Beatrix got home from school and went to the kitchen for a snack. She dropped her satchel on the floor next to the table and rummaged through the fridge.
“Can I help you find something?” Freddy asked her.
“No thank you, here’s some cake from last night. I’ll just have a sliver of this.” She pulled the cake plate from the second shelf, cut a slice off, put it on another plate and headed back to the table.
“Hey, hey , hey,” said the fridge, “put that back in here.” The door swung open and Beatrix returned the cake to the shelf she had gotten it from.
“Sorry, Freddy,” she said. “Mrs. Brown gave us a big assignment today and we have to turn it in tomorrow. I don’t know how I’m gonna get it done.”
“Mrs. Brown? Is that your English teacher?” asked Sammy the stove.
“Yeah,” Beatrix answered. “She wants a 500 word story done by tomorrow! I don’t know what’s gotten into her. She’s usually much more realistic than that.”
“What’s it supposed to be about?” Carla and Sharla, the chair twins asked in unison. Beatrix smiled. Those two always spoke in stereo. She didn’t know how they did it. It was almost like they shared a single mind.
“She wasn’t real clear on that,” Beatrix told them all. She told us to use our imagination. She said we could make it a fairy tale, or a prose poem, whatever, we wanted to do. Anthropomorphism, that’s what we’re studying. She told us that lots of stories can be cited as examples of anthropomorphism and she even read us one today, ‘The North Wind and the Sun’. It’s a fable, an old story, by this guy named Aesop about a contest between the wind and the sun. The wind loses.”
“So what’re you going to write about?” asked Terry the toaster. Terry was afraid of heights and he always sat well back from the edge of the counter.
“I don’t have the faintest idea,” Beatrix told him. “I don’t have much of an imagination. I can’t comprehend how anyone could expect a couch to get up and walk across the room, and who would think about talking to a table, or even talking animals? That’s crazy stuff.”
Everyone turned their heads and looked at Tanya but she wasn’t saying anything. Her Formica top sat stoic, unmoving. Only a slight ruffling of the napkins in the wire holder gave away that she might even have been listening, maybe giggling just a little. The chair twins nudged her legs, in unison. Finally she laughed.
“All right, all right, I’ll tell you a story that you can use, but you better take good notes girl. I’m only going to tell it once.”
“Thanks a lot, Tanya,” Beatrix said and she fished a notepad and pencil from her satchel on the floor.
“The story is about a family of rabbits,” Tanya the table began. “One of the rabbit children was named Peter.”