Abigail watched Grigs bouncing up and down on the seat by the window. Tail flying, he sailed up towards the ceiling and back down again onto the yellow cushions. It was making her feel a bit dizzy.
‘Grigs’ said Patrick, padding into the room. ‘Stop it someone might see you!’
Ignoring him the tiger bounced even higher.
The gate swung open.
‘Post!’ shouted Abigail ducking down under the window. ‘Quick hide!’
Grigs bounced up high again and there was a startled cry from the path.
‘They’ve seen you! Freeze! Pretend you’re stuffed!’ Scuttling under the chair Patrick waved at him urgently. ‘Quick!’ he squeaked.
Landing hard on the cushions, with one paw and his tail in the air, Grigs froze.
‘Don’t breath…’ hissed the polar. ‘Just stay very very still….’
‘It aches,’ whispered the tiger out of the side of his mouth, ‘I can’t keep my paw up here. And my tail…’
‘Try!’ said Patrick.
A face peered in through the window. There was a tap on the glass. Then another. Motionless Grigs stared straight ahead. Holding his breath, one of his whiskers quivered slightly. The face disappeared and with a thud an envelope flew through the letterbox. There was the sound of footsteps on the path, the gate creaked open and then clicked shut.
‘They’ve gone,’ said Abigail, ‘they must have believed you were stuffed.’
With a small moan Grigs flopped down, shaking out his paw.
Preston appeared beside them. ‘What’s happening?’
‘Grips almost got us caught, someone saw him bouncing.’ Glaring at him, Patrick put his head in his paws.
‘No!’ said Preston, his eyes wide. ‘That could have been really serious.’
Patrick nodded. ‘We need to be more careful.’
‘We should make the house more secure,’ said Preston, rubbing his paws together. ‘Polar security services, that’s what we need.’
‘Why do we need that?’ said Abigail, ‘and what is it?’
‘Well,’ said Preston with a cough, ‘I have some skills.’
Patrick pushed past him, ‘we need to put a plan together, think about what we need. I can do that.’
‘I thought of it first,’ said Preston, scampering after him. ‘You can’t do it without me.’
Abigail sighed. It was going to be a very long day…
The polars sat in front of the screen, a long list beside them. Most of the things were crossed off.
‘Higher fence, post box by the gate, I think that’s it now. All safe and secure.’ Putting down the pencil, Patrick leant back happily.
Eating a cake Abigail half listened to them. She licked her paws, strawberry, delicious.
‘All the cameras are working,’ Preston tapped the screen. ‘Look, we can see the garden too.’
Leaning over his shoulder Abigail looked at the pictures. She could see all around their house. It was very clever but she did wonder why they couldn’t just look out of the window.
‘There’s just a few last locks to put on and then we’re done.’ With a satisfied sigh, Preston picked up the last sardine sandwich. Reaching out a paw towards the plate Patrick looked at him hard. Reluctantly Preston broke the sandwich in two.
‘I don’t think it was a good idea to let Abigail hold the rope,’ shouted Patrick, swinging too and fro above the door. ‘I feel a bit sick I think it was that sandwich. I’ve put the lock on, let me down now Abigail. Slowly!’
Leaning further out of the window Abigail giggled, the polar looked very small below her and his blue scarf was hanging right over his eyes. Standing up on the tips of her toes she dropped the rope down. There was a soft thud. ‘Ops!’
‘Ouch,’ said Preston, ‘that must have hurt, right on that flower pot.’
Dusting himself down Patrick glared at him. Getting to his paws he stalked into the kitchen.
Sitting on the table, Abigail watched the polars look at the photos on the screen. They seemed very pleased with themselves.
Patrick crossed off the last thing on the list and folded it up. ‘The house is safe now, no one can come in without us seeing them and everything will be left in the box behind the gate.’
‘Including the food?’ asked Abigail, ‘I mean I’d hate Grigs not to have his chocolate,’ she added quickly.
‘Even the food,’ said Patrick, ‘don’t worry. And if we want to, we can use the cameras around the house to look back to see what’s been happening, see.’ He tapped at the screen with his paw. A photo of Abigail appeared. Then another. And another. ‘What….how did you….’ He glanced at her.
Leaning forward Abigail pointed at one. ‘I like that one best.’
‘Don’t ask’ said Preston with a sigh, ‘it only encourages her…’