Tabatha looked around herself. The classroom was meant to be bright and cheerful, but it took her into an unknown world. More children her age began to fill the room as 8 o'clock drew nearer. She stood next to her desk and watched the others as they gathered together and chattered a little bit. Their voices made a hum of whispers, sounding like wind. The wind took her flying back and she thought of home and her backyard. The journey through the clouds was so exciting! From the sky, she could see so many beautiful things! The wind was rather cold and she shivered a little. When she landed in her backyard, the leaves rustled around in the breeze beneath her feet to clear and opening for her to stand. Her mother would be angry to see her home from school, so she decided to hide in her hidey-hole which she built within a burrowed out opening inside the largest pine tree. The smell of pine seemed sweeter than usual.
"Tabatha?" the voice was her new kindergarten teacher. "Would you like to take off your coat and put it in the closet over there?" Tabatha looked up into the woman's face. She had kind eyes and she showed her perfectly white teeth through her pink lips when she gave Tabatha a compassionate smile.
Tabatha took off her jacket and walked toward the closet. The light had been turned off inside the closet, and Tabatha walked into the cave. As she stepped inside, she could hear the drippings from the damp ceiling as they hit the floor. She saw two white circles with black dots in the center, looking at her. It frightened her, but she didn't want to seem like a chicken by running away, so she whispered, "What do you want?" The eyes didn't answer, but got closer. She noticed a knothole in the wall of the cave and hung her jacket on it. She held her lunchbox tight in her hand. She didn't want whoever this was to eat her lunch. Slowly, the eyes got lower to the ground, and smaller.
"Yeeow." The sound was soft and high. The cat crept into the light for Tabatha to see. "Meeow."
"Oh, hello." Tabatha said, happy and relieved that it was only a friendly cat.
"Hello." Said the cat. "May I ask what you would be doing in my cave?"
"Oh, I didn't realize this was your cave." Tabatha said, as grown-up as she could. "I guess my curiosity got the better of me."
"I must say," said the cat, which seemed quite proper, "have you heard the saying: Curiosity killed the cat? I would rather it said: Curiosity killed the little girl." The cat smiled slyly and motioned for her to come into the cave farther. As Tabatha came closer, she could see a little fireplace with two chairs close by. One looked quite comfortable with a large pillow on top. She headed toward it, but the cat leapt on top of it before she got there. She sat on the not-so-comfortable-looking one instead.
"You are an interesting girl." Said the cat, "I have been watching you for some time now."
Tabatha was aghast. "Really?" she said.
"I would like to give you this." The cat said, handing her a rather pretty necklace that glittered in the firelight. Tabatha took it and examined it carefully. It was silver and had circles and swirls on it. There was a small, purple gem on it that seemed to glow magically.
"Hold it with care." The cat said importantly. Tabatha decided she should go and politely dismissed herself. She put the necklace in her pocket.
"Tabatha, do you wish to join us?" her kindergarten teacher whispered into the closet. "We are about to sing my favorite song."
Tabatha set down her lunch box and came out into the light of the room. The children looked at her and whispered to each other with little snickers. The teacher didn't seem to notice and led Tabatha to her seat in the front of the class. When the teacher turned her back to gather papers from her desk, Tabatha felt something cold on the back of her neck. She turned to see a boy with a big mischievous grin on his face. She smiled back and touched the back of her neck. There was something wet and slimy there. She pulled it off her skin and saw that it was a lizard! She couldn't help but gasp. She treasured it in her hand and turned to look at the boy again. "Thanks!" She whispered, happily.
The boy stopped smiling and looked shocked. Tabatha couldn't stop smiling. It was the neatest gift she'd ever gotten! She set it on her desk and rested her chin on the desk in front of it. She focused her eyes on it and found that it was looking at her too. Its little tongue flicked and hit her on the chin. She giggled a little and felt the grass around her. She rolled over on her back and looked up into the sky. A cloud that looked like the lizard rolled about and became the little boy and then turned into her kindergarten teacher. It's mouth moved a little like she was talking and then her perfectly white teeth showed again in her compassionate smile. She reached out as if to touch the sky and the cloud resembling her teacher held something out to her. She threw the object and it came floating down to her. When it met Tabatha's hand, she found that it was a paper. She looked up and saw her teacher smiling at her again.
"Tabatha, what is this?" her teacher asked, pointing to the lizard.
"It's a lizard that I got as a gift just now." Tabatha answered. She turned to look at the boy again. He was crouched over the paper with a crayon and did not look up at her.
"Did Tommy give that lizard to you?" the teacher asked, kindly.
Tabatha looked back at her. "He did. Is his name Tommy?" she asked. Her teacher nodded. "Then, Tommy's my new friend." She smiled up at her teacher. The teacher looked back at the boy whose name was Tommy.
"May I take this lizard and put it in a jar on my desk until it's time for you to go home?" she asked Tabatha, keeping her eye on Tommy.
Tabatha nodded happily as the woman took the lizard gently in her hand and walked toward her desk. Tabatha looked back at Tommy. He was now watching his teacher with a look of despair on his face. Tabatha grinned at him. He glanced at her and began to draw on his paper again. She looked down at her own desk and saw that her picture was of a cat. "Hello." She said quietly to the cat as she got the necklace out of her pocket and put it around her neck.
"Hello." said the cat.