In my last blog post I spoke briefly about the Writing for Children module that I'm doing as part of my MA, and I mentioned how I'm not yet sure whether to do the Zachariah Zebedee stories or a continuation of my asthma book for my MA portfolio. At the moment I think I might try working on both and decide closer to the time which of the two would be best to hand in for my portfolio. However, I also thought that I'd share a ZZ story with you. This hasn't undergone much editing yet, and I'm waiting for feedback from my tutor before I do any major editing on it, but it might change a little once I have that feedback. Anyway, enjoy...
Zachariah Zebedee Has a Meeting
It was very late at night when you will have been tucked up in bed, Zachariah Zebedee was curled up on the back of the sofa, and Zachariah Zebedee’s human was fast asleep. The cat flap made a little rattle-tattle and Zachariah Zebedee pricked up his ears.
He stared through the dark towards the kitchen and waited.
‘Nuffin’,’ thought Zachariah Zebedee, and he began to get himself comfy again, resting his head on his front paws and curling his tail around himself so that he could have tickled his nose if he’d wanted to. But very soon there was another rattle-tattle of the cat flap. Then click, rattle rattle, click, and a pitter-patter of claws on the lino.
‘This my house! Only I is allowed in my house,’ he whispered to himself as he sat up straight. Then ever so quietly he stepped down from the back of the sofa onto the squishy seat. Ever so quietly he stepped down from the squishy seat onto the floor. Ever so quietly he flattened himself to the floor and dusted the polished floorboards with his tummy as he crawled in silence towards the kitchen.
Zachariah Zebedee got as far as the kitchen door and then got a little bit scared. He stopped.
‘Maybe it be a monster ... Maybe it be a DOG!’ He nearly let out a little whimper when he thought it might be a dog, but then he reminded himself, ‘No. I is Zachariah Zebedee. I is very brave. I is gonna –’ But just as Zachariah Zebedee was about to think of how one day he planned to rule the world, he heard a loud crunch.
‘That my food!’ he yowled. He puffed up all the fur on his back and all the fur on his tail so that he looked as big and scary as he could to a possible monster or dog. He leapt the last little way to the corner where a rather large white cat with patches of tiger was munching and crunching Zachariah Zebedee’s biscuits.
‘My food!’ Zachariah Zebedee yowled again. ‘My house!’
The rather large white cat with patches of tiger glanced up. ‘Oh, it’s you,’ he said with a bored kind of voice, and set right back to munching and crunching Zachariah Zebedee’s biscuits.
‘Nooo! This my house! Get out!’ And Zachariah Zebedee flicked out five of his sharpest claws.
The rather large white cat with patches of tiger stopped munching and crunching, gave a little cough as he swallowed his last mouthful, smirked, and looked Zachariah Zebedee in the eye.
‘You’re young. You’re new round here. I’ll let you off this time, but you should know that this is my patch. I’m Philip, but you can call me Boss, like everyone else. Any house round here is my house, and any food is my food.’
‘’Tisn’t! This my house! Get out!’ and Zachariah Zebedee swiped at Philip with the paw that was showing his five sharpest claws.
Philip just managed to avoid being caught, but was so unused to being shouted at by other cats that he forgot all about being cool and calm.
‘I’m Boss Cat! Everything is mine!’ he yowled, and tried to hit back at Zachariah Zebedee with five of his own sharpest claws.
Zachariah Zebedee growled and hissed and shouted back. Soon there was an almighty commotion going on in the kitchen with Philip and Zachariah Zebedee both claiming the house to be theirs and the food for them. They were so busy fighting and arguing that neither of them heard the heavy footsteps in the living room. Suddenly the kitchen light flicked on, and both the cats stopped fighting.
‘HOOMAN!’ yelled Philip.
‘My hooman,’ hissed Zachariah Zebedee.
‘What a racket,’ exclaimed the human. ‘And who are you?’ she said to Philip.
Philip whimpered, ‘h-hooman...’ and turned half of his body towards the cat flap. Zachariah Zebedee hissed a loud hiss, growled a loud growl, and yowled a loud yowl of ‘This my house!’ He kept staring at Philip and concentrated hard on keeping the fur on his back and the fur on his tail as puffed up and as spiky as he could make it. ‘I is a very scary cat,’ he thought to himself.
Philip looked at the human, he looked at Zachariah Zebedee, and he looked back at the human. ‘H-hooman...’ he whimpered again.
‘Go on. You don’t live here. Off you go,’ said the human. She stepped towards Philip, and Philip slipped and scrabbled on the lino until at last he managed to scarper out of the cat flap.
Zachariah Zebedee’s human went to the window to see that the rather large white cat with patches of tiger had gone.
Zachariah Zebedee peered through the clear plastic door of the cat flap and gave a warning growl to Philip who was still in the yard.
Philip looked at Zachariah Zebedee’s face at the cat flap and at the human’s face at the window. He squeezed himself under the bottom of the fence and disappeared into the darkness of the backlane.
‘I is very brave,’ Zachariah Zebedee said to his human. ‘I seed him off. I is very clever.’
Of course, the human only heard Zachariah Zebedee say meow a few times, and she thought that perhaps he wanted a cuddle. She bent down to stroke him, but Zachariah Zebedee still had all his fur puffed up and wasn’t in a strokeable mood. He slithered underneath his human’s hand and went to munch and crunch on what was left of his biscuits.
‘Philip bad cat, not Boss Cat. This my food.’
The sleepy human put the light out and went back to bed. Zachariah Zebedee curled up on the back of the sofa again, wrapped his tail around his body again, and dozed with one ear pricked up and one eye almost open. While he dozed he thought about how he might show Philip that he wasn’t Boss Cat, and just before he slipped into proper sleep, Zachariah Zebedee thought to himself, ‘What I is needin’ is a catapult and a trampoline.’