A Children's Tale for Grown-ups
- by Carla
Suddenly there was a rattling noise from the general area of the door. Millicent crossed the long hall
to the front door. She looked out the oval window and there was no one there. She turned and scanned the front
hall. She looked at the portraits on the stairs. None were askew. On the side table she saw small smudges on the
side table. That Tilly just didn't do a good job anymore--No matter--there were more important things afoot.
All of the sudden she saw a flurry of black at the parlor door. Then she heard a crash. As she entered
the front room, she turned on the chandelier. As it illuminated the room she scanned the furnishings. At
first all seemed unchanged, then she noticed that the fireplace tools had been knocked to the floor. She made a more
thorough inspection of the fireplace. Cowering down all hunched in the back were a pair of very large yellow eyes. Millicent
screamed. It scurried into a corner. She could no longer see it.
She thought about what could she do. She could wait for the gardener to check it out. But he wouldn't
be here until 9 am.
She could call Mr. Murphy next door but he was probably in bed at this hour. She could call
Reverend Whipple but he was probably saying his prayers. She could call around the officers but this was so insignificant.
Millie then climbed the stairs to the second floor and when she entered her room she locked the door.
The next morning when she went down for breakfast she saw that flurry of black at the foot of the stairs.
She saw it dash into the parlor. Things were moved this time. The flowers were knocked over and the water was
dripped on the oriental rug. The pillows were all askew on the settee. The lamps were knocked down. Her
yarn basket was tipped over and there was yarn wrapped around everything. Half of the scarf she was making was unravelled
and tied to grandmother's antique slipper chair. Once again the fireplace tools were knocked over.
Millie wondered "Did I not pick those up last night?" Once again she briefly saw the big yellow eyes in the back
of the fireplace and once again it hid itself--covering the eyes.
Thankfully Tilly would be here soon to help straighten the parlor. And do the dusting if she had
any sense. Millie headed for a cup of tea to calm her nerves and thought about Mr. Magillacuty's arrival to clean the
tulip beds. He would know what to do.
She then heard something crash in the dining room. As she entered she saw the silver service scattered
out of her left eye and out of her right eye she saw the scurry of black.
She picked up the service and rearranged the silver tea service on the dusty brick front. At that time
she heard "Mrs., Mrs. how ye this jolly morning? Ye'll be wantin' ags and sausage. How about some tea and tost til then."
"Tilly, there is something in the house. Something mean and scary. It has torn up the parlor.
You're needed there right away. And why are you not doing your dusting?" Tilly replied--"Why Mrs..? I always do
my dusting on Thursday and it is only Tuesday..."
Tilly enters the parlor and "Land of Goshen--what creature er be here?" She straightens the clutter.
Wipes the water from the flower vase with her heavy apron and as she finishes Millie says: "Look in the fire place. It is
there. It is there..." Tilly says:" Mrs.,beg your pardon--there is nothing there. Beg pardon I see not a thing
Millie sighs and heads back to her tea and Tilly makes her toast and prepares the rest of her breakfast as
there is a knock on the kitchen door. It is Mr. Magillacitty come to clean the tulip beds. Millie said "First
would you check the fireplace. There is a frightening creature there. Tilly rolls her eyes, Obediently Mr. M heads to
the parlor. He carefully inspects the fireplace--nothing there. He carefully looks around the room. Nothing
He then returns to the kitchen and tells the news to Millie who is not real happy with it . She says
"No matter." and sends him off to his gardening,
She heads upstairs to dress and once again there is the black furry which flies up the stairs ahead of her.
She screams, arousing Tilly who comes to investigate. Millie once again speaks of the black scurry. Tilly climbs the
stairs and investigates the room of every open door and comes down to announce the second floor free of black scurries.
Millie says "Hmff--there is something there!" And heads up stairs to changes her housecoat to a lavender knit pant-suit which
yes was out-of-style but was still perfectly good. As she put on her knee highs , and black loafers she again saw
the black scurry. She screamed " It's here! It's here!" As she ran out into the upstairs hall, Tilly dropped her feather
duster and ran up stairs. "Where tis cratcher Mrs. where tis it?"
"Right there under the dressing table, I saw it I did!" Tilly lifted the chintz skirt and declared it
free of cratchers and giggled as she headed back down stairs to do her dusting.
Millie headed down to read her paper and the black scurry snook out behind her and slipped under the big armoire
in the hall. She swore she heard a hiss as she walked down the stairs. As she walked down the stairs and
headed for her paper a little black furry crept along behind her. As she walked from the front hall a little black scurry
trotted along the shiny wood floor behind her. As she opened the den door she felt something soft scurry past her ankle
over her foot. She shivered but told none of her disrespectful staff and headed for her favorite chair. Tilly
had started a fire and she thought "Good know black creature can scurry there." She headed for her favorite chair turned
on the lamp and picked up the morning paper and sat down with a humff. She picked up the tea that Tilly had prepared
and started to take a sip as she noticed black fur floating in the cup and on it's saucer. She slammed the teacup and
saucer back on the tray and said --"this is evidence! Tilly--Tilly get Mr, M. It is here! It is here I can prove it!"
At that moment Tilly slid into the door and said " What Mrs. what?" Millie again stated "It was here there it is proof--there
is fur in my cup!!" The cup sit on the tray and there was dribbled tea everywhere but the cup was empty of even black
fur and the fur on the saucer appeared to be scattered around the tray in the tea that appeared like tiny foot prints.
Millie yelled "Get Mr. M now!" Tilly rolled her eyes and headed to the back hall and out the back door and hollered out the
door for Mr. M.
Meanwhile Millie is creeping around looking under every knick-knack, behind every painting and under the table
cloth on her side table which held her tea set. Something black scurried out the back and Millie eeked as Mr M
and Tilly entered the den. "It went back there--back there!" Mr M was on his knees now crawling around and looking under
the sofa slipcover and behind the secretary and under the credenza and big dark cabinet that housed the books He looked behind
and under. At the same time Tilly was searching in the teapot, under Millie's big over-stuffed chintz chair, and
under the lamp-shade.
Mr. M declared the house clear of critters or cratchers or creatures and retired himself back to his tulip
bed. Tilly muttered and headed back to the front hall to do her dusting. Millie sighed and took a seat and opened her newspaper
shook it and tried to read she suddenly felt something scratching her leg as it moved up. Tiny little thorny punctures--in
her good lavender paint suit--"Oh my goodness!" and it scurried back down. Millie dropped her paper and just then something
black scurried behind the book cabinet. 'I knew--I knew it was here!" and as she squeals she crosses the floor to the
cabinet and looks hesitantly behind it. Along the back wall creeps what looks like something black and furry.
Millie screams "It's here, it's here!" and Tilly comes running "What is it Mrs?" "It is there! right behind the book
cabinet!" Tilly and cautiously looks behind it. "There is nothing there Mrs." "Well there was!" Millie retorted
and said " Of course it wouldn't be there if you were looking." in a matter-of-fact way. She makes a
personal inspection herself of every nook and cranny and Tilly just stands there and shakes her head. Tilly shuffles
back out through the hall and Millie stomps back to her chair where her paper is a crumpled mess in her chair which
appears to be moving. She lifts her paper saying "Who is that destroying my paper?" as a black streak dashes off
the chair and starts for the fireplace screen apparently feels the heat and skates across the wood floor behind the credenza.
Millie runs across the floor and peeks behind the credenza. It was there and she sees it. She bangs on the glass to
the window and Mr. M. is weeding below it. At the noise he raises his head. Millie screeches "It is
here behind the credenza!" at that it dashed from behind the credenza across the room and behind the big sofa.
As Mr. M. enters the room Millie says "Well look behind the book cabinet man! You will see it!" He obediently
looks and then with a quizzical face he "What is there Mrs. is a small dust bunny." He then shakes his head and heads
back to the tulip bed." Muttering Millie heads back to the chair with chintz pink roses.
As she seats herself she decides she will call the officers. Someone has to find this creature. She
reaches to pickup her phone when something black slithers across the floor. This time it goes under the skirt of her
side table. She cautiously picks up the skirt and peeps under. First she sees the big yellow eyes looking at her imploringly,
then the tiny fluffy body, then the fluffy little tail which raises and stand straight up behind the little round body and
then it makes a soft little "Mew!" Millie says "Well are you the tiny little thing that has been scaring the daylights
out of me..." she sighs "Poor little thing, you aren't all that bad." Millie had never had a pet in all her
80 years. Her parents would never allow her and then as an adult she had a busy teaching career and looking after her
husband Homer. No time for extras. As she thought, the kitten crept along the floor under her side table, snook
out and slowly climbed the arm of the chair. Millie suddenly felt its presence and looked toward the table and there
it sat bathing on the arm of her chair. It turned to look at her with a smug look on its face and seemed to be purring. Millie
gently picked it up and lifted it to her face and felt it"s soft warm fur. She picked it up and looked into its cute
face and it went "Mew?" She carefully inspected it and found it had a tiny white spot on it's breast. It was perfect
and weighed no more than an ounce. Just fluff really. As it settled on her lap and made a few rounds to curl up and purr Millie
was heard to say "I think I'll call Flurry." As she leaned her head back on her chair shut her eyes to take a nap as her
kitten was doing presently.