Sheila Helliwell's stories for children - Children's Stories Net

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Izzy The Cat
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Children's Story: Izzy The Cat by Sheila Helliwell
Everyone had a best friend... except Colin.
Once he had been a normal, happy young boy who spent most of his time with his best friend Tim.
They sat together at school and played together at weekends.
When Tim and his family moved away Colin was left to play on his own most of the time. Everyone already had a best friend and they didn't want to include him in their games.
The other children teased him and then they began to push him around, until one day he pushed back and realised that the meaner he was, the more they left him alone.
Before long, Colin had become the school bully and even picked on the younger children.
One day Colin was kicking a football around in his back garden when it crashed into a thick bush. A high pitched yelp came from the bush, followed by a gruff voice saying,
"Hey, watch where you're kicking your ball."
Out of the bush strolled the strangest cat Colin had ever seen. It had a white face and a black patch around each eye. The fur of its body was a bright orange.
Colin looked back at the bush expecting to see the owner of the voice emerge.
"What's the matter, cat got your tongue?" the cat asked and then laughed like a cackling witch.
"You spoke," Colin said in amazement. "Cats can't talk."
The cat arched its back and spat at Colin.
"Then you must be going mad," it said, and jumped back into the bush.
Colin blinked hard, not believing what he had just seen and heard.
"Hey cat, come back!" he shouted, but there was no sight of the cat anywhere in the garden.
At dinner that night he told his parents about the talking cat, but he could see by the looks on their faces that they didn't believe him.
Every day after school Colin kicked his football around the garden hoping that the cat would return.
Several weeks later, after a really bad day at school and a stern telling off from the head teacher about bullying, Colin kicked his football not into the bush but high into the air in temper.
Children's Story: Izzy The Cat by Sheila Helliwell
Before the ball hit the ground, the cat ran out of the bush and headed the ball straight at Colin. The ball caught him on the side of the head, and he yelped very much like the cat had the first time he saw him.
"Got a bit of a temper have we?" the cat asked with a smirk.
"That hurt," Colin replied rubbing his head.
"Umm, I think that was the whole point," the cat said in a menacing voice. "A bit like the boy you hurt at school today, eh?"
Colin's face turned red with shame.
"I didn't mean to hurt him," he mumbled.
He suddenly realised that he was not only talking to the cat but the cat was replying, so he wasn't going mad after all.
"What's your name?" he asked the cat. "Mine is..."
But before he could say it, the cat said it for him, "Colin, I know. My friends call me Izzy, but you can't."
"Why? What shall I call you?"
"Whatever you want," Izzy said, "because I shan't reply."
The cat sat on the grass and started to wash and preen himself.
No matter what Colin asked, he refused to speak to him anymore.
"Please talk to me," Colin said with a catch in his voice. "I don't have any friends."
"I'm not surprised," the cat answered in a stern voice. "You can't bully people into becoming your friends."
"But they started it, they picked on me first," he said sulkily.
"All you had to do was wait and you would soon have found a new friend, but now no one wants to be friends with a bully, not even me," Izzy said in disgust and leapt back into the bush.
Colin stood all alone in the garden and realised that the cat was right. That night he went to bed early and cried himself to sleep.
Each day at school he kept out of the other children's way and ignored them when they called him names. Two weeks went by and he was even more lonely and unhappy. He stopped playing football and just sat at his bedroom window staring out at the garden.
Suddenly, Colin opened his eyes in surprise and then burst out laughing. Down in the garden, Izzy the cat was standing on his hind legs balancing the football on his head. He flipped the ball high into the air, did a back somersault, and cleverly caught the ball before it hit the ground.
Colin ran out into the garden hoping that the cat would play with him.
"Err, do you fancy playing ball, cat?" he asked.
"My name is not CAT," he said haughtily. "You may call me Izzy."
He realised that Izzy was letting him be friends with him because he had stopped bullying the other children at school.
Colin and Izzy played football most days, but he always leapt back into the bush whenever anyone else came into the garden. Sometimes they just sat on the grass and talked and Izzy even let Colin stroke him and scratch behind his ears.
Very slowly and without realising it, Colin stopped walking around with a scowl on his face and even smiled at his parents and teachers.
No one knew what made Colin change, but they all liked him much better like this.
One day, he was sitting on a bench in the school playground chuckling to himself as he thought about Izzy's latest trick.
Izzy had climbed up on to the windowsill of his bedroom early one morning and tapped at the window until he woke him up. He then stood on his hind legs and danced backwards and forwards swishing his tail and showing his teeth as if smiling. Colin had laid in bed laughing until tears ran down his cheeks.
A boy around the same age as Colin sat down next to him and asked what was so funny. He tried to explain about Izzy, but he could see the boy didn't believe him. Not long ago this would have made him cross, but now he really didn't care because he knew it was true.
The boy was new to the school and like Colin, didn't have a close or best friend.
In the coming weeks, Colin and his new friend Robbie, became very good friends, and Izzy's visits became fewer and fewer.
It wasn't until much later that Colin realised Izzy didn't visit anymore. Had Izzy come into his life just because he had needed a friend so very much, or was it to teach him that bullies don't have friends?
Whatever it was, Colin had learnt his lesson. Not only didn't he bully other children anymore, but he actually defended them if he saw them being bullied.
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