Animal Homes Got Talent
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"Go, Molly, go," Binki meowed.
She was watching her favourite show on TV, with her best friend Wanda.
Wanda was a Siamese kitten with blue eyes, Binki was black and white. They lived in a foster home with a dozen other dogs and cats.
"Yay," Binki clapped and jumped to her feet as the judges called out Molly's name.
"Molly is the winner." she chanted and did a little twirl.
"Whatever." Wanda said with a yawn.
"Did you know Molly also won Animal Homes Got Talent two years back?"
"You're not bad yourself," replied Wanda, as she watched Binki twirl round and round on her toes.
"But I can't dance as well as Molly."
"Of course you can."
"I'm not so sure, what if I get stage fright?"
"You'll be fine, you just need a bit of practice, that's all."
"You really think I can?" Binki jumped up and down, "I'll be the first kitten to do ballet on Animal Homes Got Talent; how cool is that?"
An elegant cat entered the room.
"Oh there you are Binks," she said, "watching TV again?"
"Mum, mum, Molly won," Binki shouted.
"That's great, come along now; it's time for lunch." Her mum said as she led the two kittens out of the room.
That afternoon, while all the animals at the home napped, Binki and Wanda crept quietly to the empty garage.
Binki was in a tutu. She did the plié, she did the twirl, and she did the jumps.
She didn't get all of them right the first time so she practiced again and again. She practiced every single afternoon while the rest of the animals dozed.
Now only two days were left for the auditions.
Binki was trying to master a difficult step when she tripped and fell.
The tutu tore right down the middle.
"Oh no," she gasped in horror, "what do I do?"
"Maybe Sarah will be able to mend it." said Wanda.
Sarah was the caretaker and very good with the needle.
"No," sobbed Binki, "it's beyond repair."
"Please don't cry," said Wanda, putting her arms around her friend. She wiped Binki's tears with her hanky. "We'll think of something."
But Binki couldn't stop crying. "I can't do ballet on stage without a tutu."
The next afternoon Binki moped around miserably.
She looked at the garage door and sighed.
Tomorrow were the auditions, and even after practicing hard for so many days, she would still not be able to take part.
'Where was Wanda?' Binki wondered. She had not seen her all day; she should be beside her, consoling her.
After all she was her best friend, instead she had vanished.
Binki's ears pricked up as she heard some whispering behind the garage door.
She listened carefully, yes, somebody was definitely there.
She looked at the closed door again; she could see a light underneath.
'Who could it be?' Binki frowned. Nobody used the garage ever since Sarah had sold the van.
She pushed the door softly and peeped in. As soon as she did that, there was a loud shout; "SURPRISE!"
Binki's jaw fell open as she took in the scene.
All the animals at the home were there, as well as Sarah.
Right in the centre of the garage was a little table. On the table was the most beautiful cake she had ever seen. It had white icing that looked like snow and pink trimming and next to the cake was a gift wrapped in pink.
Everybody started singing Happy Birthday.
Binki grinned. In her misery she had forgotten it was her birthday.
She stood before the cake, closed her eyes and made a wish. Then she took a deep breath and on a count of three, blew out the candles.
Mum put a piece of cake in her mouth and kissed her forehead.
"Happy Birthday my dearest Binks." she said.
Amidst much cheering barking and meowing, Binki opened the gift.
Her eyes grew wide. "Why, this is exactly what I wished for," she said.
The tutu was lovely. It was as soft as Mum's furry cheek, as smooth as milk and the brightest prettiest pink ever. And with it were a pair of dainty little ballet shoes.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you," said Binki hugging the tutu and the shoes.
She put them on and curtsied.
Wanda whistled. Binki squeezed her friend's paws hard.
"This is the bestest birthday ever."
Binki sat with her Mum and Wanda at the back of the stage. She bit her claws nervously. "Let's go back home; I can't do it."
"Relax, you'll be fine, you're a natural," said her Mum. "Just take a deep breath and then breathe out slowly."
"Yes, you're a charmer." added Wanda.
But Binki did not feel like a charmer at all; she felt like throwing up.
She wished she could hide or run away.
They were calling out her name now. Before she realised what was happening, she had been pushed onto the stage.
Now there was no escape.
Binki looked at the sea of animals in front of her, there seemed to be hundreds and hundreds of them.
She gulped, she felt her stomach tighten.
'I have gone blank, I can't remember a single step,' she thought.
Why, she couldn't even remember her name!
Then she heard a chant from the front row.
BIN-KI, BIN-KI, BIN-KI.
She recognised them, they were from her foster home, they were cheering and wagging their tails for her.
Mum and Wanda gave her the thumbs up from the wings.
Binki gave a timid smile.
The music started to play, she took a deep breath and as if by magic she suddenly remembered all the steps.
Each and every dance step she had practiced came back to her.
She danced and danced like she had never danced before.
As she did the final step and bowed the judges began to clap and rose to their feet.
The audience went wild when the judges announced that she had made it to the semi-finals.
Backstage she shivered, laughed and cried, all at the same time.
"My baby, you did it," her Mum said as she squished her, "I'm so proud of you."
Wanda hugged her really tight, "Everybody loved you," she said.
Together, paw in paw, they left the room discussing their next dance routine.
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