Edie woke up. She rolled over and looked at the clock:
“Nooooo, why does Ralph have to wake up so early every day?” she sighed.
Edie rolled over and tried to get back to sleep, but it was impossible. She thought about having some breakfast, but it was too early. She thought about reading a book, but she was too tired. So, she tossed and turned and thought about how to stop Ralph The Rowdy Rooster from waking her up at 4am every morning.
While she was thinking about this, she heard a strange noise. She heard little pieces of plastic smashing together in the next room. Her little brother Yarrow was recreating a battle scene with his toy soldiers. He couldn’t sleep either.
Eventually Edie smelled coffee. Her parents were wide awake and they were making her breakfast. How come Ralph didn’t wake them up? It’s not fair, Edie thought.
She shuffled out of her room like a zombie. Yarrow shuffled out of his room like a zombie.
“Good morning,” said their parents.
“Good mor…” Edie started to say, but her greeting was swallowed by a big, long, heavy yawn.
Munch, munch, munch, she chewed through her cereal, still half asleep.
Munch, munch, munch, Yarrow chewed through his cereal, also half asleep. Edie looked at Yarrow and thought,
Do I look as bad as him?
Yes, she did.
That day at school, Edie couldn’t stay awake. She tried and tried, but she kept falling asleep. When she got home, she kept falling asleep while she was trying to make a birthday card for her friend Marcela. That’s it, she thought, I must find a way to stop Ralph from waking up so early. She walked over to the TV and turned off Yarrow’s cartoons.
“Hey, I was watching that,” he protested.
“Not anymore, we’re going to talk to Ralph.”
Yarrow followed her and did what he was told because he didn’t like waking up at 4am, and because he knew Edie could be very determined. Not bossy, just determined.
Edie and Yarrow entered Ralph’s enclosure. They scattered food scraps on the ground to get his attention.
“Ralph,” said Edie firmly, “you must stop waking up at 4am every day!”
Ralph looked up for a moment, then kept pecking at his food. Yarrow picked up a piece of apple and offered it to the rooster.
“We want to sleep for longer in the morning, can you wake up later please?” he asked.
Ralph finished eating the piece of apple, then looked at them both attentively.
“I fell asleep today when Mr Gresford was reading the book and I don’t know what happened at the end of the story,” Yarrow said sadly.
“And I fell asleep during Science,” said Edie, “so now I don’t understand photosy…phostyso…photisyonpasenthelis…oh, I don’t know what it is.”
Ralph looked at Yarrow, then at Edie.
“Ralph, see those hills over there…” and Ralph’s eyes followed Edie’s finger as she pointed to the hills beside the family’s property.
“…you must not wake up until the sun comes over the top of those trees, ok?”
Ralph kept looking at Edie. She was sure he understood what she was saying.
“Or, you can wake up when you smell the coffee,” said Yarrow, and Ralph pushed his little beak up into the air like he was trying to smell something.
Yarrow and Edie were certain Ralph was listening, and that he understood what they told him. They were quite happy. They walked out of Ralph’s enclosure, closed the gate and walked back into the house with big smiles on their faces.
“We’re going to get a good night’s sleep tonight,” Edie assured Yarrow.
Image: Arib Neko