Submitted into Contest #41 in response to: Write about an animal who goes on a journey.... view prompt



Lucy was a girl with a ponytail most days, age 7 to be exact. She loved adventures more than anything else in the world. Her parents’ gifts even came in the form of new adventures.

Lucy’s newest adventure would take her family to a place full of sand, but not like you would imagine. Instead of the ocean, there would be old stones to climb, tumbleweeds to chase, and spiky yucca and cactus plants NOT to touch. What a trip this would be!

Travel day came and seemed to last FOREVER! Lucy and her family traveled in a big plane, a little plane, and finally in a little bus that bumped them around, up and down, and almost bounced her out the window!

Finally stopping after what seemed forever, Lucy was thankful to have the ground under her feet. Lucy stretched to the sky, feeling the sun tingling her skin. While her parents unpacked, she began to explore. She ran past the adobe house to a big stone while two lizards scurried out of her way quickly. The stone was hot as a frying pan, as was this new place. It was a place she loved already.

She sat on the smooth stone, closing her eyes, soaking in the sunshine; the warmth filled her whole body. Suddenly, her peace was interrupted by a shrill shriek! The lizards who had decided to sunbathe next to her, ran for cover thinking the noise was a threat and indeed it was for them. Lucy shaded her eyes and saw wide wings spread above her. She stared for a very short moment and curiosity got the best of her. She slid off the hot stone and chased the hawk’s shadow.

Lucy ran. She ran so fast sand stung the back of her ankles. She followed that hawk, moving faster as he did and slowing as he glided. His tail feathers were red like burning fire and his wings had more shades of brown than Lucy had in her crayon box. He was beautiful.

Lucy gradually slowed to a halt. She really needed to catch her breath. The hawk shrieked from the sky, circling and calling to her. She wiped the sweat from her face with her shirt. Her Dad hated when she did that, but then her Dad did it too. Lucy couldn’t even see Dad or Mom now. Lucy turned in her own circle as the hawk circled overhead. How far had he taken her?

Lucy only saw rugged plateaus and cliffs. Then, she spotted the stone she had sat on, although it was very far away now. Her parents had to be there. “Home Stones,” she giggled to herself. She had run a lot farther than she thought. Now knowing if she went further she might lose sight of her stones completely, she hesitated. She felt in her heart and her whole soul that the hawk was taking her somewhere. She surely didn’t want to stop now. But sadly, she turned back toward the Home Stones.

Just as Lucy began trudging along, she heard something. A thump. Carrying on the wind, there was another thump. Thumpty-thump. Lucy’s heart pounded hard and tears came to her eyes. She quickly said, “Mr. Hawk, I’m scared. Mr. Hawk are you here? Do you know what that noise is?” The hawk dipped into view again and soared past her, shrieking “your courage is as broad as my wings,” and flew away. Courage? Lucy pondered and figured Mr. Hawk was right. She wasn’t going to get home just standing here, scared of a silly sound. Lucy started missing her parents now.

So, Lucy walked. The noise thumped. Thumpty-thump. Thumpty-thump. It was getting closer she was sure of it! When Lucy stopped walking, the noise stopped thumping. Lucy was trying super hard to be brave. Sad the hawk had to go on, but happy that her courage was as broad as his wings. She wasn’t really sure what ‘broad’ actually meant, but it still made her feel better inside. She hated being alone.

Each step Lucy took, she heard a thump. Two quick steps, thumpty-thump. Three quick steps, thumpity-thump. After a long while, Lucy began enjoying the beats and started singing the hawk’s words in unison. As she got comfortable with the sounds, she tried messing up the beats. Lucy jumped both feet together suddenly and a loud THUMP hit. She did slow motion and held her next step in midair, and there was silence until her foot touched the ground again. How fun is this? The beats were really loud now, she could feel them in her toes. She began to forget about being alone.  

Beats in her feet, she hummed the hawk’s words and decided to search for the sound. She slowly looked left and she slowly looked right but only saw her shadow. She sighed from relief. But suddenly something moved behind her shadow!

Another shadow towered over her own! A lanky, hunched-back shadow, walking on two wiggly legs with a tail whipping excitedly. Lucy froze. Even in the desert, she froze, and goose bumps raised up on her skin. The shadow’s ears had pointed tips and twitched to the different sounds. The shadow’s tail flicked faster. Its back was hunched like a cat who was just scared by a dog.  Lucy’s mind was so mixed up; she wanted so badly to see the real thing, but her courage was weak.

“Albeit dadgum, Little One. If you see me, you should greet me!” Lucy jumped as the words purred with a quiet beat attached to them; the words rode the waves of the drum. That was it! It was a DRUM beat she had heard. Thumpity-thump. Oh man oh man. She really wanted to see him but scared to turn around. Shaking in her shoes even! She kept staring at the shadow as it moved, paw-like hands smacked the drum like a cat toy, a tap here, a loud smack there.

“I’ll give you a drink for thirst and a shield for sight. We’ll both have a pair to wear!” Out of thin air glittery sunglasses floated over her head and settled on the bridge of her nose. A glass of fruity punch appeared in front of her, just as tall as she stood. It was so large she didn’t even have to bend to reach the straw! Ice cubes bobbled around as she drank, and she tasted a different fruit in every slurp. Her parents always said to say thank you to be polite, but she REALLY wanted to say thank you for all this yummy goodness!

Lucy swirled her ponytail around her finger, finally unable to fight her curiosity any longer. She turned as slow as a ballerina in a music box. She just had to see this beast that had so kindly helped her. Her breath caught in her throat as she faced the catlike creature. He loomed over her, taller than her Dad!! She studied it up and down, thankful her eyes were hidden behind her sunglasses. She struggled to spit out her thank you. “I… I’m thanking you,” she choked out. The thing’s long whiskers twitched.

His fur sparkled so brightly in the sun she wanted to touch it but waited in silence. Realizing his eyes were glowing in a hazy sort of way she was thankful for his sunglasses too. His cheeks grew wider while his teeth showed sharper. His whiskers were wiry and moved all on their own. Lucy dropped her eyes to the ground in fear. He began cackling like a cat when it quietly talks. Then he laughed so proudly and loudly the ground shook and his paws slapped the drum.

“Little One, you have fear, let it go; I surely can help, you know! What do you need, need indeed?” He began to stealthily pace and drum in a quiet cadence around her, studying her as she studied him. His tail flicked; Lucy flinched. The drumming continued; his steps were light. “I think I need to find my parents. The hawk brought me here and I need to get back there.” She fumbled the words out as she pointed her nervous finger toward the Home Stones that were now just small dots.

The cat halted; the beats paused. “Well we should go and let the winds blow.” He nodded his head and his drumming restarted. The cat drummed to his own paw steps, leading the way. As she followed, her steps became intertwined with the drumbeats again. She was happy she wasn’t alone. She was thankful for the cat.

They skipped and drummed for what seemed forever. The sun barely moved in the sky but somehow their shadows were gone. Clouds rolled in and there was a breeze. It felt so good to her at first, though each breeze picked up more sand than the last, swirling and throwing it around. The breeze turned into winds. The winds built up speed. Sand started pelting them. With nowhere to run for cover, Lucy felt tears forming in her eyes. Her whole body felt as if she had hundreds of bee stings! Her ponytail even smacked her neck and face.

She cried out, crossed her arms tightly and ducked her head. The windstorm was so loud the drumbeats seemed like whispers. The cat paid no mind and started skipping in a circle around Lucy. His drumbeats stayed steady and out of his hunched back came a foggy rainbow. As he circled Lucy, the colors in the rainbow fog grew brighter and wrapped around her like a tiny tent. The stinging sands finally stopped hitting her.

Speechless, she could see the cat still skipping through the storm, fur so thick he felt nothing. A glowing river of color blasted out of his humped back. She could see and hear the sands slapping the colorful tent though she was completely protected inside. The cat continued to circle and drum, thumpity-thump.

It seemed a great long while before the sun came back out. As the winds calmed, the layers of the rainbow tent disappeared, one by one. Lucy laid inside the tent, resting and watching as if in a dream. When the last layer dwindled away, the cat stood tall and proud. “Little One, are you ready to go? Shall we get on our way? I know that you know, we really shouldn’t stay.” He drummed a tap-tap to each word, smiling all the while.

The sandstorm had thrown the world around it seemed. Lucy stepped over stones that were not there before. Bushes had lost their leaves and tumbleweeds were everywhere. Lucy thought of her parents just then, wishing she could have shared the rainbow tent with them. She followed the cat as he pranced along with the pads of his feet kicking up the sands on purpose. She wanted to tell her parents about this cat, but… “Wait, what is your name? Are you a cat? Is this a game?”

“A tumbleweed I am, a tumbleweed I’ll be,” the cat replied as he hopped over a roughed up ball of weeds. “Let’s roll quicker, you and me, let us roll faster like a tree,” and with that nonsense, the cat’s hump released a rain of branches and sticks all over them.

Lucy tried to run for cover but realized her legs had become long sticks. She panicked, almost screaming and went to touch them, but her arms had become limbs too! Her eyes went directly to the cat and he himself had become a wiry ball of weeds.

Lucy’s feet were changing right in front of her eyes. Puzzled and confused, the cat-shaped tumbleweed grabbed her stick arm and off they went, just a tumblin’ around on the ground. It seemed as a tumbleweed; you did move faster! The ground sped along under her; once in a while she bounced high off a stone and felt the wind in her ponytail, which was a mess of thin branches now too.

They rolled together, the fastest tumbleweeds ever to be found! All the while there was laughter to be heard. The ‘Home Stones’ became closer and bigger and Lucy’s heart began to race. Will she be human in time for dinner? Does a tumbleweed even eat? Are her parents there looking for her? As her fears started lurking in her mind she surprisingly heard a shriek she recognized. The hawk had returned!

He glided above them as he recognized these two tumbleweeds immediately. “Little One, your friend knows what you need. We both know what you need, indeed!” said the cat and just at that moment powerful winds lifted them high off the ground, spinning them with delight. Lucy was so high she touched a passing cloud. They whirled through the air as only tumbleweeds can do. The hawk joined them in flight, drifting between them, above and below them. Lucy could feel the breeze from his majestic wings.

All the flying had Lucy’s mind in a whirl but hearing the drumbeats brought her back to reality. She felt the cat’s tail wrapped around her, gently lowering her down. Standing on her real feet, she couldn’t see her home stones anymore, only sand dunes and yucca plants. Where oh where could she be now? Now where had the cat taken her? She feared she was far from her parents, maybe farther than before. Lucy’s heart was pounding again. She stomped her foot, raised her voice and pointed her finger, “CAT, where are we? WE’RE NOT WHERE WE SHOULD BE!” She angrily demanded an answer. She glared at the cat’s sad face. Sighing in anger at the cat and now herself, she wondered how she could feel so mad and thankful for this cat, all at the same time.

Instead of speaking, his paws started drumming a sluggish, lingering beat. Drawn out beats that made her heart sink. She felt sad, for she had yelled at the cat. The cat slumped lower than his humped back, even more than before. No words were said, only beats vibrating through. Lucy could hear the Cat’s thoughts through those sad beats. “I’m only here to help you, though you make me blue. Just look past that one last stone, and you shall be right at home.”

Lucy’s eyes widened with joyous tears as her fears were scared away. The cat’s thoughts gave her hope and to her dismay she had been so mean. “The fear made me mean,” she apologized to the Cat as she took off toward the Home Stone. She loved her adventure but wanted her parents so badly. They would never believe that she was a tumbleweed! The cat watched Little One make her way quickly, bravely across the land. She climbed one of the big stones and stood so tall, finally unafraid.

Lucy’s parents were still unpacking when she got to them. They hadn’t even noticed she was gone! She tried to tell them about her adventures, but they shushed her and said, “wait ‘til dinner.” The lizards were back out sunbathing again, so Lucy quietly shared the spot. She watched her parents for a bit, wondering where the Cat was now. The hawk flew so high he was just a dot, and no beats carried on the wind.

Later, Lucy’s family walked to the nearby village for dinner. They went into a shop with trinkets and beads galore! Lucy found a homemade dream catcher to hang over her bed and an old box of postcards. As she rummaged through them, a small book titled “Catkopelli” caught her eye. The corners were worn off and the cover was tattered and torn, but there was the Cat, staring right back at her from the cover. He had the same djembe drum, the same crooked smile with those same sharp teeth. And out of his hump, there was a rainbow.

May 11, 2020 21:58

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Sophia Wayne
22:57 Jun 24, 2020

Very detailed work. You went all the way with your descriptions. It is absolutely wonderful with a few grammar corrections and you're good to go


Show 0 replies
Sadia Faisal
10:46 May 27, 2020

great story, please like my story if you like it and send me feedback and follow me if you would like to


Show 0 replies
Olivia Osen
00:03 May 22, 2020

I absolutely loved all of the descriptions in your story! Make sure to add some commas in a few sentences to join separate ideas. Otherwise, this was a fantastic plot and I can tell you put a lot of effort and thought into this story!


Cho Blu
04:30 May 22, 2020

Thanks so much Olivia! I'm always nervous that I use too many lol


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply
Evelyn ⭐️
21:08 May 20, 2020

Loved this story SO much! It was very detailed and good! Keep up the good work, stay safe! -Evelyn


Cho Blu
04:02 May 21, 2020

Oh Evelyn thank you so much for your feedback and encouragement!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply