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Dear Diary,

Every evening for the past month, Skippy and I have been looking out to the evening skies in eager anticipation for the rise of the Hunter’s Moon. This evening, as we sat by the attic window watching the eastern skies though the telescope the excitement was too much to bear and we both felt a tremendous natural urge to leave our attic bedroom and go out into the fields to dance beneath its glowing beauty. I guess that’s due to our elven heritage and culture.

We were both worried that, if we asked, Father Moesly and Cardinal Snowfield might insist that we stay inside and so we decided to sneak out of the attic window and climb down using the boughs of the oak tree.

The night was calm and the skies were clear, apart from a very slight mist. It was a perfect evening for the Hunter’s Moon and we could see the enormous shining globe rising up in the far east, casting a beautiful eerie light over the churchyard and the fields beyond.

Skippy and I donned our elven garments and prized open the attic window and carefully lowered ourselves onto the sturdy branches of the oak tree that grew immediately beyond the vestry. We clambered across the branches, down the trunk and dropped to the soft earth with a gentle thud.

It was only a short trek to the castle ruins at the end of the lane and so we decided to head there celebrate the Hunter’s Moon.

Within a few minutes we had reached the extremities of the castle and we found an open space within the ruins of the once mighty walls, where we could dance and sing freely. Both Skippy and I felt an enormous sense of liberation and natural energy beneath the vast array of the Thousand, basking in the gentle glow of the full moon. We felt totally safe and secure within the castle grounds and, despite the slight mist, it was the perfect location in which to celebrate the passing of the Hunter’s Moon.

Skippy, being the younger and less inhibited of us both, was the first to dance. He swayed and gesticulated with a natural, free form of movement and I decided to copy him. We called this, “The Skippy Dance.”

It was then that we heard a distant meowing coming from further within the castle ruins and so we decided to pause and investigate. As we drew deeper into the ruins, the meowing grew louder and we could see two pairs of glowing ruby eyed in the deepest shadows, reflected in the moonlight like the glowing embers of a roasting fire.

We both approached calmly, trying to reassure the tiny creatures as we did so. When we stepped into the shadows ourselves, we could made out that the meowing came from two tiny kittens, shivering in the balmy cool October night, huddled close together for warmth.

Carefully, oh so very carefully, I picked up one and held it under my cloak, close to my body and Skippy did the same with the other. The two kittens stopped their pitiful meowing and purred contently instead, snuggling in close to the warmth of our bodies.

There was no one around. Skippy and I couldn’t understand who would abandon two such frail and vulnerable creatures to the unknown dangers of the night and so we decided that we would take them home to care for them ourselves. We would ask around and, if we heard of anyone who had lost a pair of cats, we could return them to their rightful owners.

“What will Father Moesly and Cardinal Snowfield say?” both Skippy and I jinxed together.

Dear Diary

Earlier today, neither Skippy nor I could summon enough courage to tell Father Moesly and Cardinal Snowfield that we had found a pair of abandoned cats in the castle ruins, the night before. We just played in the shelter of the gravestones during the afternoon and rolled a ball for our cats to chase.

They both looked so happy and content in their new home and they were certainly getting a great deal of attention from us both. We had scavenged scraps of meat from the kitchen earlier and had both brushed the cats, freeing them from the tangles of briars that had accumulated in their fur. Now we were relaxing in the graveyard, playing games and coaxing our newfound friends.

From inside the church office we could hear Cardinal Snowfield singing, “Onward Christian Soldiers” and so we decided that, perhaps, this would be the best time to ask him if we could keep the two cats, until someone could claim them.

Skippy and I ran into the office only to find Cardinal Snowfield watching a portable television set, looking subdued and crest-fallen. Apparently, Christian Soldiers had just fallen at the first fence and also the Cardinal reported that he had “lost” this week’s church collection.

We decided to break the news about our discovery, as tactfully as possible. Skippy passed Cardinal Snowfield our pocket money allowance for the week and I pointed at the copy of the Racing Times, to the runners in the next race. I spotted a remarkable coincidence that both The Vampire King and his mare, The Vampire Queen, were running in two consecutive races that afternoon at Kempton Park. I suggested that Cardinal Snowfield should place an accumulator; he didn’t need asking twice. As quickly as a young gelding bolting from a clinic, the Cardinal picked up the telephone to ring the bookmaker while Skippy and I continued to watch the proceedings on the portable television, perched on his desk.

Suffice to say that both The Vampire King and The Vampire Queen came in first in their respective races and, when Skippy and I asked whether we could look after the two abandoned kittens, Cardinal Snowfield hugged us both and told us we could have the moon! Anyway, we didn’t really want the Moon, so we settled for a month’s supply of fresh cat food instead and Skippy took some crayons and drew a “Found” poster for display in the church notice board.

To be honest, I am rather hoping that the cats aren’t found because we are both getting rather attached to them.

Dear Diary,

Just a quickie to explain that it’s been a month now and no one has replied to Skippy’s “Found” poster. Both Skippy and I are really glad. We have grown to love our two cats (now named after the two winning racehorses) and we are so glad that no one came forward to claim them. We might even try breeding then when they get older – who knows what delights their offspring might hold!

(You can find out more about Maxwell and Skippy's cats in a free to download eBook called 'Dear Diary' by Maxwell Grantly available from Barnes & Noble, Blio, iBooks, Inktera, Kobo, Lulu and Smashwords. Sadly, the software at Amazon does not allow a zero pricing and so (if you use a Kindle) you may also download his stories – but at a very small charge. Simply type “Maxwell Grantly” into the search bar at any of these eight sites.)
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