Don’t Mess with Old People

By Jude, age 11, Co. Wexford

There once was an old man who lived alone in a small house in the countryside. His only friend was a cat. The cat had been a stray, but the man had adopted her and called her Sooty. Every day he and Sooty would walk through the woods. The old man could almost tell what Sooty was thinking sometimes. The man had no relatives except his niece who made cars in the city (the old man hated the city). 

The old man hadn't seen people for years. He didn't need to buy food because he grew his own vegetables to eat. He was very surprised when a beautiful car appeared, driving through the forest It almost killed Sooty as it sped down the hill towards his house. Fortunately, it stopped a few feet before his wooden front door.

A tall woman with a crocodile skin handbag stepped out and knocked on the front door the old man answered and was shocked to see his niece at the door.

“Hello,” she said.

“Why are you here?” he replied.

“I think that you should come and live with me!” she said.

“No. I thank you for the offer but I’m happy living here,” he replied.

“No, I insist!” his niece replied/

The old man couldn’t do much and soon he was in the back seat of the car. He looked out of the rear window and saw Sooty chase the car but after a mile or so he could go no further. It took them two hours to get to the city and it was the worst two hours of his life.

They arrived at a big house beside the car factory. It was three times the size of the old man’s house. When they went inside, the old man’s niece showed him to a room with grey walls and a small bed. As soon as he walked in, she ran out and slammed the door shut. He heard the lock click and her say, “Now I’m going to sell your house and all your land!”


It was midnight on his fifth night in the city when it happened. He heard a scraping noise on the only window in the room. He looked out and saw a tall white cat. He had already tried breaking the window, but he couldn’t. The cat looked at him and the man could tell exactly what he was thinking. He had a plan. It was crazy and there was a ninety-nine percent chance that it would go terribly wrong, but he had to try.

In the morning when the niece gave the old man Brussels sprout soup through the cat flap she had installed in the door (it was all he ever got to eat because she thought that is what old people eat - truly, he hated it), he shouted, “I feel sick!”

His niece called the doctor and asked for a house visit - just as the old man had hoped and expected.

“Nice try,” said the old man’s niece. “You can’t get away that easily!”

But little did she know that Sooty had followed the car to the city and gathered all the cats she could find.

The doorbell rang half an hour later. “That’s a little early,” thought the woman. She opened the door and shrieked as an army of three hundred cats jumped through the door. Five of them darted through the cat flap and shattered the window. The old man was free!

It was six o’clock when Dr. Murphy walked up to the big house.

He opened the door to see a woman covered in scrapes. “You will need a few plasters!” he said!