Big Cat on the Loose (Part 1)

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I have a wonderful guest writer today who’s written a really fun short story for us to read. Part is today and Part 2 will be Wednesday.

Max Elliot Anderson grew up as a struggling reader.  After surveying the market, he sensed the need for action-adventures and mysteries for readers 8 – 13, especially boys. Using his extensive experience in the production of dramatic motion pictures, videos, and television commercials, Mr. Anderson brings that same visual excitement and heart-pounding action to his stories. Most books have different characters, setting, and plot.

Ten books are published, ten more are under contract, with several additional manuscripts completed. Young readers have reported that reading one of his books is like actually being in an exciting movie.

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Big Cat On The Loose Part 1)


Max Elliot Anderson

Owen Thompson sat at a table in the kitchen, gulping down the last of his crunchy cold cereal. The bus would be here soon to whisk him off to school, but as usual, he was running a little late. Owen had so much on his mind, he barely heard the announcer on the radio when he broke into the program and said, “It’s been reported that a big cat, a lion they think, is loose in the area. We don’t know where it came from or if there really is a lion out there at this point. So be on the lookout just in case. If you see him, be sure to call 911 immediately and report it to the police.” Then the music started up again.

Owen stopped crunching his mouthful of cereal and glanced out the back window. Hummm. Wonder if he’s around here someplace?

Owen lived on a farm with his parents. Right now they both were still upstairs getting ready for work. That’s because, in addition to the farm work, they each had another job in town. Owen’s father sold insurance and his mother worked in the office.

Just then she called down the stairs. “Owen! You ready for school?”

It jolted him back from thinking about a lion in the back yard. “Almost!” he called back to her.

“Better hurry up, the bus will be here any minute.”

He finished the rest of his breakfast, ran to brush his teeth, grabbed his book bag, and skidded to a stop at the front door. Before he could open it, his mother called down again and asked, “Don’t forget your lunch?”

Owen let out a short blast of air through his nose, turned around, and hurried back to the kitchen. Without even stopping, he snatched a paper sack from the counter and raced for the door. That’s when he clearly heard four short blasts from a horn in the distance.

“Are you still down there, Owen?” his mother asked.

As quietly as he could, Owen unlocked the door, turned the handle until it clicked, opened the door, and slipped outside. Without making a sound, he closed it again behind him and darted off the front porch. He hadn’t taken three steps away from his house when he heard a terrifying growl.

Owen stopped as still as a dead man. “It’s the lion,” he whispered.

Again there were four more short horn blasts from the bus.

“Owen!” his mother shouted again from inside the house.

Just then Owen saw something move from the shadows. “Duke!” he said with a heavy sigh. “I’ve never been so happy to see my own dog.”


He glanced back toward the house and then turned to his dog again. “Gotta go, boy. See you tonight.” He raced to a big, yellow bus that still waited for him in front of the mail box at the end of their dirt lane. The doors opened and Owen burst through.

The driver looked at him with a frown. “One of these days I’m going to have to leave for school without you.”

Owen smiled back. “Don’t say that unless you mean it.” He hurried down the aisle and scooted into a seat beside his best friend Terry Sutton. Terry lived on the next farm west of Owen’s place.

His friend looked down at his watch. “How come you’re always late?”

Owen shrugged. “Did you hear about the lion?”

“What lion?”

“Yeah, what lion?” a boy asked from the seat behind them.

Owen turned back to him. “I heard it on the radio. They said somebody saw a lion on the loose around here.”

A girl in the seat just in front of them covered her eyes and shrieked, “Owen, quit it!”

That caused the bus driver to look up at his mirror and say, “What’s going on back there, Owen?”

Owen slumped down a little deeper in his seat. “Nothing.”  He turned to Terry and whispered, “I heard it on the radio, honest, there’s supposed to be a big one out here someplace.” The news quickly spread through the bus until, the rest of the way to school, all eyes stared out the windows as students searched for the lion.

Today was Friday. Terry’s parents would be going out of town, and he planned to spend the weekend at Owen’s house. Fridays always seemed to drag by for Owen when he was in school. Even though he felt like the day would never end, the final bell sounded. Terry had brought a small bag of his things to school so he could get off the bus at Owen’s stop.

“What about the lion?” he asked, as they stepped off the bus.

“Try to be on time, Monday,” their driver warned as he closed the doors.

Owen and his friend stood at the end of the lane. His parents were never home this early, so he knew that he and Terry were on their own. “We’re gonna have to run for it,” Owen said. He crouched down like a sprinter on the track team at school. Terry did the same. Both boys kicked a toe into the soft dirt so they could get a good, fast start.

“On your mark!” Owen began. Both boys tensed every muscle in their legs, ankles, and feet. “Get set!” But before he could say “go,” Terry took off running at top speed.

“Hey, no fair,” Owen called out to him.

Without even turning around Terry yelled back, “If there really is a lion, he can’t catch both of us!”

“Yeah, but what if you run into him right now?”

Terry slid to a stop in the dirt, whirled around, and in seconds, stood next to Owen again. “Did you have to say that?” he said between his huffing and puffing.

They took their places again as Owen shouted, “Go!” Both boys burst off as if they’d been shot out of a double-barrel shotgun. Neither bothered to look to the left or right as they raced down the lane toward the safety of Owen’s house. He hit the porch first, grabbed a key from under a nearby flower pot and opened the door just as Terry shot through.

It took a few moments for them to catch their breath again. That’s when Terry asked, “Think he’s out there anyplace?”

“The radio said they weren’t even sure if there was a lion. Just some guy said he saw one, that’s all. Besides, my parents will he home soon. We’ll be safe then.”

“Sure wish they’d hurry,” Terry said as he looked out a side window. By now the sun had already set as a bright moon began rising in the early evening sky.

Owen headed for the kitchen. “Let’s get something to eat.” But that’s when he found a note on the counter. He opened it and read, “Owen, you left in such a hurry I couldn’t tell you that Dad and I will have to stay late at the office tonight. I’ve left food for you and Terry. We should be too late. Make sure to do your chores in the barn and we’ll see you around nine. Love, Mom.”

“Great,” Terry groaned. Owen looked at him and noticed the look on his friend’s face matched the knot he felt in his own stomach.

After the boys finished their snack, Owen turned to Terry. “I gotta go out to the barn for a few minutes. You comin’?”


That’s it for today. Come back on Wednesday for Part 2.

Thanks Max for sharing this fun story. Can’t wait to see what happens!




One thought on “Big Cat on the Loose (Part 1)

  1. Pingback: Short Story: “Big Cat on the Loose” | Homeschool Library of Links

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