Mar­malade the Cat

The Borneo Post - Good English - - Front Page - by Sonja Cheal

MAR­MALADE is a baked bean cat. I bet you’ve never met a baked bean cat be­fore. If you have, it was prob­a­bly Mar­malade, be­cause as far as I know, he’s the only one in the whole wide World.

As you can prob­a­bly guess, a baked bean cat is a very fussy cat. All baked bean cats ever eat is ... baked beans. Baked beans for break­fast, baked beans for lunch, baked beans for sup­per and baked beans for brunch - in fact, I don’t think that Mar­malade the baked bean cat has even tasted any­thing else ex­cept for baked beans - ever! Some­times, when Mar­malade is feel­ing peck­ish and wants a snack, he will sit by the sunny win­dow, read­ing his news­pa­per (The Daily Purr, and yes, cats can read - it’s a com­mon myth that they don’t). And, as well as all this, Mar­malade is prob­a­bly the lazi­est cat in the World too. He’s so lazy that some­times, he won’t even get out of bed!

I have a tale to tell you about Mar­malade. It’s not a very nice one, so if you are at all squea­mish, then you had bet­ter not read any fur­ther.

Ah! You are read­ing on! I take it that this means you are a very brave per­son - don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Mar­malade lives in a very grand house. It’s all very proper in there - purrfect for a baked bean cat. There is baked bean wall­pa­per in ev­ery room in the house which goes very nicely with the car­pet which has a lovely baked bean pat­tern on it.

The lamp in his sit­ting room is the shape of a baked bean, and the table is too. His lovely, com­fort­able, soft and squidgy favourite chair is also the shape of a baked bean ... the big­gest baked bean in the World, in fact. In Mar­malade’s bed­room he has baked beans on his quilt and his bed is the shape of a huge, mas­sive, enor­mous ... baked bean can. No mat­ter where you go in Mar­malade’s house - there are baked beans ev­ery­where.

One morn­ing, at the end of au­tumn, Mar­malade grog­gily got out of bed, yawned the big­gest, loud­est, widest yawn, put on his warm baked beans slip­pers and dragged him­self to­wards the win­dow. He drew back his baked bean cur­tains and smiled con­tent­edly as he saw a light sprin­kling of snow had landed in his gar­den overnight. “Good,” he grum­bled to him­self “at least I won’t have to cut the grass for a while”. Mar­malade mooched down­stairs, still yawn­ing and walked through to the kitchen. Guess what Mar­malade was go­ing to have for break­fast? Yes, baked beans of course!

Mar­malade opened up his cup­board to get him­self some baked beans and ... there were NO baked beans left! “Rats!” Mar­malade mut­tered un­der his breath. “I’ll have to go out in that hor­ri­ble, freez­ing, icy weather and get some more baked beans. Dou­ble rats!”

For­tu­nately for Mar­malade, in his gar­den was a tree. This tree was a very spe­cial tree be­cause on its long, thick, strong branches grew some­thing very spe­cial. Can you guess? Baked beans of course! More beans than you could ever pos­si­bly imag­ine. There were enough baked beans for Mar­malade to feed for a month. When the baked beans got picked, the tree would just grow some more.

So, re­luc­tantly, Mar­malade put on his boots, scarf, hat and a very warm coat. He went out­side and trudged slowly through the snow to his baked bean tree, or to where his baked bean tree nor­mally stood. Mar­malade stood and stared, for in­stead of the lovely big strong baked bean tree, was a hole. No tree and no baked beans. Mar­malade rubbed his eyes to make sure he wasn’t see­ing things, but when he looked again, the tree still wasn’t there.

“Well! Where is my tree? I must have baked beans, and I won’t go to the shops to get them. I want my baked beans and I want them now” he shouted and stomped around the gar­den like a lit­tle hu­man boy.

So, Mar­malade de­cided to go for a walk to see if he could find his tree. He didn’t like walk­ing any­where very much, but if he didn’t have a tree, then he wouldn’t have baked beans, be­cause he was FAR too lazy to go to the shops for his beans, and be­sides, they just didn’t taste the same if they were store bought. Mar­malade was such a snob!

Mar­malade walked down his path, an­gry that his tree had dis­ap­peared like that. He walked to the end of his street where he met Doug­bert. Doug­bert was a friendly al­ley cat.

“Hello, Mar­malade. What’s the mat­ter? You look an­gry.” Doug­bert asked.

“My baked bean tree is miss­ing. Have you seen it?” Mar­malade grunted in re­ply.

“No, Mar­malade, I haven’t. Why has it gone? Have you been wa­ter­ing it prop­erly?” Doug­bert replied.

“I never wa­ter my tree. That’s far too much work.” Mar­malade said, and with that he gave a ‘humph’ and walked off, with his head high in the air, swish­ing his tail around like he didn’t have a care in the world.

As Mar­malade walked around the cor­ner, he came to the gro­cery shop. Now, they sold baked beans in there, but Mar­malade never bought them from here - his own beans from his spe­cial tree were far bet­ter. Roger, the Tom­cat was work­ing in the shop.

“Hello, Mar­malade! Why do you look so sad?” Roger asked.

“My baked bean tree has gone miss­ing and I don’t know why. Have you seen it any­where?” Mar­malade de­manded.

“Well, no, I haven’t. Have you been look­ing af­ter it prop­erly, by weed­ing it reg­u­larly?”

“Why should I bother weed­ing around my tree? I’m too busy. That’s far too much work.” Mar­malade said an­grily and with that he gave a ‘humph’ and walked off, with his head high in the air, swish­ing his tail around like he didn’t have a care in the world.

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