Edie woke up. She rolled over and looked at the clock:
Another day, another battle to stay awake. Edie and Yarrow were so tired, and to make it worse, the mornings were getting colder, especially at 4am.
That afternoon, Edie was doing her homework, and Yarrow was watching cartoons. Suddenly, Edie heard a strange noise. It wasn’t plastic toys smashing together.
She heard it again.
I’ve heard that sound before, she thought to herself, but her tired brain couldn’t remember exactly what it was. Oh well, never mind, and she went back to finishing her homework. Well, actually, it wasn’t homework, it was the work she didn’t finish in class. Do you know why she didn’t finish it?
Eventually she managed to finish her homework and she decided to visit Ralph. She didn’t have a plan and she didn’t know what she was going to say. She thought that if she stayed in his enclosure for long enough, she might think of a brilliant idea.
When she entered, she was shocked by what she saw. Rather, she was shocked by what she didn’t see. She couldn’t see Ralph. She checked in all his favourite hiding spots, she called out his name and she ran around the pen. Nothing.
Where could he be?
This is not good, Edie knew. Ralph ate the family’s food scraps and made the soil good for planting seeds that became fruit and vegetables. Mum and Dad would not be happy.
She sat for a while and tried to brainstorm a solution, but it was no use. Plus, she was getting cold and hungry, as well as tired. She walked back inside and slumped on the lounge next to Yarrow while he watched his cartoons. She didn’t like his cartoons, but she was too exhausted to think.
Then she heard it again, the familiar noise.
It was very quiet, but it was coming from the lounge. She heard it again. It came from the space between her and Yarrow.
Wait, I know that sound, it’s Ralph. Edie looked around at her Mum, who was working on her laptop. Then she slowly lifted the blanket off the cardboard box between herself and Yarrow. She saw the airholes Yarrow had punched in it, and Ralph’s two little eyes looking up at her.
Yarrow and Edie looked at each other, then slowly at their Mum. Yarrow looked at Edie as if to say,
Don’t tell Mum. They both knew they would be in a lot of trouble for taking Ralph out of his pen.
“Why?” Edie whispered.
“To watch the cartoons,” Yarrow explained. “They help me relax, so maybe they’ll help him relax.”
Edie had to think quickly.
“Distract Mum,” she ordered her little brother.
Yarrow didn’t know what to do so he walked towards his mum and pretended to cry, except it sounded more like he was laughing, or singing, or choking…
It didn’t matter. Their mum was distracted and Edie was able to lift the box ever so quietly and tip toe out of the house to release Ralph back into his pen.
Phew, that was close!
Image: Arib Neko