Scary Stories

King of Cats

The grave digger said he had a story to tell.

The grave digger's wife sat by the fireplace. She was mending socks. Her lazy black cat slept on the floor next to her. It was very late. The woman was waiting for her husband, the grave digger, to come home.

The grave digger's wife and the lazy black cat waited and waited. Still, the grave digger did not come home. At last, the grave digger rushed into the house. He slammed the door. His heart was pounding. He was out of breath.


"I have a story to tell you," he said.

If you're stranded on a desert island, all you can wish for is a ship to rescue you. Find out what happens when the ship isn't what you think in the next story, "The Mystery on the Sargasso."

He took off his hat and scarf. Then he turned to face his wife.

The grave digger's eyes were wide. He was pale. The grave digger's wife stared at him.

"You look strange," she said. "Did something happen?"

"Yes," said the grave digger. "Something did happen."

The lazy black cat sat up. He stared at the grave digger now, too.

The grave digger's wife moved closer to her husband.

"So tell me," she said. "What happened to you tonight that made you look so pale and afraid?"

The grave digger took a deep breath.

"Well," said the grave digger. "I was digging old Mr. Ford's grave. I guess I fell asleep. I woke up when I heard a cat say, 'MEOW!'"

"Meow!" said the wife's lazy black cat.

The grave digger's eyes widened even more. He pointed to the cat.

"Yes, just like that!" said the grave digger. "I was very deep in the grave. I looked up over the top of it. What do you think I saw?"

The grave digger's wife frowned.

"Now, how would I know that?" she asked.

"Well," said the grave digger. "I saw nine black cats. Nine black cats, just like your lazy black cat here. And what do you think they were doing?"

The grave digger's wife and her lazy black cat looked at each other. Then they looked at the grave digger. The wife shrugged.

"They were carrying a coffin," said the grave digger.

The nine black cats were carrying a coffin.

The grave digger's wife gasped.

"A coffin?" she asked.

"A coffin," he said. "There were four black cats on each side of the coffin. One black cat was in front of it. The coffin was covered with a black cloth."

"The cats came closer," said the grave digger. "They said 'MEOW!'"

"Meow!" said the wife's lazy black cat.

"Yes, just like that!" said the grave digger. "As the cats came closer and closer, I could see them more clearly. Their eyes were shining like little lights. They kept coming. They got closer and closer. They were looking at me, just like your cat looks at me now. Why, he looks like he knows every word I am saying."

"Never mind my cat," said the wife. "Go on. What happened next?"

"The cats came towards me," said the grave digger, "very slowly. With every third step they cried out, all together, 'MEOW!'"

"Meow!" said the wife's lazy black cat.

"Yes," said the grave digger, "just like that. When they stood at Mr. Ford's grave, they all got very still. They looked straight at me."

Now the grave digger stared back at his wife's lazy black cat.

"Look at your cat," said the grave digger. "He's staring at me."

"Never mind my cat," said the wife. "Go on!"

"The one that wasn't carrying the coffin came even closer," he said.

The wife's lazy black cat moved closer to the grave digger. The cat stared straight at him.

The grave digger backed up. He shivered.

"Never mind my cat," said the grave digger's wife.

The lazy black cat's eyes were shining like little lights.

"Go on," she said. "What did the cat do then?"

"The cat moved closer and closer to me," said the grave digger. "Finally, we were nose to nose."

"Oh, my," said the grave digger's wife. "Then what happened?"

The cat and the grave digger were nose to nose.

"The cat spoke to me!" said the grave digger. "He said, 'Tell Old Tom that Old Tim is dead.'"

The wife's lazy black cat jumped up.

The grave digger's wife screamed.

"Look! Look at my lazy black cat!" she said "What is happening to him?"

The lazy black cat stretched and stretched. He grew taller and taller. Soon he was three times his normal size.

At last, the cat spoke. "What?" he said. "Old Tim is dead? Well, I'm Old Tom. Now I am the King of Cats!"

And with that, Old Tom rushed up the chimney.

The grave digger and his wife never saw the lazy black cat again.

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