Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Snow Day

The seals were barking enthusiastically, jumping up and down at the window. With their black little noses pressed against the glass, their tails wiggled in delight. It was all they could do not to burst through the window and onto the frosted grass.

"Would you shut up!" Cookies glared, peering out from under the pillow he had wiggled under. "I'm trying to sleep!"

"Why are you sleeping during the day?" asked Pumble. In honor of the snowday, he had dawned a hat and a sweatshirt that was much too large for him. "Be productive. Beeeee productive." He giggled at his own joke.

Cookies stared back indignantly. "Do you think that's funny?" he asked bitingly. "I suppose it's funny to morons and fat people! Is eating all day productive? If expanding your waistline is a national goal, I say you should get a raise. Look at you!"

"Now Cookies," Hairy said kindly. "You're simply cranky because you haven't had your nap. Don't be mean to Pumble. He doesn't critisize your weight. It's time to go to sleep. " Giving one final glare, Cookies collapsed back into the pillows. "Now Pumble," Hairy continued. "Don't feel bad about Cookies. He just makes fun of your weight because he can't insult your sunny personality. He's just a negative person." An indignant squawk came from the pillows, and a few choice words.

Pumble puffed up his chest and replied, "I'm simply pleasantly plump. Besides, have you had these new crackers? They're too die for!"

Terrified no one was listening to their weather report, the seals barked louder and jumped harder, almost falling off the window seal. Hairy rubbed his temples and sighed inwardly.

"That's lovely," he said kindly to the seals. "Thank you for telling us. I appreciate the update." The seals continued to bark and bounce. "No thank you," Hairy said. "I'd rather not go outside. It seems a bit chilly."

"You want to go outside?" he asked as the seals continued. At their enthusiastic bobbing, he hesitated. "I'm not sure how to get you out there." The two seals erupted into barking and tail pointing. "Well, we can try," Hairy said reluctantly. "I don't think you'll like it--it's a lot colder than you think. Yes, I understand you're Arctic seals, but you have been in the Land of the Flowered Bed, not the Arctic."

The animals crept toward the front door. Even Cookies forgoed his nap to join the expedition. When they reached the door, Cookies flew up and undid the dead bolt and chain. Pumble turned the handle, and cold air blasted through the open door. The seals gingerly hopped onto the concrete, then to the edge of the sidewalk. Once the cold ice hit the seals' tender bellies, they yelped and skidded back onto the concrete, hopping down the hallway. They hopped into the living room, down the hallway, and back to the pillows, where they dove in for warmth. The other animals followed, laughing.

Pumble hoisted himself back up to the bed and began eating his crackers while Cookies returned to his nest of pillows. Hairy sat next to the seals and listened to their muffled barking.

"Yes, it was cold," Hairy said, smiling. "No, I agree. The snow in here is much nicer after all."