The Magic Cat
Max, Age 10, Cambridge, MA

Once upon a time there was a cat and a knight. The knight’s name was Sir Xamas and the cat’s name was Leo. Sir Xamas and his cat Leo were sitting on the couch. Sir Xamas was reading his favorite book. Leo was sitting next to Sir Xamas, purring. Then Sir Xamas said, “Alright Leo, it’s time for me to go to bed and for you to go on your midnight romp.” As he said this, he pinned Leo’s collar on her neck and let her out of the castle and he went up to bed.

When he woke up, he couldn’t move. As he tried to get up, his body didn’t budge. Sir Xamas groaned, “Have I got a cramp?,” he said aloud and groaned again. Then, when Sir Xamas’ eyes grew accustomed to the darkness, he realized that he was in a dungeon and that he was chained to the wall. Then he remembered Leo. “Leo!” he called. “L-----E----O!!!” he called again. This time, no answer, not even a little meow. Sir Xamas was very upset about Leo’s disappearance and he was mystified at his waking up in a dungeon. Suddenly he heard a harsh voice boom out, “Knight! To get your cat back and get yourself out of my dungeon, you must complete two tasks. One will be to dive in the everlasting sewer and live there for a month and then come out alive. Remember Knight, I will be watching you.” Then the voice said, “I will tell you the second task when you come back from your first.”

So, the next day he set out to do his first task. Day by day he slept on the cold ground and day by day he walked and walked and walked and walked until he came to the everlasting sewer. When he got there he dove straight in. Once he was in the water he felt a bite on his leg. “Rats,” he thought. He floated on his back for a while. Many times he felt bites. Bites on his leg and on his body and on his head but Sir Xamas did not mind these. Then Sir Xamas felt himself sinking and sinking and sinking and sinking until… he stopped sinking and saw a magnificent house. It was like a palace to Sir Xamas. It was painted royal red and the draperies were royal blue. For Sir Xamas it was a dazzling sight, but he wondered what was inside. Sir Xamas swam over to the house and went in through the door. In the entrance hall he saw a door. He opened it and in the room was a green cat. Sir Xamas closed the door quickly, in shock about what he had seen. Then he saw a second door! He opened it and saw an orange cat and the closed the door quickly again. Then he saw another door. He opened the door. Sitting at a small table was a lady playing chess against herself.

Unknown to the knight the lady was really his cat, Leo. Leo was a magic cat. Leo had heard the Wizard’s task because she had been right outside the dungeon. Then Leo used her magic powers to make herself a lady who lives in a house under water and Leo created the house, too. Meanwhile the lady--alias, the magic cat--told the knight, “I overheard the first and second tasks for you to do.”

“Really!” said the knight. “What is the second task?”

And the lady replied, “To get the enormous ruby. Luckily for you, Sir Xamas, the enormous ruby is right behind my house.” Then the knight thought, that’s odd, how did this woman know my name?

So a month passed and the Knight set out with the ruby to go find the wizard. When he found the wizard’s castle he knocked on the castle door. “Oh, wizard, oh, wizard, I completed the first and second tasks.” The wizard was amazed at this. He came to the door and opened it.

“Where’s the ruby, Knight?”, he barked.

“Right here”, said the Knight calmly.

“Then give it to me!!”, shouted the wizard. The Knight handed the ruby to the wizard.

“Now”, said the Knight impatiently, “where’s my cat?”

“You find your cat by yourself”, growled the wizard. Then magically, the cat appeared.

“Here I am!”, said the cat.

“Hey,” said the Knight, “I didn’t know you could talk”.

Together they walked off into the darkness and they lived happily ever after. (As for the wizard, he was never seen again.)

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