“Marigold,” Friend, Oct. 1984, 32


    Cindy heard a sad meowing coming from the withered marigolds.

    “Oh!” she cried. “Another stray kitten.”

    A month ago she had found Tinker. When her mother said that Cindy could keep the black kitten, she also made it plain that they had room for only one cat.

    But now when a thin, scraggly yellow kitten crawled out of the marigolds, Cindy knew she had to help it somehow. “I can’t leave you here!” Cindy cried. “Winter’s coming, and you need a home.”

    When Cindy’s mother saw the little animal, she said, “You were right, Cindy, not to leave it out in the cold. Put it in the garage and give it some milk.”

    The kitten drank all the milk. Then it crawled into the box Cindy had fixed up with an old towel and went to sleep.

    Cindy cared for the yellow kitten just as she did for Tinker. As it became healthy and strong, Cindy worried about where it could live. All of her friends already had pets.

    One day Cindy asked her mother, “Mom, do you still listen to that radio program where people call to buy or sell something? Maybe a listener might want a cat.”

    “That’s a good idea,” Mrs. Moss replied. “It will be on this evening. We can call in then.”

    Later that night Cindy and her mother listened while they waited for their turn on the air. A lady had a quilt to sell, and a man wanted to buy a used lawn mower.

    Finally Cindy got to tell about the yellow kitten and give their telephone number.

    Soon the phone rang. A man named Mr. Willis was interested in the kitten. “I need a cat for my barn,” he said.

    “Is it warm?” Cindy asked. “This kitten needs a warm place to stay.”

    “My barn’s full of hay,” Mr. Willis said. “A kitten can curl up in it and keep nice and warm.”

    “A kitten needs milk too!”

    “Every time I milk my cows, I’ll give the kitten warm milk,” Mr. Willis assured her.

    “A kitten needs someone to love it!”

    “I like cats,” Mr. Willis said. “I’ll pet it every day.”

    “Then I want you to have the kitten,” Cindy said.

    When Mr. Willis came to get the kitten, he asked, “Does it have a name?”

    “How about Marigold? I found it in the marigold bed.”

    “That’s a fine name,” Mr. Willis said. “Come along, Marigold. Let’s go home. It’s almost time to milk the cows.”

    Illustrated by Ron Peterson