Authors: Sonya Hartnett
Tags: #Ages 5 & Up
Because they were sad, I let Sadie and Ratz have a war with each other. Sadie won, but it was close. They are both good fighters.
On Tuesday, my stick insect, Pin, was missing a leg. At breakfast, he had six legs. At dinner, he had five!
This was too much.
I made the noise like the banshee bull. “Baby Boy stole Pin’s leg!” I wailed.
“Don’t be silly,” said Dad. “It probably just fell off. Maybe Pin ate it? Insects do funny things.”
“Pin did not eat his leg!”
I thundered. “Baby Boy pulled it off!”
“Baby Boy is a good boy,” said Mom. “He wouldn’t do something as naughty as that.”
I jumped up and down. I kicked the wall. “If
didn’t do it, who did?”
From where he was hiding, in the laundry basket, Baby Boy shouted, “Sadie and Ratz!”
But even Mom and Dad knew that Sadie and Ratz wouldn’t hurt Pin. Mom looked at Dad. Dad looked at Mom. Both of them looked worried.
I started to cry. “Baby Boy will get Pin out of his cage, and Pin will escape, and Dad will step on him!”
“No, no,” said Mom, “I’m sure he wouldn’t do that!”
“Oh no!” said Dad. “I’m sure I won’t do that!”
But neither of them looked very sure about anything.
Something peculiar was going on in our house.
That night, Sadie and Ratz wanted to rub Baby Boy’s ears, nose, hair and chin right off his head. But I knew that would cause more strife. Baby Boy knew it too. Baby Boy was little, but he was crafty.
I said, “Sadie and Ratz, you must go on vacation.” It was the best idea I had. If Sadie and Ratz were far away, Baby Boy couldn’t get them into trouble.
Sadie wanted to go where they make movies.
Ratz wanted to go where there were pinball machines.
They waved good-bye, and set off on vacation.
The next day, I was lonely. I was sad at school. At home, I lay on my bed and drew pictures, and ate some cheese sticks. I took Pin out of his cage and let him wobble up my arm.
When Pin had had his exercise, I put him back in his cage.
I missed Sadie and Ratz already.
Suddenly Baby Boy bellowed. Mom, Dad and I followed the sound. Baby Boy was standing in the sitting room, pointing to Mom’s precious clock. It was a tiny clock. It was a hundred years old. It lay on the floor in a hundred pieces. It wasn’t making its usual ticking noise.
Mom’s eyes made circles. “What happened?” she asked.
“Sadie and Ratz,” said Baby Boy.
“That’s not true!” I shouted. “Sadie and Ratz are on vacation!”
“I didn’t do it!” said Baby Boy.
Mom and Dad looked at me, and then at Baby Boy. Mom picked up some bits of clock. The bits were tiny. The biggest bit was the clock’s round face.
The small hand was pointing to the number 2.
The big hand was pointing to the number 12.
Mom said, “The clock stopped ticking at two o’clock.”
At two o’clock, Sadie and Ratz had been playing pinball, and I had been at school.
Dad wouldn’t break Mom’s clock, and Mom wouldn’t either, and neither would Pin.
Which left only one suspect.
But Baby Boy was a good boy. At least, that’s what everyone thought.
And then we guessed who had
been drawing on walls, spilling milk, stealing legs and breaking clocks.
We all looked down at Baby Boy’s hands. Baby Boy smiled like a happy, crazy monkey.