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Aunt Ethels Hats
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E Jean Beres
Abigail loves to visit her Aunt Ethel.
Whenever Abigail visits, Aunt Ethel packs a lunch and they go to the park.
In the park there is a big carousel and Abigail gets to ride on it.
But today it has started to rain and Aunt Ethel said they will not be going to the park.
Abigail is sad that she won't be going to the park.
She stared out the living room window and watched the rain fall on Aunt Ethel's petunias.
Soon Abigail becomes bored.
Aunt Ethel's cat, Toby, suddenly jumped on the sofa and sat next to Abigail, but in a few moments Toby got bored too.
"Well Toby, I can't go to the park and ride the carousel today, and I don't want to sit by the window and watch it rain all day either."
Toby meowed as if he understood what Abigail said. Suddenly Toby's paw touched the lace curtain and his nail got stuck. He meowed loudly.
"Oh Toby!" Carefully Abigail drew the nail out of the lace curtain.
While Aunt Ethel is busy washing clothes in her washing machine on the back porch, Abigail and Toby start to roam around Aunt Ethel's big house.
She loved roaming through the house, pretending it was her house and she lived there.
There are several closed doors in the long hallway.
Abigail knew what was behind the first closed door, it was the guest bedroom.
She knew that because Aunt Ethel lets her sleep in the room when she stays over night.
Abigail opened the door.
The room was just like she remembered.
It is a pretty room with pink lace curtains, a pink quilt on the bed, a white chest of drawers and a white chair with a pink cushion.
Toby jumped on the bed and started to roll around in the covers.
"Toby, get off the bed right now!" Abigail scolded.
Toby obeyed and jumped off the bed and ran out into the hallway.
Abigail closed the bedroom door.
She and Toby walked to the second door and Abigail opens it.
It is Aunt Ethel's office where she does all her medical transcribing.
There is a big desk, three file cabinets, a bookcase, a computer, three chairs and two floor lamps. There is a stack of files on her desk colored pencils and pens in a red holder and a neat stack of paper.
Abigail closed the office door, she and Toby walked to the third door.
Abigail opened the door, she and Toby peeked inside.
"Wow Toby, look at all the hats!"
There were red hats, blue hats, green hats, yellow hats, brown hats, white hats, pink hats.
There were ribbons and flowers and veils on them.
"I can't even count them all Toby; it's like a hat store."
On the bottom shelf there was a purple hat with a loose ribbon and Toby began to play with it.
"No Toby!" warned Abigail. But it was too late; Toby had torn the ribbon off the purple hat.
"Oh Toby what have you done!"
Quickly Abigail took the hat and tried to put the torn ribbon back on.
Toby was in a very playful mood and he scampered across another shelf and knocked other hats off the shelf.
"Toby stop!" cried Abigail.
"Abigail," Aunt Ethel called from the kitchen. "Let's bake some cookies."
"Coming Aunt Ethel," answered Abigail.
She put the red ribbon back on the purple hat and put it on the bottom shelf, then hurried to put the other three hats where they had been.
But Toby continued to play with the hats and knocked down five more hats off another shelf.
"Stop! Oh Toby look what you have done! What am I going to do?"
"Abigail, are you coming?" Aunt Ethel called from the kitchen.
"Yes Aunt Ethel I'll be right there."
Now ribbons, flowers, netting and veils from the hats covered Toby's furry body.
"Oh Toby, you look so funny," laughed Abigail.
She tried to figure out how to fix the hats and put them back on the shelves. But how could she possibly fix the hats so Aunt Ethel won't find out?
Before she can decide what to do, Toby shakes off the ribbons, flowers, netting and veils and starts to jump back onto the shelf, then another and then on a higher shelf.
The rest of the hats fall to the floor and Toby is hanging from his paws.
"Toby you have to stop!"
Suddenly all the shelves start to wiggle.
Abigail tried to reach Toby to take him off the shelf, but it is too late, all the shelves come tumbling down with a loud crash.
The rest of Aunt Ethel's hats fall to the floor making a mountain, with Abigail and Toby right in the middle.
Just then Aunt Ethel comes into the closet.
"There you are Abigail," Aunt Ethel said and then she burst out laughing.
"Good gracious what has happened here?"
Abigail and Toby sit in the middle of the floor with piles of hats on their heads.
They look very funny and Aunt Ethel can't stop laughing.
"You're not angry Aunt Ethel?" asked Abigail pushing a big blue floppy hat off her head.
Aunt Ethel shook her head. "No dear, of course not. I think it's time I got rid of these old hats. You did me a favor Abigail; I didn't know what to do with them. I want to use this closet for something else."
Abigail smiled a big smile. "Toby helped too, Aunt Ethel."
"Well then, thank you Toby for helping me make up my mind to get rid of all these old hats."
Toby jumped out of the pile of hats and rubbed against Aunt Ethel's ankle.
"But before we sort through these old hats, let's go into the kitchen and bake some peanut butter cookies."
"Great!" Abigail shouted, already imagining eating her favorite cookie.
Aunt Ethel grabbed her old yellow straw garden hat and put it on.
Abigail picked up an old pink hat with a bunch of crushed flowers and a torn veil.
Then Aunt Ethel put an old red and white baseball cap on Toby and the three of them went into the kitchen to bake Abigail's favorite peanut butter cookies.
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