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0105_001E The Golden Road Lucy Maud Montgomery

We Lose A Friend

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"Oh, no-o-o, oh, no-o-o," wailed Sara Ray lugubriously.

Felix shot a disgusted glance at her.

"I don't see what YOU are making such a fuss about," he said unfeelingly. "He wasn't your cat."

"But I l-l-oved him," sobbed Sara, "and I always feel bad when my friends d-do."

"I wish we could believe that cats went to heaven, like people," sighed Cecily. "Do you really think it isn't possible?"

Uncle Blair shook his head.

"I'm afraid not. I'd like to think cats have a chance for heaven, but I can't. There's nothing heavenly about cats, delightful creatures though they are."

"Blair, I'm really surprised to hear the things you say to the children," said Aunt Janet severely.

"Surely you wouldn't prefer me to tell them that cats DO go to heaven," protested Uncle Blair.

"I think it's wicked to carry on about an animal as those children do," answered Aunt Janet decidedly, "and you shouldn't encourage them. Here now, children, stop making a fuss. Bury that cat and get off to your apple picking."

We had to go to our work, but Paddy was not to be buried in any such off-hand fashion as that. It was agreed that we should bury him in the orchard at sunset that evening, and Sara Ray, who had to go home, declared she would be back for it, and implored us to wait for her if she didn't come exactly on time.

"I mayn't be able to get away till after milking," she sniffed, "but I don't want to miss it. Even a cat's funeral is better than none at all."

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"Horrid thing!" said Felicity, barely waiting until Sara was out of earshot.

We worked with heavy hearts that day; the girls cried bitterly most of the time and we boys whistled defiantly. But as evening drew on we began to feel a sneaking interest in the details of the funeral. As Dan said, the thing should be done properly, since Paddy was no common cat. The Story Girl selected the spot for the grave, in a little corner behind the cherry copse, where early violets enskied the grass in spring, and we boys dug the grave, making it "soft and narrow," as the heroine of the old ballad wanted hers made. Sara Ray, who managed to come in time after all, and Felicity stood and watched us, but Cecily and the Story Girl kept far aloof.

"This time last night you never thought you'd be digging Pat's grave to-night," sighed Felicity.

"We little k-know what a day will bring forth," sobbed Sara. "I've heard the minister say that and it is true."

"Of course it's true. It's in the Bible; but I don't think you should repeat it in connection with a cat," said Felicity dubiously.

When all was in readiness the Story Girl brought her pet through the orchard where he had so often frisked and prowled. No useless coffin enclosed his breast but he reposed in a neat cardboard box.

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The Golden Road
Lucy Maud Montgomery

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