“Guuully!!!…Gully! Where are yooou?!” Jemima called out. She was often calling out for that renegade cat of her’s. It was only about an hour ago that Jemima had seen Gully wrestling with a large crow on the grass, just outside the back door of her house. Gully was a keen and savvy hunter but a large, fully grown crow was quite the match for the small, white patchy cat.

Jemima continued to search the garden to see if she could find Gully feasting on his prize, if he had indeed won the fight that is?…Gully was nowhere to be seen but Jemima did notice that there was an unusually large flock of crows circling overhead. She looked up at the big black birds and shuddered at the shrieking murder. They appeared quite intimidating in such a large number, and cast a creepy rotating shadow on the patio floor as they flew. She then saw one of the largest crow’s dive-bomb into the open trunk of the dead tree that governed the end of the garden. 

Jemima had never really liked the overbearing, twisted tree and always found it quite menacing looking, so she rarely played that close to it. The tree was so dark in colour that it was almost black, and had been struck by lightening about a year ago in the worst electrical storm that had ever hit London. A lightening bolt had blown the entire top of the tree straight off, leaving nothing but a permanently scorched, gnarled up trunk with a hollow centre.

What are those crows up to?  she thought to her self curiously as she gazed up at the swirling black mass.  Jemima’s curiosity got the better of her so she ran over to the tree and peered through the hollow nook on the front of the trunk. She froze in terror with what she saw... 

Her poor little Gully was pinned down on his back by four horrible crows! Their sharp beaks were buried into Gully’s front paws and feet, so he was spread-eagled like some sort of terrified cat Jesus! The dive-bombing crow that had flown straight into the torturous pit had pinned down Gully’s last free limb, his swishing tortoiseshell tail. Jemima’s panicked mind rushed for a way to help her poor defenceless friend…

 Maybe I should start shouting and jump up and down to scare the crows away?!…but.. what if they attack me too?!?

Her mind was reeling...just at that moment, when Jemima was wracking her brain on what to do, a huge black crow swooped down and landed on Gully’s exposed white belly. The giant bird’s posture was more like that of a vulture’s, it’s wings hunched up around it’s head so it’s glossy black feathers ruffled up around it’s face. It looked as though the frightening beast was wearing a large, overbearing cloak that concealed its inner body.

The giant beast of a bird stooped its head down to Gully and whispered into his ear, “Never again, CAT!”.                

The giant beast then tipped it’s head back and let out a harrowing scream. The noise was so loud that Jemima grabbed on to her ears and pushed hard on them to try and drown out what was definitely the most terrifying sound she had ever heard. She closed her eyes tight and sank down to her knees, not letting go of her ears. A moment had passed and Jemima realised that the noise had stopped, so she opened her eyes and carefully put her hands back down. All had fallen eerily silent.

She paused for a second and slowly started to stand up. When Jemima was fully stood up, she peered into the nook again, to see that her cat had been replaced with a peculiar looking creature. Its body had the form of a cat, but Gully’s white patched fur had been replaced with oily looking black feathers all over his body, right down to the tip of his tail.      

Gully’s little feline face had also changed. He now had a sharp, hooked, black beak and small black feathers all over his young face. The only thing that had remained the same was Gully’s shining eyes. Jemima could see it was still her Gully, from looking at his shining green, almond eyes. He was in there, unchanged as he always was.. But now he was imprisoned in a strange hybrid body, never to be the same again, and at the mercy of the crows.

Tears streamed down Jemima’s face as she looked at her tormented, transformed friend. Within moments, all of the crows let go of the new creature and flew up to join the flock, whilst the giant bird remained.  The giant bird which Jemima had worked out to be the leader of the flock, bent down to take the back of Gully’s neck in its beak, and with one strong flick, managed to pull Gully up and carry him in its mouth. The beast rose up, flying out of the tree and up into the amber sky.

The beast flew up further and further, with Gully hanging like a limp, oiled rag. As much as she felt like she couldn't believe her eyes, Jemima finally found her voice and called out to Gully in despair. “GULLY!!! GULLLYYY!!!”.                          

Gully could do nothing but just stare lifelessly at his human friend. The other flying crows formed a line and flew single file behind their master, up in to the clouds, until they were completely out of sight.

Jemima started to cry uncontrollably, her chest heaved heavily as floods of tears escaped her eyes. She crumbled to a heap on the floor and whispered to herself inbetween sobs “Oh Gully, why couldn't you of been a vegetarian”.