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1. BEYOND THE WINDOW
During one very blustery evening, Mary peeped out the window. She so much loved storms! The sky became even darker. A blue light glowed behind some distant clouds.
“Rumble rumble rumble!” the thunder roared, and thick rain fell right at that moment, slapping the streets and windows with its heavy drops.
“Mary! Get away from the window!” called Mary’s father in a worried tone. Mary left her spot and joined her father on the couch. “This storm is very strong; I don’t want you near the windows in case something breaks the glass.”
Mary said nothing, but nodded. The trees outside their house waved wildly in the wind, but the little girl could not imagine that anything could damage their safe abode. Their home was sturdy and warm.
“RUMBLE! RUMBLE!” the thunder bellowed again. The lamplight flickered, and suddenly went out. Mary’s father flipped up the light switch nearby. Nothing happened.
“Looks like it’s time for candles. We’ve lost power,” he said, and he walked down the hall to get candles. Mary leaned forward, sitting at the edge of the sofa. She didn’t dare to go to the window again, since she was a good girl and obeyed her father. Still, Mary looked eagerly through the top of the window where there was no curtain covering the panes. The sky was a dark, dark blue, and lights, sometimes yellow and sometimes blue, flashed and danced across the blurry clouds. The thunder growled and gurgled above them, and Mary was just about to raise her eyes to the ceiling where the thunder seemed to be when something small and strange caught her eye.
Just outside, clambering rapidly through the tree next to the window, was a dark little creature. It had an unusually long tail, and curious little hands and feet. Suddenly the wind blew so strongly that the patio light switched on. Mary’s eyes grew enormous—it was a monkey!
The little creature leapt to the window sill with a sharp sound as it landed, and Mary could hear it chattering away on the other side. Mary turned her head to hear where her father was. He was just coming out of the kitchen and back down the hall. Did she have time?
Mary dashed to the front door and stepped outside. The rain was tremendous. She hurriedly went round the corner to the window. Yes, the monkey was still there, looking at her with large, black eyes—and it really was a monkey! How on earth could it have gotten there?
“Mary! Get inside this instant!” yelled an angry voice.
“Now! Do you hear me? Mary!” Mary had quietly stepped toward the window, and cautiously extended her hands for the monkey to climb onto her. She suddenly felt her father’s strong hands yanking her back towards the door. “You listen to me when I tell you to do something,” her father scolded.
“No! No!” Mary wailed, planting her feet against the brick walkway, but her father took her back inside.
“Sit on the couch,” he commanded, and Mary anxiously obeyed. He had set an oil lamp on the side table in the corner. Oh, how the monkey must be longing to come near the warm little fire! “When I tell you to do something you must listen to me,” her father said. “Storms aren’t safe to be out-and-about in. You could get killed. You never know if a tree could fall, or something getting knocked about by the wind could hit you, or if lightning might strike. This is a hurricane. You never go outside in one of these, do you hear me?”
Mary kept staring at the window, and a small sound of assent leaked out of her. “But Daddy, I saw something!”
“The lightning isn’t any excuse to go into a raging hurricane,” her father said. “You have to use your head . . . What is a monkey doing at our front door?”
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