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Lavinia's Treasure

Sunday, 10 June 2012

taking care not to jostle it, as she padded down the hall towards the sunny playroom.
Amanda Gray sat on the floor, busily sorting through the toybox. Her brother Timothy was sprawled sideways in an oversized wingback chair, knees draped casually over the arm, deeply engrossed in a book. Sam Cat, perched comfortably on Timothy’s stomach, appeared to be helping him turn pages.

At Lavinia’s approach, Sam Cat abruptly flung himself off Timothy, and rocketed across the room to see what was struggling, and flapping about so determinedly, in Lavinia’s mouth. Whatever it was, it was beginning to get pretty soggy, that was for sure.

Sam gave it one startled look and then tore out of the room, in search of Timothy and Amanda’s Grandma.
Timothy, still deeply engrossed in his book, was not paying the slightest bit of attention, and Amanda was mostly upside down as she leaned over the side of the big wooden toy chest.
Lavinia walked silently up to Timothy and unceremoniously dropped the gooey mass onto his stomach. "NEEEEK!", it screeched indignantly, at the very top of its little lungs.
"Aaaaaaaa!", yelped a startled Timothy, and shot straight up in his chair. Tiny, sharp nails gripped Timothy’s t-shirt as the terrified little thing tried to keep from being catapulted into the air.
Sitting up now, his book in a heap on the floor, Timothy’s hands firmly gripped the arms of the chair as he leaned over and peered intently into the bright amber eyes of the disheveled little thing on his lap.

"What the heck is THIS?" he demanded of Lavinia, who at the moment was looking extraordinarily pleased with herself.

Amanda Grey backed out of the toybox to see what all the commotion was about. "Oh, WOW!", she said excitedly, "Lavinia found a kitten". Without bothering to stand up, she quickly scurried across the room on her knees, stopping at the side of Timothy’s chair.
"I don’t THINK so, Amanda", her brother said levelly, as the tiny thing made itself at home on Timothy’s knee. It was trying to shake some of Lavinia’s drool off of one downy wing which seemed to have appeared from nowhere.
Amanda’s eyes grew big and round as she met her brother’s equally startled gaze.
"GRANDMAAAA!", Amanda shouted over her shoulder. "Come QUICK!"
Grandma, led by Sam Cat, who had already alerted her, appeared, as if on cue, at the door.
"Grandma", said Amanda Grey matter-of-factly, "You had better come look at this. You’re never going to believe what Lavinia just found". 
"Oh my!", Grandma said to Lavinia, pausing to reach down and pat her head. "What a good girl you are!". Lavinia smiled happily and wagged her tail even harder.

"Neek!", the little voice protested to Grandma. "Neek!".

"I had thought they were all gone by now", mused Grandma, as she knealt and stroked the delicate little head. It arched it’s back to meet her gentle touch.

"It’s purring", said Timothy, thoroughly fascinated by whatever this was, perching precariously on his knee.
"They all do that", Grandma replied. The three of them watched as the little wings fluttered and it raised one paw to wash its intelligent little face.
Sam Cat stood on his hind legs to take a closer look, then turned and looked into Grandma’s eyes. Sam Cat had thought they were all gone as well.
"May we keep it?" Amanda asked quietly.
"It’s welcome to stay", replied her Grandma.
"Do you have a name, dear?", Grandma inquired of the pretty creature, "Would you like to stay?" Grandma leaned forward so she could hear the reply more clearly. Obligingly the little chin raised and appeared to whisper something into Grandma’s ear.
The ghost of a smile played around the corners of Grandma’s mouth as she turned and told Amanda, "She says her name is Isadora LeChat, and yes, she’d like very much to live here ".
Timothy’s finger gently traced the outline of one little wing, folded now against the fur, all but invisible to those who had not seen it extended. The purring grew louder when the creature made its way back from Timothy’s kneecap, and curled itself into a contented ball on his lap.
"What IS she Grandma?", asked Amanda, totally captivated by this pretty little creature. "She’s pretty rare, isn’t she?".
Grandma nodded, her eyes alight with both delight and amusement.
"Yes, dear, she is. Very rare."
"She’s a Catterfly".

Lavinia's Treasure by Cynthia Gurin - Copyright 1997 - All Rights Reserved


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