For Harry in Richmond
Hildegard, the Megamice (Arnold, Dorothy, Marigold), the dodo and the runner beans crept very very carefully towards the garden wall. Very very cautiously they lifted their heads to the parapet and very, very curiously they peered over the wall. Peregrine and Griselda who had leapt terrified into a tree, peeped through the branches.
And waited for the smoke to clear.
‘Shall we go for a quick cuppa and come back again?’ hissed the dodo to the Megamice. ‘This might take ages!’
‘No!’ hissed back Arnold.
Hildegard, her eyes still fixed on the smoke and whatever might be in it, rummaged about in the pockets of her skirt, took out a thermos and handed it to the dodo.
‘Oh, lovely!’ said the Dodo. ‘Just the ticket.’ Then he added hopefully, ‘Any biscuits?’
Hildegard, still not taking her eyes off the smoke, rummaged in the other pocket and took out a packet of biscuits, a mug, a tea strainer, a twist of sugar and a bottle of milk.
‘Triffic! My favorites!’ said the dodo, opening the biscuits. ‘You think of everything, luv!’
‘Yes,’ said Hildegard. ‘The thing is, you just never know, do you?’
‘True enough, true enough,’ declared the dodo. ‘Now what is going on in all that smoke?’
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