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From blue skies to rainy days

The Jacksons from the April 28 issue of the Manitoba Co-operator

Rose Jackson stared out the window at the cold, cold wet day. Rain pounded on the roof and water gushed out of the downspout at the corner of the sunroom, creating a river that ran steadily along the edge of the flower bed and down to the ditch that bordered the backyard. She slouched down in her armchair and heaved a disconsolate sigh.

“Where’s the Cat in the Hat when you need him?” she said.

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cartoon image of a family seated at a table
cartoon image of a family seated at a table
cartoon image of a family seated at a table

Andrew looked up from his book. “The Cat in the Hat only shows up when Mother has gone out,” he said. “And you are still here.”

“Well I’m not going out in this weather,” said Rose. “Cat in the Hat or no, it’s miserable out there.”

“We could make up our own games,” said Andrew. “I’ll be Thing One and you be Thing Two. Let’s see what kind of mischief we can cook up between us.”

“I want to be Thing One,” said Rose. “I’ve always wanted to be Thing One.”

“OK, whatever,” said Andrew. “Do we have any kites?”

“I don’t think so,” said Rose.

“How can we be Thing One and Thing Two if we don’t have any kites?” said Andrew.

“It’s all about the kites! Flying them around the house knocking pictures off the walls and bumping into beds and ruining Mother’s nice new dress. Without the kites Thing One and Thing Two would just be… Thing One and Thing Two,” he concluded lamely.

“You’re taking this very seriously,”
said Rose.

“Just trying to keep you happy,” said Andrew. “No one can be unhappy if they have a kite.”

“That’s actually kind of true,” said Rose.

“I know,” said Andrew, “but since we don’t have kites, would you like to just knock some pictures off the walls and ruin a few nice dresses anyway? We can do that without kites.”

Rose pondered that for a moment. “You know what?” she said. “Let’s forget the whole Cat in the Hat thing. Now that I think of it, I remember how reading the Cat in the Hat always just stressed me out. Because I could always picture the house being reduced to a shambles while I was out, but I knew there was no cat with a fancy Electrolux robot to pick everything up before I got home. Oh no, the picking up would be done by Mother with only the very grudging co-operation of the little brats who tore the house up in the first place, instead of sitting quietly and reading books as they had been instructed to do.”

There was a long silence while they both stared out the window and watched the continuing downpour.

“So, what do you want to do?” asked Andrew.

“What we do every night,” said Rose.

“Try to take over the world?” said Andrew.

“Yes,” said Rose. “And after that, have some tea and watch ‘Mad Men’ on Netflix.”

“That does sound pleasant,” said Andrew. “Do you think we can take over the world without going outside?”

“Of course,” said Rose. “Nobody goes outside to take over the world. They do it from a secret lair hidden deep under a mountain or something.”

“Or from a sunroom in the middle of a rainstorm, when no one’s expecting it,” said Andrew.

There was a brief pause.

“Didn’t Brian Pallister promise that if Manitobans elected the Conservatives there would be sunny days ahead for us?” said Rose. “Because so far that’s not a promise he’s doing a very good job of keeping.”

“Ah yes, well that’s just politics,” said Andrew. “Politicians promise nothing but blue skies from now on, meanwhile the rain falls upon the just and upon the unjust, just as the Good Book says.”

“It certainly falls upon everyone here,” said Rose. “In buckets.”

“We’ll be happy about this in a few weeks when we’re putting in the crops,” said Andrew. “Into each life a little rain must fall.”

“Stop quoting things,” said Rose. “If I want quotes about rain I’ll type ‘quotes about rain’ into Google and see what comes up.”

“It never rains but it pours,” said Andrew, grinning.

“Behind every silver lining, there’s a cloud,” said Rose. “Are you ready for tea?”

“Sure,” said Andrew. “And then we can watch Tea Vea. See what I did there?” he added.

“Yes,” said Rose getting up out of her chair. “You are so clever. What kind of tea today?”

“Regular Earl Grey,” said Andrew. “And can I make a suggestion?”

“What?” asked Rose.

“Let’s take over the world tomorrow,” said Andrew. “I’m tired.”

“Sure,” said Rose, heading for the kitchen. “Sounds good to me.”

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