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Madame Chamberlaine: The Pets Get Wet

Tzipie Wolner

“Oh la la!” Madame yelled. “Boys! What do you think you’re doing?!”

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

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HEEEEEEEP! MEEEOOOOOW! SQUEAAAAAK!”

Madame Chamberlaine stopped walking. She cocked her left ear.

“CHEEEEEEEP! MEEEOOOOOW! SQUEAAAAAK!”

“These animaux are in pain,” she said.

She clutched our fingers and ran in the direction of the noise.

We dashed through bushes, pebbles, and around rubber garbage bins.

“CHEEEEEEEP! MEEEOOOOOW! SQUEAAAAAK!”

We followed the cries. We raced around a bend, behind a house, and stopped.

In a huge yard stood two boys. In front of them were three cages. In one cage were three yellow canaries. In the second cage was a hamster, and in the third cage was a gray kitten. Next to the cages was a bowl filled with water and two goldfish.

One boy held a hose and the other a bottle of soap. They were taking turns spritzing the animals.

The poor animals were covered in soapy bubbles. The feathers of the canaries were dripping. The hamster, looking like a wet ball of fur, cowered in the corner of his cage. The kitten ran from side to side trying to avoid the spray of water and soap. The fish bowl was overflowing with bubbly, soapy water.  

“CHEEEEEEEP! MEEEOOOOOW! SQUEAAAAAK!”

“Oh la la!” Madame yelled. “Boys! What do you think you’re doing?!”

The boys looked up.

“Nothing. We’re just giving all our pets a good shower.”

Madame Chamberlaine ran through the slippery grass and mud in her pink high heels. She wanted to get the water hose and soap away from the little boys. Suddenly, she slipped and flew through the floating bubbles and water and BAM! landed on the ground!

“Close the water maintenant!” she said. “These pauvres animaux! Look at les oiseaux! They are almost dying!”

The boys dropped their hands. “We’re not doing anything wrong! We’re trying to clean the animals.”

“Les garçons! You can’t spritz soap and water on these little animaux. If you want to clean them, you need to wash them gently. Look at the poor poissons! They’re swimming in soap!”

“We’re taking off all their slime!” one boy said.

“You’re taking off their fins!” Madame said. “Whose animaux are these anyway?”

“They belong to our family, but since my sister got married last week, no one wants to care for them. They’re dirty. That’s why we tried to wash them,” one boy said.

“CHEEEEEEEP! MEEEOOOOOW! SQUEAAAAAK!”

Madame shook her head. “Listen to them crying. They are scared. Shut off the water, please.”

One boy went to turn off the hose.  

Madame Chamberlaine tried getting up from the floor. She put one foot out and as soon as she tried to stand, she fell back.

 “Ooooh, ça fait mal!” she said clutching her ankle. (Excerpted from Mishpacha Jr., Issue 705)

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