The burst of cold wind made the man on the park bench wrap into his coat. A wave of gray, spotted leaves washed over his shoes and covered them in dust.

The park was empty, and he was free to let his mind race.

It was November: the sky was like lead, it predicted a cold winter. He looked at his watch - 5pm, but it seemed like dusk already.

A child was standing under a tree and was looking up. She was saying something, but she was too far for him to hear the words. Wasn't interested either. He slumbered again.

- Sir!

He opened his eyes: the same girl was pulling his sleeve - not exactly beautiful, long neck, freckles. She might be ten or twelve maybe.

- What happened, child?- he said, trying to make his voice sound friendly.

- Sir, would you please help me save that cat?

- That cat?

- Come with me, I'll show you.

And pulled his sleeve once more in impatience. He made himself stand up and follow the child to the tree, making his sleeping limbs wake up while walking.

There really was a cat on the tree; it was meowing in its misery.

- Will you help it, Sir? It won't listen to me,- said the child. Then she spoke to the cat:- Don't worry, this man will help you right away.

He looked at the cat: a simple, gray tom, one of those who had escaped the attention of Animal Control people. Tried to convince himself to climb the tree, not knowing why, but suddenly understood that his coat was on the bench already, his hands are around the lowest branches and his feet are climbing up.

When he reached the cat and tried to catch it, the cat jumped down and run away.

He hung from the branch and jumped down too.

- Your cat ran away, child,- he said laughing.

The girl was just standing, her fingers woven together, and looking lost. He asked:

- What happened to you?

- Dad says I shouldn't talk to strangers.

- You're a strange child. You talked to me first.

The child kept silent.

- Your dad is right. Now run back home, it's late already.

The girl ran away, and he walked home too. Soon he forgot about the incident.

The End

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