house of happy

Life adventures in prose and verse. Explorations of places, people and words. Stories and fun.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

44 days, 43

Cheeta wakes me up in the middle of the night: do you see how the neighbour's wall is all lit up? He whispers.

The unspoken question: 'Is there someone in our house?' We look at each other with dread.

Well used to domestic martyrdom, I sigh. 'I'll go!'

'I'll come with you!' – he's no lily leaf himself.

'Wait! Let me put my jammy trousers on!' Like that's gonna instill respect in your average house robber.

Armed with keys, torches and a blackberry, we march in grim silence to the house.

The effect is slightly spoiled when Saffie starts barking like mad, right at the back door. 'Great. Now they know we're coming!' , 'Well, hopefully they'll grab the stuff and run!' etc., etc.

It's at this point that WE get distracted in a big way. Our joined torch beams reveal that Saffie is not barking at a gang of masked robbers, but at a hedgehog on the threshold of the tool shed. One lightning-fast shuffle, and it's gone! The sweet little prickly thing is inside the shed now. We look for it but it's vanished completely among buckets and paintbrushes. We can't leave the door open and unlocked (well, it was open and unlocked... but the robbers, remember?) - so we spend some time widening the gap between the door and the ground. 'Do you think he'll manage?', 'How long are those quills?', 'Sorry, didn't have the chance to measure them.', 'Shall I bring a saucer of milk?' etc.

Eventually we get back to our intruders. I wonder briefly why they need so much light, for so long. There's not much in there, just some of Cheeta's tools and empty juice bottles. We advance slowly and carefully, while I try to remember how to attack people with a small bunch of keys. Perhaps I should pick up a stick? A leftover plank of plasterboard? A trowel? No time. We are upon them. They seem to be in Nikita's bathroom.

We charge in, jammy trousers flapping, torches waving. Nothing. Not a soul. We look around. We look at each other. Nikita:

'Mica-a. Did you forget to turn the lights off?' Uh-oh.


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