5. Maggie-Many-Cats


Something strange happened in Ballyyahoo today. I was coming back up the lane from the bay and I had just passed by the crumbly old cottage that belongs to Maggie-Many-Cats when she came running out of her house and started calling me to come quick.

I thought she must have an Easter egg for me and since I’ve eaten all my own I ran back to her as fast as I could. Sadly it wasn’t an Easter egg. Maggie-Many-Cats was all excited because her cats had brought something home she’d never seen before

She wouldn’t tell me because she wanted me to see for myself so I went inside. These two cats stared at me at me as I went past the window.



Her kitchen is the strangest, hairiest place you’ve ever seen. It’s not very bright because it only has little windows but everywhere you look there’s a pair of eyes looking at you and everywhere you turn you realize that all those eyes belong to a cat. There’s one on the cooker, two on the fridge, at least half a dozen on the table, two on each chair and not to forget those two on the window ledge.

There’s not a single space in the kitchen for cooking but that doesn’t matter because all Maggie-Many-Cats eats is cod and chips from the chipper and if she wants a change she gets plaice and chips instead and has brown sauce instead of ketchup.


I thought she was going to show me another mouse or shrew because her cats are always catching them and bringing them into the house, dead or alive.

Maggie-Many-Cats always puts them in an old breadbox with a lid if they’re alive and sets them free again later. But, this wasn’t a shrew and it wasn’t a mouse. This was something I’d never seen before, at least not in Ballyyahoo. This time when she opened up the breadbox there was a real live lizard inside! If that wasn’t strange enough this lizard had no tail! See?lizard


Maggie-Many-Cats said she thought Biddy-the-witch must have chopped the lizard’s tail off and that it must have escaped from Biddy’s house minus its tail before she had a chance to put it into the slimy old stew she was making from nettles and slugs.

Biddy lives in a creepy looking house over the other side of Ballyyahoo and my mother says Maggie-Many-Cats only calls Biddy a witch because years ago they fell out over a young fella with a flash car and a big guitar. I’m not so sure myself.

Sometimes when Biddy leaves her windows open and the wind blows in our direction the smell from her stew comes wafting over towards our house. It doesn’t smell like minced-beef and onions. Biddy’s stew smells more like boiled shrews and lizard’s tails – something the cat dragged in.

To be honest I think Maggie-Many-Cats could be right. Biddy could be a witch! I mean how else could a lizard lose its tail?

Back soon with the next story.



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