In summer Martha lives with her grandparents in the country-side. Their cats live there too. It is a very nice cats family. The head of the family is the mother cat. She is ten years old, pretty and has a lovely character. Her daughters, two graceful kittens, are cute and friendly. The cats are Martha’s best friends, and she loves them a lot.
The cats have funny names. The mother cat’s name is Desde-mona. Her daughters are Wilhelmina and Manuela. Martha doesn’t like such long names and calls her pets short: Mona, Mina and Mania.
Sometimes Marta’s grandmother calls the cats gently by their pet names: Mosja, Misja and Masja. But she doesn’t always do that. The cats have to behave well to deserve that. And this isn’t often the case.
Sometimes Martha’s grandmother gets angry and says: «Desdemona, Wilhelmina and Manuela, behave yourselves!»
The strange names sound so stern that Martha understands: the cats can get into trouble with their owner. It is better to save them somewhere until her grandmother is in a good mood again.
What clever names the cats have. They help them to stay safe from Martha’s grandmother.
Meeting old friends
Marta and her grandparents have arrived at their summer house. Martha’s grandfather has driven his car into the backyard and is getting out of it now. Cats are running to meet him and cuddle on his legs.
«Look, Martha. The cats like your grandfather so much. In this way they tell him about their love», says grandmother to the girl. Martha is sorry: «So they don’t love us, Grandma. It’s a pity.» «Sure, it’s a pity,» agrees her grandmother. «But only your grandfather came and fed the cats in the winter. That’s why they know him better than us».
«But I love the cats too,» mutters Martha.
«Calm down, Martha. Don’t get angry with them,» says her grandmother gingerly.
Nevertheless Martha feels the cats are just being nasty to her. Last summer they had so much fun playing together. She looks disappointed with her four-footed friends: «The cats have a very bad memory. They have forgotten me, and that’s it!»
Grandfather walks into the house, and the cats are cuddling up on each other now.
«Look, Grandma. The cats are kissing each other!» Martha is excited. «They are just having fun,» her grandmother explains.
Martha is smiling. Her cats are so cute. Martha was missing them badly in winter and has brought their favourite food with her. The girl wants to give it to the cats and pet them. But the cats escape in different directions.
Martha is sad and feels lonely. Can they become friends again?
The love at first sight
Next morning Martha wakes up early. She gets dressed and hurries out of the house. First of all she’ll meet her neighbors: two dogs, a Persian cat and chickens. She peeps into their backyard through a crack in the fence and sees the old dog Nika lying next to her house.
Martha waves at Nika: «Hello, Nika!» The dog turns its head to face the girl but doesn’t bark.
Martha calls another dog, Typhoon. Typhoon recognises Martha at once and reacts happily to her coming. He starts jumping, whimpering and wagging his tail. Typhoon wants to say to the girl: «It’s nice, Martha, that you are back. We can play together again.»
The Persian cat Benjamin is nowhere to be seen. He is a sleepyhead and is lying in a soft bed somewhere in the house.
Suddenly Martha sees a wonder. At the fence where the chickens lived she discovers a golden cloud of fluffy living balls.
Baby chicks! Martha is excited. She looks at the chickens running around and asks her grandfather: «Grandpa, where is their mother, the big chicken?»
But grandfather doesn’t know that.
The girl gets worried about the chickens: How do the chicks live without their mum? She wouldn’t live without her mother even a day.
«If the chickens haven’t got their mother I must take care of them then.»
Martha asks her grandfather: «Grandpa, are these my chickens?»
«No, Martha. They are the chickens of our neighbor.»
But Martha loves the chickens so much. She wants to have them all to herself and asks her grandfather the same question again.
«You can’t have the chickens. They belong to our neighbor. But you can see them every day,» explains the girl’s grandfather.
«Grandpa, I want to look after them,» says Martha again in a serious voice.
«The chickens don’t need your care, I’m afraid. They’ve got a good shelter and they always have food and drink,» grandfather comforts the girl.
But Martha doesn’t want to calm down:
«Poor chickens, I’m sure they want me to pet them.»
After a while her grandfather gives up:
«Well, Martha. I’ll speak to our neighbor, and hopefully he’ll let you take care of them. Agreed?»
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?
Martha is standing in front of the mirror, brushing her hair and admiring a small pretty girl, she can see behind the shiny mirror surface. She likes her mirror image. The girl has a lovely face, wavy blonde hair, big blue eyes, rosy cheeks and a little red mouth. She has a new dress on. The girl is smiling and showing her pretty white teeth. This girl is so sweet! But Martha doubts her look a little.
«Grandma, is this girl in the mirror nice?»
«Sure, honey, she is… You are a very sweet girl, Martha», confirms her grandmother.
But Martha wants to be even prettier. First of all she puts her hair up and pins it up with a fine hairpin. Now her hair is beau-tifully embellished.
Martha looks back into the mirror again. What else can she do to look even prettier?
Oh well, recently Martha’s mother has given her a new jewellery set. Sure, it will go well with the dress. From her bag Martha takes out a colourful necklace, a bracelet and a couple of ear clips. She puts the bracelet on her wrist, fastens the necklace around her neck and the clips to her small ears.
«This jewellery is absolutely charming. Grandma, how do I look now?»
Martha glimpses coquettishly at her grandmother.
«You look very pretty, darling. This jewellery is really charming and suits you perfectly. But why have you dressed up? Are we having a party today?» wonders Martha’s old grandmother.
«In our house we don’t have any parties, but outside we do. Grandma, it’s such a lovely day today. Our flower garden is splendid. Some happy music is playing out there, as if there is a party.»
«In summer our neighbors have music parties every day,» points out the little girl’s grandmother.
«But this music is so beautiful. And if everything around is so beautiful I must be beautiful too, right?»
Looking for friends
Martha is walking in the garden. She is bored and looking for someone to play with. Finally she sees a kitten called Wilhelmina lying under a bush. Martha likes Mina. She is the prettiest among her pets. Mina has a grey body, a white neck and black paws. What’s more, Mina loves playing. Martha thinks she’d like to run a race with her. But Mina is sleeping. So, Martha has to wake her up.
The girl goes up to Mina and starts gingerly talking to her. «Mina, I’ve got a beautiful dress on today. Look at me please.» Martha is jumping around, flaunting her new dress in front of the cat. But Mina isn’t interested in Martha’s dress. She isn’t even looking at it.