Iris came home with another doozy of a story.
Once upon a time there was a little kitten. And he found a baby mouse. And the mouse said, “I live in a farm. And they make fun of me because they think my body is very small and I’m so small that I can climb up on them. But I heard them whispering that they’re making a plan. To make a fire because they think that if they made a fire they would think that I would think that it would be interesting to look up at closer. And then they think that I would fall into the fire and die. But I won’t go near it because then I would die but I don’t want to die. That’s the whole thing I went out the farm.” And the kitten said, “Then I can help you because I am very strong and scary. Because I can arch my back and then they might run away. And if that doesn’t work I could put my claws out and they would probably run away.” And then the kitten said, “I have an even better idea. I will put my claws out and arch my back at the same time.” The end.
Celie’s is much more cheerful and less complicated this time:
One day a little snake went on a trip. And he found another baby snake. And the other little baby snake said, “I’m lost and I can’t find my house. Can you help me?” “Yes, I can.” So he took she to her home and they had dinner and breakfast together. And then they went on a little bike ride. And then they went to the palace. And then they went on a trip to the moon. And then they went to the pet store to get a little puppy. And then the first little snake said, “I’m bored. I want to go to my friend bear’s house. Come on!” And they went there and bear was there and they had lots of candy. The end.
The common denominator here is, I guess, the twin theme of companionship and friendship. For Celie it’s pure fun: sleep-overs, candy, and the care-taking of pets; for Iris it’s banding together in the face of peer bullying, mockery & violence. But baby animals can protect themselves and their friends by acting bigger than they really are. If you put your claws out and arch your back, people might think you’re strong and scary even if you’re just a little kitten. (This is definitely true of Pot Luck.)