Abigail was very bored. Laying on her back she looked up at the rows of clothes above her. Raising her paws she waved them too and fro and the clothes swung from side to side. Catching her claws in a pink dress she shook her paw hard and there was a loud rattle from the clothes hanger.
‘Stop it,’ hissed Patrick, ‘someone will hear you.’ Clambering up onto the rail he looked down at her and frowned. ‘And get back a bit, someone might see you too.’
‘There hasn’t been anyone in here for ages,’ said Abigail, ignoring him and stretching out as far as she could. She kicked at the dress again. ‘Doesn’t anyone want to buy anything?’
Jumping down beside her the polar sighed. ‘Not everyone likes the same things. Anyway I think the shops about to close. Thank goodness.’ He looked around. ‘Where’s Preston? He hasn’t gone back to the electronics department again has he?’
Abigail didn’t really care. She looked at the dresses thoughtfully. They were very nice and such bright colours. She was sure she was a very stylish bear. Her orange scarf was beautiful and very cosy, but she but didn’t have any clothes, they didn’t really go with fur. Or maybe they did…
‘What’s Abigail and Grigs doing?’ whispered Preston, smoothing out a big white page of instructions. ‘You shouldn’t leave them on their own, you know what they’re like.’
‘They’re fine. Grigs is asleep and Abigail is just bored and kicking dresses,’ said Patrick peering over his shoulder. ‘What are those for?’
Preston pushed the piece of paper towards him. ‘Two way radios, I thought we could use them to talk to each other in the garden. You know, if one of us is in the house.’
‘That’s a good idea,’ said Patrick, sitting down next to him in interest. ‘How do they work?’
Buttons were quite tricky to manage with paws. Abigail stood up and looked in the mirror. She’d picked a cream lace blouse with tiny pearl buttons. It had looked very pretty on the hanger. But no, it was far too long, and her paws didn’t fit all the way down the sleeves. She didn’t like it at all and now she couldn’t undo it. And where had her paws gone, she couldn’t see them at all. Twisting around and wriggling hard, she managed to pull the blouse up off over her head with a pop. There was a rattle and little pearl buttons rained down over the aisle. With a sniff she peered down at the pile of clothes next to her and shook out a black top with silver sequins. Now this looked better, it was very sparkly and would go with her fur.
With a yawn, Grigs opened his eyes. There was a muffled noise coming from somewhere. Blinking he looked around. ‘Ah….Hello?’
Grigs peered across the aisle. ‘Help what?’
‘Me!’ said Abigail, ‘I can’t get out of this thing, it’s wound itself all around my paws.’
Looking up and down the aisle nervously, the tiger padded over. ‘Patrick and Preston said stay here. What are you doing in that?’
‘I’m trying to get out of it!’ said Abigail irritably, ‘But it doesn’t want me to and now I’ve got sequins all over my fur. Don’t just stand there. Help me!’
It was very dark in the shop and the lights were off. ‘Have you paid?’ said Patrick, pushing the box along the aisle in front of him. ‘We could always get them delivered later.’
‘But then we couldn’t use them tomorrow. We can get them on the bus with us, I’ve got a bag.’
Patting the box happily, Patrick nodded. ‘I’m sure they’ll be very useful.’ He glanced up. ‘The shops definitely closed, it’s safe to go no one will see us. Let’s get Abigail and Grigs and find the bus.’
Standing by the huge heap of clothes and shoes Patrick sighed.
‘I was just trying a few things on,’ said Abigail defensively. ‘There was no one around.’
‘I had to help,’ said Grigs. ‘She got stuck.’
Preston picked up a cream top. ‘Where did all the buttons go?’
‘Under here,’ said Grigs, rolling one towards him with his paw. ‘And here. Oh.. and here..’
Shaking his head Preston sighed again. ‘Come on.’ There was a loud thud. Then another. ‘And take that shoe off Abigail, bears don’t wear shoes…’
It was very bumpy on the bus. And very dusty under the seat. Putting her paw over her mouth Abigail sneezed. When she got home she wanted a bath. It had been fun choosing a bed but she definitely wasn’t a bear that wore clothes. That hadn’t been fun at all. The bus slowed down.
‘This is our stop,’ whispered Patrick, ‘get ready.’ The doors opened with a hiss. ‘Quick. Run!’
Scampering along the pavement, they all ducked down quickly under the hedge. Pushing the leaves aside Abigail followed the polars along the side of the street. They were pulling a bag between them and she wondered what was in it. Behind her Grigs bounced through the branches with an occasional ‘Ow!’.
‘Are we almost there?’ she said, ‘I’m very tired, and very dusty.’
‘Just a little way,’ said Patrick, he pointed with his paw. ‘There, there’s our house.’
Shutting the gate behind them they padded up the path. Taking a key out from behind his scarf, Preston clambered up and opened the door. Reaching up he turned on the light and they all climbed over the step into the warm hall. Closing the front door behind her, Abigail leant back on it with a happy sigh. They were home…