The Rat, the Eggs, and the Cardigan

He sat. And thought, and thought some more, twisting his tail with his paw. He looked around the room. Some of the things in the room were like the things in the loft. But there were so many more. So many toy animals: a fluffy lamb dressed in tweed carrying a shepherd’s crook; three teddy bears lying in various undignified positions on the floor; a pile of building blocks, half assembled in a tower; a line of skittles, some standing neatly in rows, some scattered in a heap on the floor. So many dolls: in frilly dresses, in coats, wearing bobble hats, staring at him. The rat looked and looked and looked. At last he noticed, sitting in the corner of the room, a small doll, about the same size as himself, dressed in a pretty knitted cardigan, with a hood framing her face, secured by a blue drawstring ribbon.

An idea struck the rat, an idea so brilliant that it almost made him fall over with amazement. He crept up to the doll, undid the buttons of the cardigan, untied the ribbon of the hood, and gently took off the cardigan from the doll’s shoulders, like a polite gentleman taking care of a lady at a ball. Then he tried it on. The arms were a little too long, so he rolled up the sleeves. He crept across the room. He was able to move quite well. So far so good. He looked guiltily back at the doll, and then thought of the egg, sadly sitting in the loft. He would borrow the cardigan. He would try. He must try. He had promised he would.

He crept over to the egg, untied the cardigan, and laid it gently on the ground. He loosened the drawstring of the hood, put the egg inside, and tied it up again, fastening it securely with a double knot, and a bow for decoration.

From inside the hood, the egg sang, a little more faintly, “Weebles wobble but they don’t fall down,” seeming quite unworried by its new knitted home.


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