Connie and Marilyn and two of their friends had been talking about sleeping in the barn for quite a while. They’d built themselves a lovely hideaway over the feed room where they spent many hours together. On one of the coldest nights of the year, they convinced themselves the time had come. Mother and Daddy weren’t concerned about their safety. They had about a half a dozen dogs who routinely slept buried up deep in the hay in the barn. No one would be slipping up on the the girls unnoticed. The barn was only a few hundred feet from the house. They could come back to the house anytime they got ready. They took their snacks, radio, flashlights, and games, ready for an evening of fun. The cats and dogs snuggled up with them, thrilled to have overnight guests.
Finally, they went to sleep. Tom Cat wasn’t through celebrating. After they went to sleep he woke Connie up, purring and licking her, insisting on attention. She had to cover her head up to get away from him. When she awoke, she found he’d brought her a gift. There was a dead rat stuck in her hair, his clotted blood gluing him firmly next to her ear.