It’s Saturday and there’s definitely something strange going on. Pearl has noticed Essie has been hanging around more than usual, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of it.
Pearl knocks on the door of the cat room. She knows Essie is in there and has been for the last couple of hours.
“Who’s there?” Ellie asks.
“It’s Pearl… I think the more appropriate thing to say since this is my home and not yours is, “Please come in. Now, please open the door.”
“Okay,…Jeez, Pearl, can’t a person and a dog have a little privacy?”
“Of course, but I need to know what your motives are.”
“Your motives… I can’t help but notice you have been over here a lot more lately. Every time I look around, I see you. I doubt Pearl the dog’s bathroom habits have changed that much so clue me in please.”
“I’m grounded and this is the only place Mom will let me go besides home. The only reason I can come here is because of my job.”
“Your grounded again? Good Grief, child…You don’t seem to be able to stay on the right side of the law. What did you do this time?”
“I think it’s Mom’s fault. She should’ve told me no when I asked her if I could ride my brother’s bike to Harold the Barber’s to get a haircut. My brother really likes that bike.”
“Anyway, I was preoccupied by something on the way home and I wrecked his bike. It only scraped it up a little, and you can’t even see any damage on one whole side. The chain came off, but that’s an easy fix. The handle bars are kinda loose, but I like them that way. You can adjust them easier and make sharper turns.”
“So, you got grounded for making a pile of metal and rubber out of your brother’s fancy bike?”
“Well, not exactly. When Mom got home, I was crying and I couldn’t stop. I felt so bad, I even had those hiccups you get when you cry hard for a long time. Mom told me twice to stop crying and I really tried, but I was what you call, devastated. Mom got really nice and sat down beside me. She said she would have a talk with my brother and he probably wouldn’t be that mad, so I could quit crying over it now.”
“I must be missing something, here. It sounds like you were going to skate on this one.” Pearl really looked puzzled, and if it’s one thing Pearl really hates, it’s when she doesn’t have the whole story.
“I told Mom I wasn’t crying because I wrecked the bike, I was crying because I hate my haircut. Harold has a new guy working there part-time and just look what he did to me. I yelled at him too. I said, “It’s okay for me to have a little hair, buster!”
Well, Pearl told me I can’t stay in the cat room until my hair grows out, so we went to her apartment above the store. She said I needed a few lessons on how to leave well enough alone. I think that means, if things are going your way, keep your mouth shut. I’m staying over at Pearl and Grace’s as much as I can. At least til my brother cools down some. Pearl said I could keep coming over here, but she’s not going to pay me for hiding-out time.