By Mary Russel
Flickertail the llama and Paint the horse were playing with G.G. the cat in the barnyard.
G.G. said, “My human, Alice just got another cat. His name is Jack and he could use some friends. Is it OK if I bring him over to meet you?”
“Of course. We can never have enough good friends,” Flickertail said while Paint nodded her agreement.
There’s something you should know about him, first,” said G.G. “He only has one eye.”
“Oh, the poor dear,” exclaimed Paint. “How did he lose his eye?”
“In a fight with a gang of cat bullies.”
“That must have been very frightening for Jack,” remarked Flickertail.
“Yes, he said he was terrified,” replied G.G. “He was covered in blood, and barely breathing when a lady found him in an alley. She took him to the nearest veterinarian who just happened to be the same vet Alice uses for me. When Jack was healed, the vet called Alice to see if she would like another cat.”
“Does he need help getting around?” asked Flickertail.
“No, he sees perfectly well out of his good eye and he can do everything I can do.” G.G. smiled. “He runs even faster than I do and he eats more too. He’s a sweetie. Yesterday I got stuck in the basement. He scratched at the basement door and meowed until Alice got the hint and opened the door to let me out. I only told you about his eye so you wouldn’t stare at him. I’m afraid I did, when he first arrived. I’m sure I made him uncomfortable, even though he never said anything about it.”
G.G. left for lunch and when she came back, she had Jack with her. The four of them spent all afternoon playing games. The time passed quickly and, before they realized it, it was almost time for G.G. and Jack to go home for supper. They were playing the last game of the day near the farmhouse when Jack said, “Why have you been avoiding looking at my face? Is it ugly?"
“No, of course not,” said Flickertail.
“It’s a very handsome face,” Paint assured Jack.
“Well, then perhaps I have some food stuck in my whiskers or my teeth?”
Flickertail and Paint shook their heads.
Before they could tell him that they didn’t want to make him feel uncomfortable by staring, Jack noticed his reflection in one of the windows. He screamed.
“My eye! What happened to my eye? It’s gone! It must have fallen out while we were playing. Help me find it!” Jack dug frantically in the grass.
Flickertail and Paint were shocked. How could Jack not know about his missing eye? Surely, the vet had told him? They didn’t know what to say or do. Should they pretend to search for his eye?
Suddenly, Jack rolled in the grass making odd noises.
Flickertail and Paint rushed over to him.
“What should we do to help?”
“Should we ask G.G. to fetch Alice so she can take you to the vet?”
Jack, unable to speak, just shook his head. That’s when Flickertail realized Jack was laughing so hard he couldn’t talk.
Meanwhile, G.G. had been hiding behind a haystack with her paw over her mouth, trying to muffle her laughter. When she heard Jack laughing, she dropped her paw and laughed so hard she could hardly stand up.
Flickertail and Paint looked at each other sheepishly. They both felt foolish but they were so relieved that they joined in the laughter.
When he was able to speak again, Flickertail said, “I’m so glad G.G. brought you over here to meet us. You are certainly going to liven up the place.”