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(Two Little Kittens)

By Elizabeth Luffer

Once upon a time, there were two little kittens named Zip and Zap, who lived in a quiet village by the sea. Zip and Zap were friends. Zip and Zap were sailors.

Zip had a sailboat named NICE. Zap had a sailboat named KNOTTY. Zip was a nice kitten and Zap was a naughty kitten. Everyone liked Zip, but no one like Zap. Zip was her only friend.

Zip played with all the children, squirrels, and birds. Zip loved people and animals. Next to Zap, his best friend was the Eagle.

Zap teased the children, chased the squirrels, hunted the birds, ducks, and geese, and threw rocks at the Eagle and the Turtle.

One day the teacher told the class that on Friday, they were going to take a field trip. Everyone would sail their boats to the island for a picnic. In the afternoon, there would be a sailboat race. The winner would receive a trophy. The trophy stood tall and beautiful

Zip and Zap wanted that trophy very much. They cleaned their sailboats. They practiced sailing every afternoon after school.

Zip listened carefully to his teacher and parents. He paid attention when his parents took him sailing on the big sailboat, but Zap always took her dolls, books, and games. She did not listen to the teacher or her parents. She did not learn the special language of sailing.

Zip knew that the bow is the front of the boat. The stern is the back of the boat. He knew that when he faced toward the front of the boat that the left side is named port and has a red light. The right side of the boat is called starboard and has a green light.

A sailboat has a mast. The sails are raised by a rope named halyard and are moved from side to side with a rope named sheet.

Zip listened to his father, the captain of the big sailboat. Zap did not listen to her father or mother.

All week, Zip and Zap sat by the seashore and watched the big boats.

The day of the big race arrived. Because it was a holiday, everyone in the village by the seas gathered to watch the race.

Zip put on his life jacket and prepared his boat for the race.

Zap said, “I don’t need a life jacket. I can swim.” This is the first rule that Zap did not follow. Always wear a life jacket when swimming or boating in a lake, sea, or ocean.

The warm sun and gentle breeze made a perfect day for sailing.

The race began. The crowd cheered. The wind blew. Nice and Knotty glided across the waves, tacking back and forth toward the mark. The birds sang. The Eagle soared above. The Dolphins leaped with joy. The Turtle swam slowly along.

Suddenly, a puff of wind hit the sails. Zip was prepared. Zap was not. Zap and her boat, Knotty, tipped over. Zap was in the water without a life jacket. Zap called for help.

Zip was leading the race. If he turned to help Zap, he would surely lose the race. What to do? Zap was his friend. He must help her.

He shouted orders to Zap, “Loosen the sheet. Drop the halyard. Stand on the center board."

But Zap had not learned the sailing language and did not understand what to do. It was too dangerous for Zip to leave his boat. He could not rescue his friend.

The Turtle appeared. “Quickly, Zap, climb on my back.” From out of the blue sky, the Eagle came. He released the sheet, pulled the boat upright, plucked Zap from the back of the Turtle, and placed her in her boat, Knotty. The ducks sat with her to keep her warm, while the goose towed Knotty, the boat, back to shore.

The crowd cheered that all was well. Zip and Zap had lost the race, but they had returned safely with the help of Zip’s friends. Zap cried, “How can I ever thank you Eagle, Turtle, Ducks, and Goose?”

The Eagle in all his majesty told Zap, “By remembering it to obey your teacher, mother, and father and it is very important to have friends. Always be nice to others.” The Turtle agreed and added, "Zap, making friends is like sailing. It takes work, but it is fun.”

If you would like more stories, Contact Elizabeth

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