by Michal Reiben
I live with my grandparents in a poor area of London. My grandmother refuses to let me play with the children in the streets for she claims, “They are too rough.”
In order to prevent me from becoming lonely, she brings home a tabby cat from the cat shelter. We name her ‘Mushy.’ In the evenings while I’m watching television she rubs against me and purrs. At night she cuddles up at the end of my bed. One day I arrive home from school to discover that Mushy has disappeared.
“Granny where’s Mushy?”
“Sweetheart, I’m so sorry to have to tell you, but she was very old and she died.”
“Where did you put her?”
“In the dustbin!” says my grandfather bluntly.
I race out of the house and over to where the dustbin stands, but when I open the dustbin lid I don’t see Mushy inside. I think to myself, ‘Probably the dustmen took her away this morning?’
All afternoon I mope around feeling ‘down in the dumps’. Come evening when we are in the living room I finally pluck up the courage and ask my grandfather, “Grandad, you’re very old aren’t you?”
“Yes, I’m quite old.”
“When you die will you also be put into the dustbin?”
His eyes widen and his mouth falls open in shock, “Of course not!”
Granny who is listening in on our conversation bursts out laughing, pearl-shaped tears spring out of her eyes and trickle down her cheeks. When her laughter has subsided, she says, “Darling, don’t worry, granddad and I will live for many more years to come, and we will be here to look after you until you’re all grown up.”
I feel greatly relieved!