“Hi, is Pepper there?” On the phone, Ms. Kathy Bigfoot asked for her nephew.
“He’s in his room. Wait just a sec. ... Is this Auntie?”
“Yes, I’m sorry I should have given my name.” A pause. “How are you Berry? Are you glad to be starting school?”
Ms. Kathy waited as her sixteen-year-old niece turned down the music she had blasting in her room. Finally
said, “I guess. It will be good to see my friends. I haven’t seen any of them this summer. Dad took us off for a long old boring vacation to some park in Berry . I hated it. Here’s Pepper.” Alaska
“Hi Auntie.” Ten-year-old Pepper threw himself onto the living room couch, displacing the mean family cat, Mr. Mugs. The huge cat rose on tip toes, arched its back and shot off the couch in a typical Mr. Mugs’ hissing drama. Pepper laughed. He simply said into the phone, “Mr. Mugs.”
Ms. Kathy Bigfoot knew exactly what had happened, for Mr. Mugs had several times done the same thing when Kathy had seated herself on the couch Pepper was on now. Ms. Kathy visited often with her niece and nephew, so knew the cat’s habits well.
“Pepper, what’s going on?” Through the phone Ms. Kathy could just barely hear Pepper enjoying himself apart from their conversation.
“A green snake, Auntie. Mr. Mugs left a green snake on the couch. It’s still alive.” Pepper giggled, screeched and evidently fell off the couch.
“Pepper! I don’t have long to talk to you. Pepper!”
Ms. Kathy now heard
in the background laughing and screeching. Both of the children seemed to have forgotten that Ms. Kathy was still on the phone. But at long last, Pepper placed the phone back to his ear. Berry
“Auntie, did you hear we have a green snake here? Stop it
. Leave it alone. Quit! Don’t do that! ... Auntie, Berry ’s pretending to eat Mr. Mugs’ snake. NO! She just stuffed it in her mouth. Spit it out Berry ! Spit it out now! B e r r y! She won’t spit it out. No, no, no!” The phone clattered as if Pepper had tried to place it in its stand, but missed; Ms. Kathy could still hear the goings on. “She’s chewing it! Berry , I hate you.” Berry
Ms. Kathy could now hear an adult Bigfoot talking sternly to the children. The adult evidently noticed the phone out of its stand and put it back. When Ms. Kathy found a free minute in her busy schedule, she called again and asked for her nephew, Pepper.
“So, Pepper, did
really eat Mr. Mug’s green snake?” Berry
“Yes, Auntie, she did. I’m so mad at her. She ate every bit of it. She wouldn’t even give me a little bitty b i t e. She’s not a very good sharer. I hate her.” A long pause. “I wanted to eat the snake myself, Auntie.”