Abigail was eating her toast, it was very crunchy, perhaps she’d burnt it a little. Brushing at her whiskers, she sneezed. Crumbs were annoying things, they got all through your fur. There was a soft thud in the hall. That must be the post. Climbing down she padded out of the kitchen. There was a big white envelope on the mat. Picking it up with her paws she turned it over. ‘To Patrick, Abigail and Grigs. Patrick!’ she called excitedly ‘I’ve got a letter!’ Running back into the kitchen she ripped opened the envelope. A card fell out onto the floor.
Appearing beside her, the polar grabbed at it. ‘Who’s it from? Who’s writing to you what have you done?’ He turned the card over. ‘Oh its to all of us, it’s from Preston.’
Abigail peered impatiently over his shoulder. ‘I haven’t done anything at all, just eaten some toast. What does it say?’
Patrick cleared his throat. ‘Dear Patrick, Abigail and Grigs.’ Narrowing his eyes, he paused. ‘I see my names written first, why did you open it?’
Abigail pulled his scarf hard and he fell over. ‘Ops sorry, trod on it.’
Sighing heavily, Patrick picked himself back up again. ‘Dear Patrick, Abigail and Grigs,’ he said again. ‘I’m having a very nice time on holiday, here’s a picture of uncle Paisley and me at the museum. It’s all very interesting. Hope you are keeping well. Preston.’
Picking up the card Abigail turned it over. It had a photo of Preston and Uncle Paisley on it looking at a picture, She turned it back again and sniffed. ‘It’s a bit short. Not that I care of course,’ she added quickly. ‘They can do what they want. What’s a museum?’
‘It’s somewhere people go to look at famous pictures and interesting things.’
Abigail didn’t think that sounded very interesting at all. ‘Do they have cafes? And cake?’
‘Yes, some of them,’ said Patrick, ‘and a lot of the pictures are drawn by very clever people. That’s probably why they went to see them.’ Climbing up onto the fridge he pulled open the door and peered inside. ‘Do you want some orange juice? I think there’s some left.’
‘Yes please,’ said Abigail absently, looking at the card again. She tapped it with her paw. She was a very clever bear. She was sure she could draw much better pictures than that if she wanted to. ‘Do we … do we have any paints?’ she asked casually.
Drawing was much harder than it looked, she’d given up with the paint it wouldn’t come out of the tube in the way she wanted it to at all. Holding a crayon awkwardly in her paw, Abigail took a deep breath and tried again. The picture on the page didn’t look like a bear at all and she had orange crayon marks all over her fur and now they’d got on the chair. Rubbing at the marks, they smeared all over the cushion. Oh well, she was sure they’d come off. And if they didn’t they were a very nice colour.
‘Oh it’s an orange tree,’ said Patrick, climbing up beside her. He put his head on one side, ‘or is it a table?’ he asked doubtfully.
Screwing up the piece of paper Abigail threw it onto the floor. ‘I was just seeing what colour the crayon was.’
The polar nodded, trying to hide a giggle. He cleared his throat. ‘Pictures don’t have to be exact, they can just be an impression of what you’re drawing.’
‘But I don’t even have the right colours,’ said Abigail irritably, ‘and I wanted to draw a picture of us all.’
‘Just use whatever colours you have.’
‘Really,’ said Abigail doubtfully. There was a crunching noise from under the table.
‘Grigs!’ shouted Patrick, that’s a brown crayon that’s not a bit of chocolate!’
‘Yewwh! Blegh!’ Waving his tongue around wildly, the tiger spat bits of crayon out all over the floor. ‘Yech what was that?’
‘Stuff you draw with,’ said Abigail, ‘not food.’
‘Who left it there?’ said Grigs in anoyance, ‘right where my chocolate was.’ Shaking his head he stalked out of the room.
‘Not brown then,’ said Abigail with a sigh, looking at the few crayons that were left. She picked up a blue one. ‘Just an impression’ she murmured… ‘how hard can it be…’
The room felt very quiet as Patrick studied the picture. ‘Is it a… self portrait?’ Abigail nodded. ‘It’s an.. um.. uncanny likeness,’ he said politely.
Abigail pushed another towards him, ‘and here’s one of Preston and Paisley. I thought I’d send it to them.’
Patrick turned it over, ‘there’s another on the back that you’ve scribbled over.’
‘Yes,’ said Abigail, taking it back quickly, ‘I was practising.’
‘You should sign it if you’re sending it to them. What are you going to call it? Why not um…’ he scratched his head. ‘Bears?’
Abigail nodded happily, it was rather good if she said so herself. ‘When they see it, they’ll probably want to come back to see the other one I’ve drawn. They’re better than the ones in the museum.’
Patrick made a choking noise and ducking his head, pushed the picture into an envelope. ‘I’ll write the address,’ he said in a stifled voice. He handed her a stamp. It stuck to her paw and she shook it. Flying up into the air the stamp landed on her nose.
‘Stupid thing,’ she muttered, pulling it off and slapping it onto the envelope. It was a bit crooked.
‘You know Abigail, I was thinking that.. well…Preston might want to stay with his uncle Paisley,’ said Patrick hesitantly, looking very sad. ‘He.. he might not want to come back.’
‘He will when he sees this,’ said Abigail firmly, pressing the stamp down harder on the envelope . ‘I’m sure of it.’ Sighing happily, she smiled.