Who ever heard of a cat that didn't eat birds?
The house people had picked me out of my litter to be a mouser. Callie was getting too old for the job. So it was mine. But I didn't plan on getting dive-bombed by a mockingbird building her nest...or adopting the baby who fell out. No joke! I'm a cat, but I do not eat birds. Mice, yes. Birds, no. Flea -- that's what I named her -- couldn't even fly. She was so scared when she toppled onto my head that she said, "Eat me...it's quicker than starving to death."
She was pathetic. I had to help her. The first step was protecting Flea -- and me -- from the monster rats in the barn (that's saying a mouthful!) and Bullsnake under the woodpile. Next, Callie and I had to teach Flea to fly. After all, how could she stay up North with us when her bird family was flying to Florida. I'm not a Florida kind of cat. It's just too hot for us furry types. I know I'll miss my Flea. But she'll come back -- after she's seen the world!
Bill Wallace grew up in Oklahoma. Along with riding their horses, he and his friends enjoyed campouts and fishing trips. Toasting marshmallows, telling ghost stories to scare one another, and catching fish was always fun.
One of the most memorable trips took place on the far side of Lake Lawtonka, at the base of Mt. Scott. He and his best friend, Gary, spent the day shooting shad with bow and arrows, cutting bank poles, and getting ready to go when their dads got home from work.
Although there was no "monster" in Lake Lawtonka, one night there was a "sneak attack" by a rather large catfish tail. Checking the bank poles was not nearly as fun or "free" after that point, but it was the inspiration for this story.
Bill Wallace has won nineteen children's state awards and been awarded the Arrell Gibson Lifetime Achievement Award for Children's Literature from the Oklahoma Center for the Book.