A man gets a surprise

Ted Benson and his cat, Mushka Photo by Andrew Bailey/The Westerly News

Ted Benson and his cat, Mushka
Photo by Andrew Bailey/The Westerly News

A man gets a surprise
Adapted from The Westerly News by Nila Gopaul
Illustrations by Nola Johnston
Level 1

Listen to “A man gets a surprise”– Level 1
Reading by Nila Gopaul

Ted Benson, 37, lives in Ucluelet*, B.C.
It is January 2015.
Ted is getting ready for bed.
It is late. It is quiet.
Earlier, Ted made a fire in his wood stove.
He opened the door. He let some smoke out.
*say:  yoo-cloo-let

A surprise
Later, Ted goes to close the door.
Suddenly, he sees Mushka, his cat.
She is running into the house.
Next, he hears claws.
They are clicking on the floor.
cougar 1 cougar 2

At first, Ted thinks it is a dog.
“Oh, there’s my cat.”
“Oh, there is a big cat trying to eat it!”
The claws belong to a cougar.

Ted rushes at the animal. He wants to scare it.
He makes himself very tall. He makes loud noises.

The cougar does not move.
So Ted gets louder. And he gets taller.

cougar 4cougar 3

Ted remembers
Ted stares and stares at the cougar.
He remembers what loggers told him.
Loggers painted eyes on the back of their helmets.
“A cougar won’t attack if you’re staring at it.”
Soon, the big cat walks slowly out of the door.
Ted quickly shuts it!
He takes a deep breath. “Holy, that’s a big cat.”


cougar 6 REV

Outside, a friend is driving a taxi.
She is honking. Ted looks out.
A second cougar is in his driveway.
Luckily, the two big cats run away.

“Did that just happen … or
am I dreaming …?” asks Ted.