Savio sat in front of the door, watching it, waiting for Yvonne to come in. But she didn't come. Savio sat and waited all day, but Yvonne did not come that day.
"She said she'd be gone for a week," said Angelica.
"It has been a week," said Savio.
"But she hasn't been gone for a whole week. By tomorrow she'll have been gone for an entire week," argued Angelica, thinking she was very smart.
"I guess I'll just have to tell you a story!" said Savio, jumping up on the sofa even though Yvonne didn't like him sitting on the sofa. He got his hair all over.
"But I don't want to hear a story!" whined Angelica.
"I thought you loved stories," said Savio. "So you have to hear a story!"
"But I don't like your stories!" said Angelica.
"That was not nice," said Savio sadly.
"Fine," grumbled Angelica.
Savio was instantly happy once again, and started his story immediately. He spoke very quickly, wagging his tail the whole time, sometimes stopping to scratch behind his ear.
Yvonne stuffed a stack of books into a suitcase. She put her new oracle ball, who did not throw tennis balls, into another suitcase.
"What are you doing?" asked Angelica. "Are you going somewhere?"
"Yes. I'll be gone for about a week," answered Yvonne.
"But you don't have any clothes or hygiene products in those suitcases," said Angelica.
"If you have books and prophecies, you don't need hygiene," said Yvonne. "And, you know, I'm a rabbit. I don't need clothes."
Savio looked sad. Then he suddenly perked up and said, "Can I come? Can I come?"
"No, Savi, you stay here," said Yvonne. Savio became sad again. "Savio, you're in charge of the house, okay?" she added. Again Savio perked up. He started spinning in circles.
"I'm in charge! I'm in charge!" he said.
"What? The dog?" exclaimed Angelica, almost in disgust. "But I'm more responsible than him!"
"Personally, I don't think so. You guys take care now," Yvonne said as she grabbed her suitcases. Before she disappeared out the door, she added, "Oh, Savio, why don't you tell Angelica a story?" Then she was gone.
Savio's eyes lit up. "A story!" he gasped. "I always wanted to tell someone a story!" He ran to his room, grabbed a notebook, in which were notes scrawled in a dog's handwriting, and sat down in front of Angelica. Savio began to read his story to her.
Angelica was reading a book by a rabbit named Harriet Hoppington. Savio was also reading the book. Or, really, he was leaning obnoxiously over Angelica's shoulder and dripping slobber on the pages of the book.
Yvonne came in from a recent expedition to the secret deserts of the Middle East in search of a lost artifact -- or something like that -- and hung her dusty jacket up on the coat rack. "So, what are you reading?" she asked.
"The Adventures of Harey Butter," said Angelica.
"That is a gross name!" exclaimed Yvonne. Then, after a moment of thought, she said, "Wait, who's that by and what's it about?"
"Harriet Hoppington," answered Angelica. "It's about a cowbunny. You know, a cow-herding horse-riding hero of the west!"
"What!? Where'd you get that from?" said Yvonne, ripping the book from Angelica's paws. "This is heretical garbage! That rabbit Harriet doesn't know what a true hero is! I went to high school with her, you know. She couldn't read. I don't think she's even writing those books. I think she pays someone else to use a word generator to stick words together and make a book."
"Well, who's to say you could do any better?" retorted Angelica.
"Me, of course," replied Yvonne. "I am the expert on me after all. And I have a degree in Literary Heroics."
"That doesn't exist. You made that up," said Angelica.
"Well, Ms. Hoppington has no degrees whatsoever, made up or not," said Yvonne.
"Tell me a story about heroes of the wild west, then!" said Angelica.
"Challenge accepted!" answered Yvonne. "And Savio, could you please sit down?" Savio was now running around the house chasing tennis balls that Veronica threw for him. When Yvonne asked him to sit down, he instead kept running but ended up crashing into a sofa and getting his head stuck in it. After that he obviously stopped chasing tennis balls.
"Good!" said Yvonne. "So..."
"I just don't agree with your method of education!" Angelica exclaimed suddenly, throwing her book down. Savio stopped admiring his shiny teeth in a mirror to glance over at Angelica in surprise. Yvonne hardly moved.
"Mm-hmm?" was all Yvonne said, if you can call it that.
"How does reading and studying do me any good if there aren't any tests?" asked the exasperated Angelica. Savio's jaw dropped. The newspaper in Yvonne's paws slipped to the ground. There was a long, awkward pause.
"Tests!" bellowed Yvonne. "Tests!" She continued to repeat the word several times.
Then Angelica said, "What? What's the problem with tests?"
Savio whined and hid under the sofa.
"What do you mean by tests?" asked Yvonne.
"You know, answer questions and get a score and stuff to see how much you know," said Angelica.
"Ridiculous!" exclaimed Yvonne. Angelica gave her a funny look, but she went on, "You came here to learn to be wise, didn't you? Being wise isn't the same as having your head stuffed full of facts. I don't intend for you to learn facts. I intend for you to learn to learn and live."
"I didn't see how reading teaches you to live," said Angelica. She paused. "Unless you read a book telling you how to breathe..."
There was a loud SMACK! as Yvonne slapped herself in the face and then groaned.
"To live there's gotta be a life," said Yvonne. "I'm giving you a life..."
But Angelica interrupted her. "Why can't you just make me sit in a room at a desk while you lecture me?"
"No!" yelled Yvonne. "The LIFE! That isn't! It just... no!"
Savio crawled out from the sofa. "I think you should tell a story to explain," said Savio, who didn't actually believe that telling a story would explain anything, but he just wanted to hear a story. It would beat Yvonne yelling like an old kook, at any rate.
"Yes!" said Yvonne. "Good! I've got just the one in my head already..."
Angelica came hopping up to Yvonne, followed by Savio who, as usual, looked clueless. "Yvonne! Yvonne! Yvonne!" said Angelica.
"What? What? What?" said Yvonne.
"Yay! Yay! Yay!" said Savio, although he wasn't sure why.
"I finished all of my reading assignments this week!" said Angelica, still hopping up and down in her excitement.
"Really?" said Yvonne, surprised. "But you had 322 this week alone."
"I finished them!" repeated Angelica. In a flash she disappeared, and in a flash she reappeared with a huge mountain of books. She dropped them on top of Yvonne.
After a few moments Yvonne found her way out of the maze of books. She reemerged, taking a straggling book from off the top of her head. "Hm," she said, glancing at it. "Milton. I haven't finished reading it. You know, too many helicopter dance lessons this week."
"Since I finished my assignments would you tell me a story?" asked Angelica sweetly.
"Ohhhh!" said Savio. "That's why I was excited. I forgot."
"Usually," Yvonne replied to Savio. Then she turned to Angelica. "Very well. I guess you earned it. Get ready for a story, kiddos."