Special places

By Jeff Capel

DIZZY: Rosie? Rosie? Rosie? Hello everyone! I’m looking for Rosie. She’s not in her favourite armchair, which she lets Dad borrow from time to time. She’s not on the roof of the garden shed from where she watches the fish in next door’s pond. She’s not curled up next to the boiler. She’s not... There you are!

ROSIE: Hello, Dizzy. Hello everyone!

DIZZY: Where have you been? I’ve been looking everywhere for you.

ROSIE: You know us cats, Dizzy. We like to wander. I’ve been out for a walk. To my special place. We live at 26 Woodside Lane with the Lucas family. Mum, Dad, and Molly and Noah, the twins. The name of our road gives you a clue as to where my special place is. It’s a little wood, where the grass is very long and the bushes are overgrown. It’s the best place around here to sneak up on the mice! Especially at night when my black fur blends in with the dark.

DIZZY: Ooh, that’s a bit scary, Rosie. Where’s Dad’s special place?

ROSIE: The garden, I think. He’s very happy mowing the lawn or planting flowers.

DIZZY: Or snoozing in the deck chair on a sunny afternoon! Ha, ha! Mum’s special place is the café at the park. She takes me there nearly every day. I know all her friends and all her friends’ dogs. What about Molly and Noah?

ROSIE: I remember a time when Noah was sad because he didn’t have a special place. He had come home one afternoon saying his teacher, Miss Fuller, had asked all the children where their special places were. Molly had found that an easy-peasy question to answer. She said it was granny’s house, because it always smelled of baking and she was allowed to help decorate the fairy cakes with icing and hundreds-and-thousands.

DIZZY: She said her friend Hannah’s special place was a corner of her bedroom, where she sat on big brightly-coloured cushions and read her favourite books. Jimi’s special place was the football pitch because he loved scoring goals.

ROSIE: But Noah didn’t have an answer. He told Mum he had thought about his bedroom with its superhero posters on the wall and the fire engines on his duvet cover. He liked going to bed and snuggling under that duvet...but he couldn’t say that.

DIZZY: Bathtime was fun. He still enjoyed playing with his action figures and his model sharks in a bath full of warm bubbles. Did that count? Everyone had baths so, no, it wasn’t special enough. The next afternoon Mum walked me to school to meet Noah and Molly. We stood at the school gates and I wagged my tail at all the children and parents I recognised. Noah ran across the playground to meet us. ‘You look happy,’ said Mum. ‘When we get home you can tell me all about your day.’

ROSIE: Molly and Noah have a glass of squash and a choc-chip cookie when they get home from school.

DIZZY: I lurk under the table on crumb watch!

ROSIE: Noah told us all about his day. In assembly they had sung his favourite hymn. He had got all his spellings right in the test that morning...

DIZZY: ...it had been curry for lunch – his favourite school dinner! He had painted a picture in Art of a tropical rainforest, which they were doing in Topic. Towards the end of the day he had looked around the classroom and seen Karl and Morgan and Rageh and Hannah and...everyone! He had so many friends at school!

ROSIE: And that’s when it came to him. He had been thinking so hard about where his special place could be that he hadn’t realised the answer was right in front of him. Noah’s special place was school!

DIZZY: Shouldn’t the family be home by now? I’ll go and sit by the front door and wait for them. Bye bye, everyone!

ROSIE: And I’m going to have a little nap in another of my special places. Soft and squidgy armchair, here I come. Bye bye!

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