The kitten

The kitten is a short story by Alexander Reid which he wrote in 1914. It is a story about a hired man who found a cat with a litter of kittens on the farm yard he was working at, he told his master of his discovery and his master ordered him to “get rid of them” so he went and took the cat “to the stable, flung her in and latched the door”. Then he went and grabbed an old potato sack from the loft and returned to the kittens.

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He then lifted and flung the kittens one by one into the old potato sack, and then he went down to the stream with the potato sack with the kittens and sat it down beside the stream. He then tried to move a boulder to make a pool to drown the kittens in but it wouldn’t budge. By the time he got back to the potato sack a second kitten made its way out of the bag but he flung it back in and tied it shut again.

He then chased the kitten that escaped but it defied him so he made it his mission to hunt the kitten and kill it. The first struggle is when the kittens are getting put into the old potato sack because they didn’t want to have a watery grave so there efforts to escape were to “struggle, spitting, clawing and biting” at the hired man’s fingers. At the next conflict one kitten escapes from the old potato sack which was its Guantanamo Bay, but the hired man seen it so he chased the kitten to recapture his fugitive.

“Hurrying on the sun-browned grass, treacherous as ice, he slipped and fell headlong, but grasped the runaway in his out flung hand”. Then “It writhed round immediately and sank needle-sharp teeth into the hired man’s thumb”, making him let go in pain and the kitten “fell by a clump of whins and took cover beneath them”. At the next conflict the hired man retreats to the stream after some heavy thought, he gathered an “armful of small water-washed pebbles” he then returned to the whins with his weapons.

He then took one of his projectiles and tried “to strike at the kitten from above but the roof of the whins was matted and resilient” (it was an impenetrable fortress that the kitten had found to take cover in). When he realised he wouldn’t be able to hit the kitten from above, “he flung the pebbles straight to maim or kill” the kitten that defied him but “the angle was difficult” to throw from, but he got a lucky shot from his last pebble which ricochet from the ground striking a glancing blow on the kitten’s shoulder. Then the hired man resorts to shaping a weapon to make sure he kills the

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