Scritchy-Scratchy Sound

by Helen Kronberg

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    Scritchy-scratchy, scritchy, scritchy-scratchy.

    Jimmy awoke with a start. “What is that noise?” he asked out loud.

    “It must be Kitty,” he cried, jumping out of bed. He ran through the hall and out the front door to find Kitty.

    Jimmy ran around the house, and there he saw Kitty lapping milk from a saucer on the back porch.

    Kitty licked the milk off her whiskers and stared at Jimmy a moment. Then she quietly returned to her milk. Lap, lap, lap.

    Jimmy shook his head. If it’s not Kitty, it must be Spotty, he decided. And away Jimmy ran to find his dog.

    Spotty was burying a bone near the shrubs. “Woof,” he barked. His paws made a soft poosh, poosh sound as he dug into the wet ground.

    “It’s not Kitty and it’s not Spotty. Maybe it’s Baby Brother,” Jimmy said to himself as he ran into the house.

    Mother and Baby Brother were in the kitchen. Baby Brother was sitting in his high chair. Bang! Bang! went the spoon as Baby Brother hit the tray. He waved his arms and wiggled.

    Ker-sploosh! Down went his cereal bowl. Clatter! Bang! Plop!

    “You make a lot of noise,” Jimmy said, “but it’s not a scritchy-scratchy sound.”

    Mother picked up the cereal bowl. “Jimmy, why are you running around in your pajamas and bare feet?”

    “I’m trying to find what woke me,” Jimmy answered.

    “Maybe it was the sun shining in your window,” Mother suggested.

    Jimmy shook his head. “The sun doesn’t make any noise.”

    “What kind of noise did you hear?” Mother asked.

    “It was sort of like Kitty scratching on something, but Kitty is lapping her milk,” Jimmy replied. “And it was a little like Spotty when he is scratching, but Spotty is burying a bone in the soft ground.”

    Mother smiled. “Let’s go back in your room. Maybe I can help you find it.”

    So Mother lifted Baby Brother out of the high chair, and they all went to Jimmy’s bedroom.

    “Sh-h-h,” said Mother.

    “Sh-h-h,” said Jimmy.

    They listened quietly. Soon they heard the noise.

    Scritchy-scratchy, scritchy, scritchy-scratchy.

    “That’s it,” whispered Jimmy.

    Mother smiled. “Come look out the window.”

    Jimmy tiptoed to the window.

    “Look up under the eaves of the roof,” Mother whispered.

    Jimmy looked and he saw a little bird building a nest.

    Jimmy and Mother and Baby Brother watched the bird fly away. Soon it returned, carrying dry grass and a twig in its beak. The scritchy-scratchy sounds began again as the bird worked at building the nest.

    Jimmy smiled happily. “Will there be eggs in the nest?” he asked.

    Mother nodded. “Tiny speckled eggs.”

    “And will there be baby birds?” Jimmy questioned.

    “With their mouths wide open, waiting to be fed,” Mother told him.

    “I can hardly wait!” Jimmy exclaimed. “That will be great! I have Kitty and Spotty and Baby Brother, and now I’ll even have baby birds to watch. I have just about everything!”

    Illustrated by Nina Grover