Running her paw along the wall, Abigail padded down the hall and into the kitchen. Both of the polars were sitting on the kitchen table. Patrick was peering at the laptop and Preston was writing numbers on a large piece of paper and muttering to himself. It looked very boring. She opened the fridge. ‘What’s for lunch?’
‘You’ve only just had breakfast,’ said Preston without looking up. He added two more numbers onto the bit of paper, then another one. ‘We’ll have a sandwich later.’
Abigail climbed up onto the table and Preston moved away quickly. ‘Don’t tread on anything.’
‘Why what are you doing?’ She felt a bit cross, she never trod on anything, she was sure of it.
Patrick glanced up. ‘We’re just doing the monthly accounts and paying the bills.’
‘There’s a lot of cake to pay for,’ added Preston, ‘and you’ve still got loads in the freezer, I’m not sure you need that much.’
Abigail wasn’t sure who bill was or why he was paid for cake but she didn’t really care. As long as there was enough to have with her hot chocolate she was happy.
‘Why don’t you tidy your room,’ said Patrick. ‘There are marbles all over the floor.’
Preston crossed out a number with a loud scratching nose. ‘And we need to concentrate.’
Climbing down from the table Abigail stuck out her tongue at them and padded back along the hall and up the stairs.
She really didn’t need to tidy her room. Her pink Christmas tree was on the shelf, her cover was on her bed and the bag pushed underneath it. She was a very neat bear. It was true that her marbles were on the floor, but she’d been admiring their lovely sparkly colours. The green and blue ones were her favourites. Picking one up in her paw she rolled it around. It felt smooth and cool and she held it up to the light. Dropping it back down onto the floor, with a flick of her paw, she threw it along the carpet and it shot out of the door. There was a loud crack. It must have gone right down the stairs, she hoped it hadn’t broken, it was one of her favourites. Jumping up and scampering out of her room she looked through the bannisters, she couldn’t quite see it. Pushing her head through the wooden posts she looked down. There it was! It seemed to be all right. She pulled her head back. Nothing happened, her ears seemed to be in the way. She pulled harder. ‘Ow…’ Twisting around she tried to put her head on one side. Stupid bannisters! Pushing her paws against them she tried again. No… she seemed to be… ‘I’m stuck!’ she called. ‘Are you there?’
There was a muttering from the kitchen and Patrick appeared at the door. Shading his eyes he looked up at her. ‘What are you doing? We’re very busy you know.’
‘What do you think I’m doing?’ said Abigail crossly, ‘I was looking for my marble and now my heads stuck.’ She pushed at the wood again. ‘Ow!’
‘Where are the marbles?’ asked Preston suspiciously, appearing beside Patrick and scanning the floor. He still remembered treading on them when he’d first arrived. ‘Be careful they’re very dangerous.’
‘Abigail’s pretending to be stuck,’ said Patrick, ‘look she’s put her head between the bannisters.’
‘Oh yes,’ said Preston, giggling. ‘She won’t be stuck when it’s lunchtime.’
‘I AM stuck!’ shouted Abigail, kicking at the floor. ‘I’m really really stuck!’
Patrick and Preston looked at each other. ‘Oh dear,’ sighed Preston.
They’d tried everything. Patrick had pushed whilst Preston pulled. Then Patrick had pulled whilst Preston pushed. Then they both pulled, and pushed. ‘Watch my ears!’ shouted Abigail loudly, ‘you’re trying to pull my ears off!’
Patrick shook his head. ‘No we’re not Abigail, I don’t know how you got your head through there.’
‘I’ll get some olive oil,’ said Preston, ‘there’s some in the cupboard.’
Abigail shook her head. ‘I’m not having oil in my fur.’
‘Well you’ll have to stay there then,’ said Patrick, sitting down beside her. ‘I don’t know how you’re going to eat.’
‘Well maybe just a little bit then,’ she huffed.
‘Hold still, stop wriggling!’ Patrick dabbed more oil on her ears.
‘It’s cold!’ Abigail tried to pull her head back again. No still stuck.
Down in the hall, the tiger sat looking up at her. ‘I could bounce her out?’
‘No!’ said Abigail firmly, ‘absolutely no bouncing.’
Preston handed Patrick some more olive oil. ‘If she had smaller ears it would be easier.’
Abigail quickly put her paws on her ears. ‘They’re not big! They’re bear sized. Yours are too small.’
‘No they’re not,’ said Preston hotly, ‘they’re…’
‘Will you two stop arguing!’ said Patrick, ‘we’ve almost used all the oil, help me pull her out. Grigs come up here too.’
Abigail wasn’t happy at all. Stupid bannisters, how had she got stuck? They must have moved after she’d put her head through them. She was sure of it.
‘Everyone ready?’ asked Patrick. “Hold on to her paws. One, two, three…. Pull!’
There was a loud popping noise, followed by a thump. ‘I’m out!’ shouted Abigail happily, patting her oily ears. They were a bit sore. She looked around. ‘Patrick? Preston?’
Abigail stood up. She giggled. ‘Was I sitting on you?’ She held out a paw to help them up.
Preston shook his head. ‘We were having a nice quiet day, paying your cake bills then you go and get stuck. I don’t know how you do it.’ He wiped his paws together. ‘And now we’re all oily too.’ He padded off down the stairs.
Abigail patted her ears again, all of her fur was matted together. She’d better have a bath.
Patrick was polishing the oil off the bannisters with a white cloth. ‘Try not to do that again Abigail.’
With a sniff, she stood up as tall as she could. ‘It wasn’t my fault, I was just trying to see where my marble went.’
‘Whooooaaaaa….. ‘ Somersaulting down the hall Preston skidded to a halt against the wall.
‘Oh… there it is,’ said Abigail happily. ‘Thanks Preston…’