When I caught her in the big room, I held her close to my face with both hands and I smelled her stinky breath and looked into her bad eye. That eye was hurt by a cat a long time ago and it was scary to look into. Her good eye was fine and was as stupid as always. But, I did not like what I saw in her bad eye. The tall lamp in the corner shined into it and I saw wild reflections of wild men and cave people deep inside that bad cat-hurt eye. Not cartoon cavemen, like in the funny pages, but mean men with wild hair and teeth. They danced around a tall pole—a tree without limbs. They waved sticks with fire around, up and down, back and forth. How did you know cavemen, Snowball? You don’t even know what a cave is, Snowball. You have never wandered past this big room out into the street. Even the cat that hurt you was brought into this big room. It hurt you in your own house. How stupid is that? You were not so tough around that cat, were you, Snowball?

I hate to say this, but the cavemen inside Snowball’s bad eye scared me. I dropped Snowball when I saw them dancing around with their sticks of fire and Aunt Sue smacked me hard. Right on my face. Aunt Sue did not understand that Snowball made me drop her because of the cavemen in her bad eye. My glasses came off and Snowball laughed with her tongue out. “Ha ha ha,” she said as I crawled across the carpet to find my glasses. My poor glasses. Next time I will try to catch her when Aunt Sue is gone and I will take of Snowball and that caveman for good, I thought.

Today when the doorbell rang along with the tea whistle from the kitchen, I thought, isn’t that good how the doorbell and tea whistle know the same note? E-E-E-E-E-E-E-O! The heating radiator was hissing in the corner. It’s like a band in here, I thought. The afternoon sun was shining through the tall windows of the big room and made the glass thingys hanging down from the lamp on the table sparkle like jewels. There were so many pretty colors. There were some colors that I have never seen before. So pretty! Some of the colors didn’t even have names. I named them names like redurple and bluereen. There was also long white boxes of light on the carpet like a puzzle. The sun was sneaking into the big room and laying lazy on the carpet like Snowball. I love the big room when things are like this. I hate to have to share it with whoever’s at the door, I thought. E-E-E-E-E-E-E-O!

“KeeKee! Some-one’s at the door, KeeKee,” Aunt Sue yelled. It’s always KeeKee something. Wash your face, KeeKee. Drink your soup, KeeKee. Pick that up, KeeKee. Where’s Snowball, KeeKee? Kee-Kee-Kee-Kee-Kee-Kee...

“KeeKee! Where’s Snowball?” Oh. Aunt Sue really was asking where’s Snowball.

I should have told Aunt Sue to go ask the caveman. Ooga-booga. I’m sure the caveman can find that stupid Snowball. Maybe Snowball is flying on the roof. Did you ever think of that, Aunt Sue? Whoosh! Maybe you need a roof net for Snowball and her caveman. But I did not say that. I am not stupid. I did not want Aunt Sue to grab my face cheeks with her sharp hand and nails and look into my eye like I looked into Snowball’s bad eye. So I said, “Yes ma’am. Right away. Thank you!” Then I went off to find Snowball. Oh, you bad Snowball. Where are you? I looked upstairs in the room where Snowball sleeps. No Snowball. I looked in my room. I looked in Aunt Sue’s room. Then, I went bathroom-to-bathroom and closet-to-closet. I know what you are thinking; how could Snowball turn the handle to get into the closet? I do not know. I just know that I have found her in just about every closet at least one time or maybe two times. But now, she was not in the rooms or closets. Bad Snowball!

Then, I heard voices downstairs. A man was laughing. Aunt Sue was laughing. “Do you want tea?” she asked in her special visitor voice that is not her real voice.

“Oh yes,” said the man, “That would be splendid!” Who talks like that?

“KeeKee!” said Aunt Sue loudly from downstairs, “Please bring us some tea!”

“Yes ma’am. Thank you ma’am,” I said when I came down the back steps. The water pot was off the stove, but it was still hot enough to hurt when it splashed out of the cups and on my hand as I poured. “Ow!” Aunt Sue had put tea bags into two cups. Hot water bounces off of dry tea bags. When I brought the cups filled with tea in the big room, the man stood up.

“This is Keenah,” Aunt Sue said sweetly, still talking in her visitor voice. She did not stand up. Snowball was in her lap. Snowball was laughing at me.

“Ha ha ha,” Snowball said with her tongue hanging out. Bad Snowball.

“Well, hello, Keenah,” the man said, “I’m very happy to meet you.” He looked nice. You could see the top of his head through his hair. He had a tie on. He held a brown hat in his hands. The hat had a band around it and a small feather stuck in the band. Hey mister, what bird gave you his feather to stick in your hat? I bet he needed it more than your silly hat needs it. I hope he can still fly without his pretty feather for your silly hat. The man’s tie was bright red with white diamonds on it. Ha. The diamonds were not real. They were just printed on the red tie. I’m sure the man knew this. He did not look stupid, but that bad Snowball was laughing at one of us. Maybe she was laughing at the feather in the silly hat.

I’ll bet Snowball would not have laughed if I poured the two teas on her head. “Oh, I’m so sorry, Snowball,” I would say, “I did not mean to pour tea on your snowball head. Oh, your poor curls are hanging down like brown noodles now, aren’t they?” But I did not pour the tea on Snowball, so I never got to say the part about the brown noodles. I don’t know what Aunt Sue or the man would have done to me, but I do know that it would be something I did not want to happen. Still, it would sure fix that stupid Snowball. Bad Snowball.

“KeeKee, this is Mr. Miller,” Aunt Sue said as she took away the tea from me. Maybe Aunt Sue knew what I was thinking, because she was sure in a hurry to get the teas away from me. “Say something nice to Mr. Miller. We’re all going to be great friends!”

Oh yeah, that’s going to happen, I thought.

“Say there, Keenah,” Mr. Miller said, “Miss Sue has told me quite a bit about you.”

“Thank you,” I said.

“So, what do you like to do, Keenah?” Mr. Miller asked. “Do you like to go to the picture show?”

I wasn’t really sure what the right answer was and Aunt Sue just sat across from him smiling with Snowball on her lap. “KeeKee likes to help me take care of Snowball. Right, Snowball?” Snowball just laughed with her stupid tongue hanging out. Was she laughing at me or Aunt Sue? Aunt Sue, Snowball is laughing at you! Or maybe Mr. Miller. Who knows. Stupid Snowball. Bad Snowball.

“Say Keenah, we were all thinking about taking a little fun trip,” Mr. Miller said. “How does that sound?” He was smiling, but he was wiping his face with a white handkerchief. If I squinted from where I sat across the room, his tie looked like a big red tongue hanging out of his face. Just like Snowball. Only his tongue had little diamonds on it, like sharp little white tongue blisters. Bad Snowball! Poor Mr. Miller caught a bad tongue disease from you, you bad bad girl! What’s next, you bad girl? Will you make his hair turn white and curl around his ears like your fur? Oh, I wish I poured the tea on you to turn your pretty white curls into ugly brown noodles, you stupid Snowball.

“Well, how about it, Keenah?” Aunt Sue was saying. I guess they had been talking to me while I was looking at Mr. Miller’s tongue-tie. “Wouldn’t it be fun to ride in a taxicab? Keenah? Keenah?”

“Thank-you,” I said.

“Thank-you, what?” Aunt Sue asked, this time not in her visitor voice. I knew she was starting to lose her happy voice.

“Thank-you, ma’am,” I said. I have a visitor voice, too.

“No, KeeKee. I meant, wouldn’t it be fun to ride in Mr. Miller’s taxicab?” Aunt Sue said, pretending being nice. What a pretender.

“Thank-you, ma’am,” I said.

“Very well,” Aunt Sue said, “Go upstairs and get some things together in case we want to spend the night.”

“Mr. Miller’s taxicab has a bed in it?” I asked.

Mr. Miller turned red like his tie, but Aunt Sue just started getting mad. “KeeKee. Get your toothbrush and your pajamas and some extra clothes. Go on, now.”

“Thank-you,” I said.

I climbed the back stairs and made my way up to my room and started putting things together. Toothbrush. Pajamas. Mr. Wiggles, my furry bear. Underwear. Pants. Shirts. I knew this was going to be really good or really bad, but I didn’t know which. Isn’t that funny how things go? Something made a noise behind me, and a saw a white blur out of the corner of my eye. “Come here, Snowball,” I said as sweet as I could. She was behind my desk. I got down on the floor and crawled slowly across my floor, pretending to be playing with Mr. Wiggles. I think Snowball knew what I was up to, but I moved so slow and was talking to Mr. Wiggles, so I think she lost interest. Stupid Snowball. When I got close enough I grabbed her before she knew what hit her. Didn’t know I was that fast, did you, Snowball. She squirmed and looked around for Aunt Sue, but Aunt Sue was downstairs with the man talking in her visitor voice. Oh, you bad Snowball. Aunt Sue can not hear you! Ha! You are not laughing now, are you, Snowball!

I leaned up against my bedroom window and held Snowball in front of me with both hands. The big sun was low down behind the city outside, but I knew it was still cold, because I could see the white smoke from the chimneys curling up into the air like Snowball’s fur. I held Snowball tight so she could not get away and turned her head so the sun would shine in her eye...her bad eye. Now, who’s laughing, I thought. But then, something moved from deep inside Snowball’s bad eye. I held her close and smelled her stinky breath. And there were those wild cavemen. Just as I thought. This time I looked closer. The tall pole was there, but so was Aunt Sue and Mr. Miller. Aunt Sue was beautiful. She was wearing a sparkly gown like you see in the picture magazines. Mr. Miller was in a uniform. A policeman? An army man? I do not know. It was a blue uniform and he had a fancy hat. It did not have a feather.

There were many cavemen. They were all wild with ugly hair and sharp teeth. They all had sticks with fire burning and they were dancing around the tall pole. They were wrapping Aunt Sue and Mr. Miller with thick vines and tying them to the tall pole. Aunt Sue and Mr. Miller were scared. I was scared, but they did not seem to notice me. Maybe I was invisible. “KeeKee!” Aunt Sue screamed. “KeeKee! KeeKee, where are you?!”

Mr. Miller screamed, too. “Keenah! Keenah! KeeKee!” It is sad to be scared when you are all dressed up in a sparkly gown and a uniform. You should be happy and brave. But what was I supposed to do? I do not know how to handle cavemen! Aunt Sue and Mr. Miller were saying something else, but I could not hear what they were saying because the cavemen were shouting. I think the cavemen were singing. I did not know that song, though. I do not speak caveman.

Then I saw a blur of white. Snowball! How did you get inside your bad eye? The cavemen were petting Snowball. The cavemen liked Snowball! Well, don’t that beat all! They put a flower hat on Snowball’s head. The flower hat had a feather in it. There was Mr. Miller’s hat feather! Why don’t you ask the cavemen to give you Mr. Miller’s tie, too? Snowball laughed and laughed with her tongue hanging out. “Ha ha ha,” she laughed. Oh, Snowball, I do not like you! Bad Snowball!

“KeeKee! Where are you?!” Aunt Sue screamed, but I could not hear her. I only saw her mouth move and knew that’s what she was saying. All I could hear was the cavemen singing as their sticks with the fire came together in one big yellow-white glow. The glow got brighter and brighter, so bright I had to cover my eyes. Even with my hand over my eyes, the brightness spilled in around my fingers, so I did not even know which way to look, so I just dropped to the ground. I could feel something soft beside me and I heard the “Ha ha ha” and smelled the stinky breath and knew exactly who it was. You may have these cavemen fooled, but you...do...not...fool...me.


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