by Mark Binder
Copyright 2011, All Rights Reserved
The mice beat the cats to the moon, arriving in secret with the first colonists. A mouse smart enough to infiltrate and hide on a space ship wasn’t likely to fall for a “better mousetrap.”
The cats were the next logical step.
The lunar miller had three sons. To his oldest he left his mill. To his second son, he left his moon buggy. To his youngest son, Sam, he left only the cat.
As soon as the red light on the Burial and Recycling Unit turned green, the three brothers bade each other farewell.
Sam, the youngest son, began slowly walking the corridor back to his quarters.
The cat rubbed against his ankle.
“Well, Puss,” Sam said, “it is you and I. And I suppose that neither of us are likely to amount to much.”
Suddenly, the cat stood up on its hind legs and said, “I wouldn’t worry about me. But for you, young sir, we must set about in making your fortune.”
“You can talk?” Sam asked.
“Yes, Master, I can,” said Puss. “If you will see about getting me a sack, a pair of boots, a nice cloak, and an elegant blue oxygen hat with a long feather, I will bring you riches beyond your wildest dreams.”
“I can understand the boots and the hat,” said Sam. By wearing these, any creature could survive in the open and harsh landscape of the Moon outside the domed cities and farmlands. “But why a feather?”
“Style, young master,” answered the feline.
” I have little enough as it is,” said the young man. ” I had hoped to sell you to pay for my passage way to another dome.”
“If you sell me, then you will lose all,” said the cat. “I can only tell you this. Your father loved you best, and his legacy to you was the most valuable by far.”
Sam was skeptical, but he did as the cat bade. Soon, he had found a small pair of moon boots, and a tiny blue oxygen hat with a long blue feather.
“Puss!” Sam called. “Come and see!”
He set the hat on the table, and set the boots beside it.
Cats are never to be hurried, and Puss was no exception. It meandered slowly across the small room before hopping up onto the table.
Then, with surprising dexterity for an animal with no opposing thumb, the cat sat down, put a boot on each of its hind paws, stood up, and with a flourish set the hat upon its head at a rakish angle. It turned and admired itself in the mirror and then spoke.
“I thank you, Master,” the cat said politely. “You have done your job well. Now I shall do mine.”
With that, Puss jumped down from the table and ran out the front door, down the hall and through an escape hatch out onto the barren surface of the moon.
“Puss, no!” Sam shouted as the airlock door closed. “Puss, what have you done?”
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