Mary Jane and the Cat

Once there was a little girl named Mary Jane. Her birthday was the next day, and so her mother had spent the afternoon making her a cake, and she took special care to make just the kind of cake that Mary Jane loved, especially the frosting. When the cake was done, her mother put the cake under a glass covering on the counter, and made preparations to go out to the store, in order to pick up a few more odds and ends for the party.

As she was leaving, she turned at the door and said to Mary Jane, “Your father is upstairs in his study if you need anything.” And then, remembering how much Mary Jane loved that kind of frosting, she turned back again and said, “Now mind that you don’t touch the cake. We have to save it for tomorrow.”

Now Mary Jane had not planned to sneak very much frosting, and so she was very disappointed. After her mother left, she spent a long time on the couch thinking and pondering. It was her birthday. After all, it could even be said it was her frosting. It wouldn’t exactly be disobedience, not like the disobedience of crossing the street when mother told her not to. And besides, if she took it off the platter, no one could ever find out.

Before she knew it, she was kneeling on the stool next to the counter. She took the glass cover off silently and set it off to her left. As she was reaching out her finger, the cat jumped up on the stool next to her, knocking the glass cover with a clatter. Because she was doing something naughty, Mary Jane was startled, lost her balance, and when she opened her eyes, there on the side of the cake was her hand print.

Of course she was horrified, and ran over to the silverware drawer to get a knife to smooth it all out. But she did not know how to do this, and the more she worked at it, the uglier the side of the cake got. Soon she was completely frustrated, and did the only reasonable thing–she got angry with the cat and scooted it out the screen door. And that is how her mother found her, standing on the back porch, cat between her feet, and a knife in her right hand covered with frosting.

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