of laughter. Whiskers became very angry and snorted. This made the others laugh even more.


Whiskers stamped and roared and snorted with rage. All this effort and he still couldn’t get to his lunch. And these silly animals were laughing!


The more they laughed, the angrier Whiskers became.


By now Whiskers was VERY, VERY ANGRY. He bucked. He kicked and snorted. He charged around in circles. He shook his head, and roared and bleated and bucked.

The cats and dogs laughed and laughed. They laughed so much they fell down and had to lean against each other. Tears of mirth ran down their faces, they fell down, rolled around holding their sides. And still they laughed.


"STOP THAT!" roared Whiskers. "It’s not that funny." And he sat PLUNK in the middle of a puddle of water. He jumped up again quickly and raced around in crazy circles, trying to shake the water from his tail.


This made the animals laugh even more.


After awhile, the cats and dogs became quiet again, and only a small giggle or chuckle escaped whenever one of them caught sight of Whiskers sitting on his hind legs with his front hooves stuck over his ears.


In the tree over their heads was a family of king-sized hornets, who had been to the yearly hornet ball the night before. They were trying to sleep in, and all this noise had woken them in a bad temper.


Now they buzzed out in a rage. "QUIET! We’re trying to sleep. BE WARNED! You’ll be sorry if you don’t quit this racket."


Whiskers had begun bucking and snorting again. He’d suddenly remembered how hungry he was. And once again he became very angry.


The cats and dogs took one look at him charging madly around, and they found their ways out of his yard, and went quickly home.


Whiskers didn’t see them go. He bucked and charged straight into the tree. The bump on his head hurt, and this time he ran around, groaning in pain.


He didn’t see the mad hornets massing for the attack.


He didn’t know the largest hornet was aiming straight at his rear end.

But he did feel the large sting. Right on his rump.


"OOOUUUCCCHHH!" roared Whiskers. And he jumped high in the air.

The hornet stung him again on the way down. "OUCCHH!" and Whiskers jumped even higher.


Then the Hornet stung Whiskers on his nose.


Whiskers jumped higher than ever. Up, up, up he went. Higher and higher. He went over the tree. He even went over the roof of his house. He went right up in the sky.


And then he began to fall. Over and over he tumbled. He twisted, and wriggled, but he still fell out of the sky.


Then he landed in a muddle of legs and beard, right in the middle of the geranium patch, outside his fence.


He picked himself up, and gave himself a good shake, then he began to munch the geraniums. "Oh, this is good," he sighed. "I thought I’d never get my lunch today." And he chewed another mouthful of the wonderful geraniums.


Then he remembered all the help he’d had in getting out of his yard, and called out, "Thank you everyone, for helping me. My lunch is beautiful!"


And he pulled up another mouthful of delicious red geraniums to chew.


The End


© 2009 jen -- JG

Author's Note

jen -- JG
as always honesty is really good - love it, hate it, tell me why and what you like or don't like. Thank you.

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I really liked this story, it was fun to read, a really great children's story. Although, at the beginning I thought Mr. Whiskers was a cat, I thought it was a bit unusual that a cat would stamp it's feet but I didn't really get it was a goat until you mentioned the horns and beard. It wouldn't be a problem if this was a picture book, but perhaps you could change his name so that it suggests that he is a goat?

Posted 8 Years Ago

It's been some time since you wrote this, and it is likely that you have moved on, but I had to leave a comment about your story-telling ability. It is a wonderful yarn. I am just starting to write for children. So far I have learned that all the language skills in the world can not make up for a good tale. I think it clever that you used short sentences and short paragraphs to keep the pace of the story fast.

Posted 8 Years Ago

Thank you for the fun story to read. Animals are entertaining and fun to have around. They can do great things too. Damage a whole house in a few minutes. I like the team effort of all the animals. A outstanding story. Thank you.

Posted 10 Years Ago

I think this would be a lovely children's book- perhaps Mr Whiskers then returns a favor to all those helped? the launguage and tone is perfect, nearly skipping like a child in the yard, bright and energetic! Lovely spill Jen!

Posted 10 Years Ago

I liked it, well suited childrens tale that teaches kids of the different sounds of the animals. I can easily see how this makes kids participate in the tale with all the sounds of the animals and how they laugh out loud when he gets stuck by the hornets. Also an amusing story for grown-ups I might add :)

Posted 11 Years Ago

I love all the conflict in this one, it keeps pulling you in. My daughter laughed when whiskers got stung on the bottom!! I had to explain to her the word "relations" she hadnt seen it used to decribe family yet. You gave wonderful discription that made it easy to picture each scene in my head. My daughter is 7, it was an enjoyable read for her as well, thank you.

Posted 12 Years Ago

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Added on March 24, 2009


jen -- JG
jen -- JG

Melbourne, Australia

I enjoy reading, writing and watching movies. There are two adorable cats in our household who give us much pleasure. i enjoy writing poetry of most kinds, rhyme - open verse - and often anything a.. more..

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