2. A LITTLE COMPANY

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Submitted Date 08/20/2018
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Crickets were chirping steadily in the bushes outside. A little girl sat on her bed, listening to the late summer noises. She looked thoughtfully into space, aware of the quiet moment, and then at a little monkey sitting on top of a rabbit cage across from her. The monkey stared curiously at her. The girl had rescued it from a howling gale the night before, and the girl and her father had put it up with blankets in an old rabbit cage, the former home of Mopsy.

The girl cocked her head. The monkey cocked his head.

“Hello,” voiced the girl with a wave. The monkey raised his hand, and waved back as well. The girl smiled in delight and surprise. Just then, her father popped his head through the door.

“Mary,” he said, “I think perhaps you ought to keep that monkey downstairs. You never know if he has fleas or germs or who-knows-what. Please bring him downstairs, before you go to sleep.” Mary’s mouth turned down at the corners.

“Are we taking him to the vet soon?” she asked.

“Yeah; I still have to look into that. We ought to find a suitable home for him also, sooner or later.”

“But Daddy! Why can’t we keep him?”

“We can’t keep a monkey,” Mary’s father winced at the strange idea. “Anyway, Mary,” he said before Mary could object, “make sure it doesn’t jump around or get wild around this room, and bring it downstairs.”

“Okay,” Mary mumbled, and her father retreated back to his study. Mary and the monkey looked at each other again, as if with perfectly mutual understanding. “You wouldn’t possibly make a mess of my room, would you?” the girl thought at the monkey. “Hmmm,” she mused, looking at him hard. “I don’t want you to go; I’m rather lonely by myself, especially in the summer. But as long as you’re here, I’ll give you a name and you shall be my pet—as long as ever you’re here! Now what should I name you?” She stared hard at him.

“Mikey!” she exclaimed. “Mikey the monkey! Hi, Mikey!” Mikey chattered and waved at Mary with both hands. He leapt off the cage and onto her bed. “Oh no! You can’t do that! You might be dirty!” Mary picked up Mikey and ushered him into the cage. But Mikey leapt away at once, and onto the standing lamp! Alarmed, Mary tried to get the monkey into his bedroom. It took several long minutes.

“Mary! Can you bring it down now?” came her father’s voice.

“Yeah!” called back Mary, and soon shut the very upset Mikey into his container. She draped it over with a blanket, and hauled the cage down to the living room.

“Be careful he doesn’t bite,” her father warned, hearing the angry noises and clanking from the cage.

“He won’t.”

“You can’t be too sure.”

Mary said nothing.

In the middle of the night, Mary felt a sudden weight on her belly. It crawled hands and feet underneath the covers, and curled right up next to her.

“Alright, if you insist,” Mary thought, half-asleep. “Even if it’s a short time, I’ll be happy to have you around. I’m so happy . . . to . . .”

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