Read by Trish Rowland
Farmer John was in the village of Red Haven at Sue’s Supply Store. He saw a sign on a box that read “Free Kittens.” Farmer John looked in the box and saw only one tiny kitten. He asked Sue, “The sign says ‘Kittens.’ Is there only one left?”
Sue replied, “Yes, she is the runt of the litter. No one seems to want her.” Sue asked Farmer John, “How about you? Do you want to adopt a kitten?”
Farmer John picked up the yellow kitten and held her in his hands. She looked up at him with light green eyes and purred. He smiled and said, “Yes. I think my farm would be a good home for this kitten. I have a dog but that should not be a problem.”
Farmer John left the store that day with sugar, salt, and a kitten he named “Kelly.” She was so small he carried her home in the pocket of his shirt.
Belle was waiting at home for Farmer John to come back. Belle was a beautiful brown, black, and white beagle. She loved to run and play beside Farmer John when he went on long walks. Belle was a very good watchdog.
Belle barked and wagged her tail when she saw the wagon. She had lived with Farmer John since she was a puppy. She loved Farmer John.
Farmer John gave Belle a pat on the head. He put the kitten down on the ground in front of the dog. He said, “Belle, come and meet Kelly.”
The dog could not believe her eyes. Belle thought, “Oh, no! Not a kitten. She looks like a yellow fur ball. What was Farmer John thinking? Doesn’t he know she will grow into a cat? Is it too late to take her back?”
Farmer John said, “I know you two will be best friends.”
Belle looked at the kitten and thought, “Don’t count on it! She is going to be more trouble than she is worth!”
The kitten loved Belle. Kelly would rub up against the dog, crawl on her back, and jump on her tail. Belle thought, “This is just great. Now I smell like a cat!”
Farmer John said, “Belle, just be patient with her.” At night, the kitten would curl up to sleep next to Belle. Kelly loved to listen to the beat of the beagle’s heart.
Belle thought, “This kitten will not leave me alone. She is too much trouble.” Then Belle would remember what Farmer John said, “Just be patient.”
One day Kelly saw a beautiful butterfly. No one saw her run out of the house. She ran past the field and into Secret Spring Meadow. She played in the soft, green grass but stopped when she got to Summer Star River. Kelly was lost. She sat and cried for Farmer John and Belle.
Belle watched over everything at the farm. It was getting dark and Kelly was nowhere to be found. Belle worried, “Where is she? Where did that bad kitten go?”
Belle caught the kitten’s scent. She ran past the fields and into the meadow. An eagle was circling in the sky over the river. Belle thought, “Oh, no! Had the eagle seen the kitten?”
The beagle ran as fast as she could to the river. At last she heard Kelly crying. She found the kitten was too tired to walk.
Belle picked up Kelly in her mouth and started home. She thought, “No one is going to hurt my kitten.”
Farmer John was so happy to see them return to the farm. He gave the kitten a bowl of milk and Belle a bone.
Soon Kelly was asleep in her usual place by Belle. The beagle looked down at the sleeping kitten and thought, “How could one little kitten get into such big trouble?”
Now the kitten loved the dog even more. She followed Belle everywhere. Kelly grew to be a cat but always stayed close to the beagle.
Belle wasn’t sure when it happened, but she was patient. In time the dog and cat became best friends. Farmer John had been right after all. The little kitten had been well worth the trouble.
Then Belle would remember what Farmer John said, “Just be patient.”