Blinking, Abigail stretched her paws above her head and yawned. There was a rumbling noise from her tummy. She sat up quickly. She felt much better and… hungry! Wrinkling her nose in delight she pushed the covers away and clambered to her paws. ‘Patrick!’
‘Yes?’ A small white face looked worriedly around the door, ‘What’s the matter now?’
‘Nothing. I’m hungry!’
‘Thank goodness, come downstairs and have some orange juice, you need your vitamin c.’
‘I don’t want any water thank you,’ said Abigail, following him out of the room.
‘C! Not sea as in water,’ said Patrick, ‘it’s a vitamin that helps you get better quickly.’
‘Oh,’ said Abigail, having no idea what a vitamin was, but hoping it tasted like cake.
Preston was already sitting in the kitchen. As Abigail padded in he quickly pulled a mask over his nose.
‘What are you doing?’ asked Abigail suspiciously, sitting down as Patrick climbed up into the fridge to get the orange juice. ‘Have you hurt yourself?’
‘Germs,’ muttered Preston in a muffled voice from behind the mask, ‘you’re probably still infectious, we don’t want your cold.’
‘What’s a germ? Is it like a vitamin?’ Abigail leaned towards him in interest. Preston leant back quickly.
There was a loud sneeze from under the table.
‘Oh no!’ squeaked Preston, scampering back across the table, ‘now Grigs has got it too!’
There was another sneeze, followed by a loud sniffing noise. ‘My snouts all wet and runny.’
‘Ewghh,’ shuddered Preston, backing up hard against the wall, ‘go back to bed, don’t stay here!’
Tipping upside down, Abigail peered under the table. It made her feel a bit dizzy again and she hung on tightly with her paws. The tiger did look a bit sad. His whiskers were drooping and his tail was very still. His tail was never still. ‘Would you like some chocolate?’ she asked kindly. Grigs shook his head and Abigail widened her eyes in surprise. ‘Really? Well you’ll feel better very soon just like me. Why don’t you go to bed. Oh and don’t bounce!’ she added.
‘I don’t feel like bouncing,’ said the tiger, ‘not bouncy at all.’ He sneezed again.
‘At this rate we’ll all get it,’ said Patrick, ‘come on Abigail you’ll fall off the table, here, drink this its good for you.’ He put a glass of orange juice in front of her and she sat up the right way again. ‘Is there any cake?’
‘Definitely better,’ muttered Preston.
Abigail scratched at her fur. It felt very matted but she’d been very hot.
‘Why don’t you have a bath,’ said Patrick, ‘you’ve never had a bath, you always wash in the sink.’
Abigail nodded thoughtfully.
Standing by the bath with a fluffy white towel in her paws, Abigail looked up and swallowed hard. It was very big. She’d always washed in the sink which was much smaller, it hadn’t felt right to climb up into the bath. She reminded herself that she was a very brave bear and reaching up high, pulled her self up and clambered onto the edge and looked down. It was a very long way down. There would be an awful lot of water in it. She’d never tried to swim but she was sure she would be very good at it.
‘Don’t fill it up too much,’ shouted Patrick from downstairs, ‘you still want to be able to stand on your paws. And don’t make it too hot.’
Abigail ignored him.
It didn’t take long to fill the bath and she filled it right up to the very top. It lapped against the edge and trickled gently down the sides. Abigail dipped a paw in. It felt lovely and warm. Sitting on the edge she kicked her paws too and fro, making swirly patterns in the bubbles. Some of them went over the side and onto the floor too. Now how to get in? Perhaps she could just slowly slide forward… She stretched out a paw…. Splash! A huge wave of water washed up and over the edges of the bath. Spluttering Abigail kicked her paws hard and gasped. She’d gone right under. Her ears were full of water. Shaking her head, she kicked her paws again and skimmed through the bubbles. She was swimming! This was easy!
‘ABIGAIL! What are you doing, there’s water coming through the ceiling!’
Turning on her back, Abigail kicked out again and floated up to the other end of the bath. Another wave washed over the edge. Picking up a bottle of coconut shampoo she began to wash her fur.
Sitting on a chair by the table, her fur soft and fluffy Abigail sighed happily. After drying herself off with a towel she’d brushed her fur and made sure all the water was out of her ears. Her whiskers were a bit wavy and she smoothed them out with her paws. The cold inside her must have completely gone, she really did feel so much better, perhaps it had come out in the bath. She glanced up at the ceiling. There were still a few drips of water oozing down onto the table, perhaps she had filled it just a little bit full.
‘We’re going to have to paint the ceiling again,’ said Preston from behind his mask, he seemed a bit annoyed. ‘You’re meant to keep the water IN the bath.’
Ignoring him Abigail took another bite out of her cake. It was delicious. It wasn’t her fault that it hadn’t been big enough for all the water. ‘Where’s Patrick?’
‘Gone to bed early, he’s got your cold too.’
Abigail wondered how it had got out of the bath. ‘I feel much better,’ she said, ‘I might make a sandwich. Why didn’t you get the cold too?’
Pulling at the strings tucked behind his ears, Preston tightened the mask around his face. ‘I’m a very careful polar, I look after myself.’
Pressing down hard on her sandwich, Abigail put it on a plate. She’d take it upstairs with a cup of hot chocolate. She did feel a little bit tired, it had been a very exciting day. Baths were fun. Padding happily out of the kitchen she waved a paw. ‘Goodnight.’
Preston wrinkled his nose. Then sneezed.