“A Shadow on the Enchanted Forest” by Neeshal Gupta
While I stared outside, I felt a large hand gently pet my back. It was the adult female human. She looked out and said something quietly to me. Did she want to go outside too? The human spoke louder to the kid and the other adult, then picked me up and took me outside. Ugh, I wanted to go by myself! But the human kept holding me tightly. The child was listening to me, why not the adult?
Finally, after what seemed like hours, she put me down near the corner of the fence and allowed me to explore what the outside world was like. The backyard was filled with pale green grass and pine needles, and smelled like nothing I was familiar with. After a little more exploring, I realized that this was the scent of the earth; the ground, the grass, the dirt.
I stayed alongside the fence, and suddenly, I spotted a hole in the bottom of the fence that had rotted away! I looked back to make sure the human wasn’t watching me. She was just watering the plants, so I got down and peered out the yard. Hmm . . . maybe I could fit through . . . the hole . . .
I did it! I was standing on the other side of the fence! Wow, the world was so much bigger than I’d imagined. Everything was wet with rainwater, but that didn’t matter when I felt much more free out here than in my house.
Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of fur. What was that? I ran to the edge of the fence, and I saw a large gray cat with darker stripes, about half a tree’s length away from me. I didn’t want to be scared this time, like I was in my dream. Without hesitating, I leaped forward and pinned the cat to the ground.