One afternoon Abbot and I lay on the floor like slugs, poking each other like 4-year olds do. Abbot's gargling soon turned to sobbing as I may have poked a little too hard. My maker, with her eyes downward, focusing on a mouth or a nose she was sewing into place, said to us, "Caruthers and Abbot, you two are starting to annoy me. Please find something useful to do." I looked at Abbot, and he at me. First of all I wondered, how does she DO that? See us without LOOKING at us? Second, I thought, USEFUL. I'm not sure I've ever done anything useful. I had, however, recently overheard my maker as she mumbled to herself, about having a hard time keeping up with the housework. That gave me an idea. I quickly exited the room, dug through some things in my maker's drawer, and emerged with two squares of fabric. Bandannas, she had called them once. One puts one on one's head when they're going to do housework. I really don't know why. But tie them on, we did.
As if that wasn't enough to make Abbot roll on the floor gargling, we looked at ourselves in a mirror and, both of us hysterical with laughter, decided we should wear bandannas more often.
Thankfully the closet that houses the vacuum cleaner was open. Abbot and I scooted the monstrous machine out onto the carpet. We would quickly vacuum the carpets and floors in such a jiffy, no one would be the wiser as to how it got done. I pulled on the cord and plugged it into an outlet in the wall. I had seen my maker vacuum so many times, and I so badly wanted to try it. I flipped the lever and the glorious noise erupted from the machine. It didn't just LOOK like a monster, it SOUNDED like one too! With Abbot's help we pushed the cleaning attachment all around the carpet. Abbot wanted to try it alone, so naturally I let him. I didn't tell him about me riding on the back.
After we had finished the floors we made a trip up the stairs and to the bedrooms to make the beds. We stopped in the pink room and fluffed up the pillows. Abbot, the scalawag that he is, decided that jumping on the bed was more fun than fluffing pillows, so I captured him mid-flight and smooshed him down under the butterfly pillow. He says he was not happy, but I could see him smiling from under there.
Abbot was really enjoying his work. We made our way into the kitchen and Abbot climbed atop the counter to wash some dishes. I scurried about the kitchen collecting all the dirty dishes and hoisting them up and over, into the sink. Abbot was very careful to use a dry sponge and no water. He's getting smarter.
Cleaning is exhausting work. After about 15 minutes of hard manual labor, we thought it was time for a 4 hour break. We went back to the pink room and pulled numerous books from the shelves. We read Frog and Toad, looked at an atlas of the world, read some books on philosophy and composers (those last two made us a little sleepy), and next thing we knew we were rubbing our eyes, awakening after having fallen asleep. There was one more chore to complete. And as much as we didn't like the idea of it, we knew it had to be done. Abbot wasn't afraid. At least he wasn't after I told him I'd give him a whole pocketful of chocolates if he completed this last chore by himself.
Abbot IS a smart little guy, but sometimes he's not the brightest candle in the box. I didn't know how he would complete the task of cleaning a toilet and I didn't ask what his thoughts were. Of course, after I saw this scene I knew his idea had faltered. I grabbed him by his toe and yanked him from the toilet bowl, chiding him, saying that if he wanted to go swimming he should have asked our maker to take him to a pool. Silly Abbot.
Until next time.