This short children’s story was written just after my first child was born in 1994 and is loosely based on my favorite childhood cat Tugger.
Tugger the cat was oh so fat that he could barely walk. He would take a few steps and then stop for a snack—he couldn’t even talk. With his mouth stuffed full and more food in his paws, he continued to chew until he had sore jaws.
One day, Tugger ate so much, and his tummy grew so big, all of the other cats stopped to laugh and call poor Tugger a pig. The sounds of those words made poor Tugger sad, so he ate more and more and made his tummy feel bad.
“Oh I’ve got to stop eating. I must, yes I must! If I don’t I’ll get fatter and my tummy may bust! All of the other cats are so trim and slim. When we all chase mice, they always win.”
“Now I know what I have to do. I have to eat better and exercise too!” So he cut out the junk food and ran all around, until he lost all of his fat, every single pound.
“Now that I’m thin the other cats will like me, and I know just where to find them—in that great big oak tree.” So he ran and he ran, to the tree he ran. So fast he couldn’t stop, so he hit the tree – BAM!
“Hey Tugger, is that you, you silly old cat? We liked you just fine when you were fat.” But Tugger remembered when they called him a pig. He said, “But you all made fun of me when I was big.”
“Oh Tugger, oh Tugger, you crazy old cat. It doesn’t matter if you’re skinny or fat. It’s what’s in your heart and what’s in your head. That’s what’s important!” the other cats said.
“Oh goody!” said Tugger, “Because I need a snack!” “Hooray, hooray the old Tugger’s back!”
© 1994 Michael Guerra