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Grow your own Meerkats ( Final version Sept ’09) George really really wanted to have a Meerkat, but Mum and Dad wouldn‟t let him. „Why?‟ asked George. „Because they live in the Kalahari Desert,‟ said Mum. „Because they‟re wild animals,‟ said Dad “and wild animals make me sneeze.” So that was that …. Or so George thought. He sat on the floor and frowned. When George went to the park with Mum as always busy on her mobile phone, he found a packet that must have come from a Kat-a-log. It said: GROW YOUR OWN MEERKATS. 1. Put each little pup in a bowl of water. 2. Leave for 3 hours to soak. 3. Each little pup will grow to 10 times its size. Inside the packet George found quite a few furry toy pups. There wouldn‟t be enough bowls! Then he had a really good idea. „I‟ll wait till Mum and Dad have gone to bed and then I‟ll put them all in the bath!‟ It seemed ages before the landing light was switched off. George tiptoed into the bathroom and ever so quietly filled the bath with warm water. He sprinkled the Meerkat pups into the water and went back to bed. In the morning he crept back into the bathroom. Slowly, he opened the door. Meerkats! Not only were they much bigger, they were ALIVE! Two Meerkats were tap-dancing on the taps. Two were ring-a-rosying on the floor. Others were doing the back-stroke in the bath, splash, splash, SPLASHING! ;Shh!‟ said George. „You‟ll wake Mum and Dad.‟ A spotted Meerkat and a dotted Meerkat were playing catch with a rubber duck. “Hello George,” said the spotted Meerkat, standing straight up and staring at him “Look, there are twelve of us.” And so there were. George counted. Suddenly a loud sneeze came from Mum and Dad‟s bedroom, „A .. A ..Atishoo!‟ The tap-dancing Meerkats sprang off the taps on to the ring-a-rosy Meerkats and they all fell down. They were so busy enjoying themselves they didn‟t hear George asking them to stop. „George!‟ Mum called, „Where are you?‟ George thought quickly and led the Meerkats out of the house and down the garden path and into the shed where they found Dad‟s lawn mower. “Let‟s mow the lawn.” They shouted. The Meerkats made the garden into a playground. They climbed on the empty flower pots. They chased one another through the flower beds. They rode on the lawn mower. „What‟s that noise?‟ asked Dad. „A .. A ..Atishoo!‟ The lawn mower was going crazy, nearly as crazy as the Meerkats. George couldn‟t help laughing, but he was worried. Then, all of a sudden, the Meerkats stopped, stood up straight, stared at each other and began to shrink. They went back to being furry puppy toys. George picked them up and popped them back Into the packet. Just then Dad came out. He stared at the upturned mower. „What the …?‟ he said. A piece of paper fluttered from the packet. It said: 1. Wet puppies will be lively for up to 3 hours. 2.If they dry out, you must wet them again or they will shrink and go to sleep. „Well,‟ thought George, „Now I know what‟s what I can play with my Meerkats whenever I like.‟ He smiled at Dad. „I‟ll help you tidy the garden,‟ he said. And he did.
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