Edie woke up. She rolled over and looked at the clock:
She got up and walked into Yarrow’s room.
“This is our last chance,” she declared. “I’ve got an idea and I think it will work, but we have to walk all the way to Mr Hart’s property.”
“What’s your idea?” asked Yarrow, who was very tired and confused, but desperate to know how Edie planned to finally stop Ralph from waking up at 4am.
“I’ll tell you when we get there. We have to hurry. Get your gloves, beanie and rain jacket. Let’s go!”
Yarrow wanted to remind his big sister that it was cold and raining outside – and still dark. Then he remembered that Edie could be very determined. Not bossy, just determined.
Two intrepid little adventurers slid their cold feet into their gum boots, zipped up their rain jackets and started sloshing through the mud. Yarrow wasn’t enjoying the cold because he much preferred summer, but one thing he did like about winter is that he could see his breath. He found it fascinating. He couldn’t see anything this morning, though, just the wet ground in front of him.
When Mum and Dad woke up, all they saw were two pairs of gum boots missing from the veranda, and two sets of prints in the mud; some small prints, and some even smaller prints.
Meanwhile, Yarrow and Edie wound their way through the narrow bush trails that they’d walked so many times they could find their way in the dark, without even thinking. Yarrow started wondering about Edie’s brilliant plan, and all of the other methods they had tried in the last few months.
First, they’d talked to Ralph, in English and in Yarrow’s special language. They tried dancing, sport and cartoons, and even made a clock. They also thought about painting pictures of the sun or teaching Ralph to how to count, whisper or hold his breath, but they didn’t get to try any of those ideas because they fell asleep. They were always falling asleep.
On this cold winter morning, however, they stayed awake long enough to walk all the way up the slippery, steep hills and watch the sun rise over the trees, just as the rain stopped falling. It was a stunning sight.
Mr Hart greeted them with a mug of hot chocolate and they all sat on his veranda watching the world wake up. Not long after they finished their hot chocolate, the intrepid little adventurers were walking home with a slightly heavy container that Mr Hart had kindly given them. The container was holding something important, something very important.
Image: Arib Neko