Kit and Kate sat in their playroom, both of them wondering what to do today. Their mom and dad were home, but both of them were busy, so it was just them.
"So what do you want to do?" Kate asked.
Kit looked over at one of their play tables, which had papers and crayons on it. He got an idea. He went over to the play table, and Kate followed him.
"I got it!" Kit said. He picked up a paper and two crayons - one was blue, and one was pink. "Let's play some tic-tac-toe."
"That sounds like a good idea!" Kate agreed.
The two kittens sat down on the floor, and Kit drew the game board. He gave the pink crayon to Kate, and then drew a blew X on the middle center square. Kate thought for a moment, and then drew an O on the lower left square.
Kit drew an X on the lower right square, smiling to himself in confidence. However, Kate drew an O on the upper left square, keeping Kit from winning.
Kit didn't take this well, so he decided to draw an X on the middle left square, keeping Kate from winning. Now that he was the one who was close to winning, Kate drew an O on the middle right square.
Kit took a deep breath and sighed to himself. Then he drew an X on the lower middle square. In response, Kate drew an O on the upper middle square. Shortly after this, Kit drew an X on the upper right square - the last square available.
The kittens both went silent as they looked over at the game. They then looked at each other.
"So who won?" Kate asked.
"There aren't any X's or O's in a row, so I guess neither of us won," Kit said. "That's called a draw, or a tie."
"You mean..." Kate started to tear up. "We both lost?"
"Well, yeah, but it's okay. Nothing bad happens when we get a tie; there's just no winner. We can just try again."
The tears in Kate's eyes went away. "Oh, okay."
"So let's try another game. If it happens again, we'll just start some new games until one of us finally wins," Kit decided.
Kit turned the paper over and drew the game board for a new game of tic-tac-toe.
"This time, you can go first," Kit said.
Kate drew an O on the middle right square, wanting to start in a different spot than the middle center square. Kit drew an X on the upper middle square, since his sister had already taken that place on the first game.
Then Kate drew an O on the lower right square, trying to win the game early. Seeing her do this, Kit drew an X on the upper right square to keep her from winning.
Kate drew an X on the upper left square to get back at Kit for keeping her from winning. Then Kit drew an X on the middle center square. He was pretty sure he was going to win the game, unless Kate did something to keep that from happening...
And she did. Kate drew an O on the lower center square. So Kit drew an X on the lower left square, the exact spot that she needed to put an O on to win the game. Kate then proceeded to draw an O on the middle left square - the last square available.
The kittens' eyes both widened as they realized that this game, like the one before it, had ended in another tie.
"Oh, not again..." Kate said.
"It's okay, Kate. Like I said, we can always try again." Kit started to draw the game board for a third game of tic-tac-toe on a different side of the paper.
"But what if it's another tie?"
"I'll tell you what. How about we play one more game, and if we get close to another tie, whichever one of us is the closest to losing has to let the other win?"
"Um, okay..." Kate didn't think this was going to be a good idea.
Kit drew an X on the lower center square. Then Kate drew an O on the upper right square. She was still thinking uncertain thoughts about her brother's decision.
Not knowing what Kate was thinking about, Kit drew an X on the middle center square. Kate drew an O on the upper middle square to keep him from winning early.
Luckily, Kit knew that the time hadn't come, although it was getting close. He drew an X on the upper left square. Then Kate drew an O on the lower right square.
After that, Kit drew an X on the lower left square. He then looked up at Kate. Both of them had now come to a near-tie.
"Well, sis, we're just about here. Would you like me to let you win, or will you let me win?" Kit asked.
"Um... actually, I'm not sure," Kate said, sounding almost nervous. "You told me what a tie was, and if it weren't for that, I wouldn't have known what to do. So if you'd like me to let you win..."
"Wait a minute!" Kit said. "Before you go there, there's something I'd like to tell you. We got two ties, but you didn't take them too bad."
"I didn't?" Kate asked.
"No, you didn't," Kit said. "Any kid your age would get sad or mad if they got a tie. But you, you just accepted the tie for what it was and tried again. That's how a big kid should act!"
"Aw. Thanks, Kit," Kate said as she blushed. "So would you like me to let you win?"
"I'd say yes, but I'm more proud of you," Kit said. "How about we both win this, together, so that we can finish up?"
"That sounds good enough for me!" Kate nodded.
Kit and Kate both drew an X and an O on the middle left and middle right squares, respectively. They were the last squares available. This might not have been allowed in a real game of tic-tac-toe, but looking back at what they did, the two of them considered themselves and each other to be winners.