The cake-eating invaders had finally passed on to some other place, all except for one rabbit: a rabbit wearing a blue hoodie and a name tag which said "Spike". He was still wandering the house as if it were his own.
"Who are you anyway?" asked Angelica.
"And did you capture Yvonne and send her away like a big meanie?" asked Savio. It was an impressive feat that after two or so weeks of Yvonne's absence, Savio still remembered that she existed at all.
"No, no," said Spike. "It's much more complicated than that." He produced a banana out of nowhere and munched on it. He continued speaking with a mouthful of banana. "I'm Yvonne's cousin. Well, not really. Actually... I'm her imaginary friend but real. You get it?"
Angelica and Savio looked at him in such a way that suggested that they had never got anything in either of their lives.
"Well, anyway," continued Spike, "I'm a hero/history buff. And... what did you say? Big meanie? That too. I have weird hair. Black spiky hair, hence the name. My parents weren't very creative. Although they did want to call me Zach. And they tried to sometimes. But then Spike just kinda stuck. Ya know? Yes, this is a history lesson."
"Can't you tell us something useful?" Angelica said in her usual rude style.
"History is useful!" exclaimed Spike/Zach. He bounded towards Angelica and, grabbing her, shook her around. "Do you not care about HISTORY? CARE ABOUT HISTORY!"
"Okay!" squeaked Angelica pathetically.
"I once had an enemy called Brain or something," Spike said suddenly, contemplatively. "But," he added, "that's a story for another time. For today, I'll tell you a story, based off of many lessons from the grand old tale of history."
He hoisted Angelica up and threw her down on the cake-stained sofa. Savio stayed where he was, which was only a foot away from Spike, staring at him intently. Blankly. Admiringly.
"Observe!" Spike demanded. "Or listen, I mean..."
Savio never really learned, so when Angelica demanded that he tell her where Yvonne was, he immediately told her the location of Yvonne's newest secret office. With extreme gusto Angelica exploded into said secret office. Instead of springing up and yelling at her for being there, Yvonne snored. She was sleeping face down on her desk.
It was a nice desk. But Angelica had very little regard for nice desks.
She produced, almost magically, a foghorn out of nowhere. The sound of it made Yvonne leap up until she almost hit her head on the ceiling (which was nice, like the desk). Once she had recovered and remembered where, and who, she was, that was when she sprang up and yelled at Angelica for being there.
Angelica paid her no heed. All she heard were the ramblings of a nagging old rabbit. "Aren't you going to tell us a story?" asked Angelica accusingly. "Yesterday you told us you were going to tell us a story every Tuesday. Well... where's my story?"
Yvonne could hardly believe her fluffy white bunny ears. Angelica did not let her reply. "I tell you what, you aren't telling me any story today," declared Angelica. "No, I'm gonna tell you a story today!"
Allowing no delays, she jumped right into it.
Yvonne came bursting into the house, flinging open the door so hard that it nearly fell, or rather, flew, off its hinges. A cape swishing behind her and a sword at her side, she marched into the living room and announced her presence in a loud, archaic voice.
Many emotions spread over young Angelica's face: surprise, terror, distaste, etc. Only one was on Savio's face: joy.
When Yvonne first exploded loudly into the house, Angelica had dropped her book on the floor. Now Yvonne picked it up carefully and examined it. "Fie!" she exclaimed in the same booming voice. "Hast thou again passed thine eyes over the multitudinous villainies of this wretched scroll, christened the 'Adventures of Harey Bunther'? For shame!"
All Angelica could do in reply was correct her. "Harey Butter."
With a dramatic flourish Yvonne threw the book over her shoulder. Then all her grandiose acting faded away and she plopped down on the sofa. Her sword pierced right through the sofa and stuck out the other side, but she didn't notice.
"Buckle up, kids!" said Yvonne. "I've been thinking... brooding. So I've got a story for ya!"
"I think you've had too much caffeine," said Angelica, the high and mighty one.
Per her usual style, Yvonne plopped down on the sofa. She had the dusty old book of fairy-tales in her paws. Angelica, sitting on another sofa across from her, wielding a laptop which was duct-taped all over, did not protest. She accepted her fate: she would just have to listen to boring fairy-tales. She shut the laptop (as best she could what with all the tape) and sighed.
She did not object exactly, but she did have a question to ask, per her usual style. "You said last week that you were going to tell the story in your own words. So what do you need that book for?"
Yvonne gave her such a look of indignation that Savio, who previously had been happily and completely cluelessly (per his usual style) chewing on furniture, slunk under said furniture. It was quite easy for him to squeeze under the furniture considering he had chewed several huge dog-sized holes in it, not that he needed any huge holes to squeeze into: in Savio's family he was shamed for being what his parents called a "bantam". But that was because the rest of Savio's family was huge, especially old Uncle Bosco. Savio himself was around 90 pounds.
Angelica, seeing this amazing gaze of Yvonne's, retracted her statement, and sat quietly and, not per her usual style, politely, with her little paws crossed in her lap. In contrast to her previous look, Yvonne smiled and opened her dusty old book which had been the cause of the indignation.
"Sit down, kids!" said Yvonne, plopping down onto the sofa with a dusty old book. "I've got a story for you!"
"But I'm doing Algebra!" said the self-righteous, conscientious little brat Angelica.
"You are not, not today," replied Yvonne, casually taking Angelica's laptop out of her lap and flinging it out an open window. "Now," said Yvonne, "where's Savio? Never mind, I'll start without him."
"But I can't listen to stories," said the obstinately conscientious Angelica. "I have to do real work."
"Anything you do is real work, because you are a real piece of work," said Yvonne. Angelica's conscientious feelings were hurt, and shocked. She gaped at Yvonne. "You be quiet now," said Yvonne. "Listen to this real fairy-tale! Not one of my own cheap knockoffs or things that popped out of my brain. Although, I will tell it in my own words."
Angelica was ready to set her plan in motion. It wasn't a very complicated plan, but she was sure it would work. She grabbed the pile of 103 books she was supposed to read and hopped out of the library and into the living room. She scanned the area, looking for Yvonne. But she saw only Savio, sitting on the floor and reading Green Eggs and Ham for the 8th time that day.
"Have you seen Yvonne?" asked Angelica.
"Oh yeah!" said Savio. "She's in her secret office that you can only access by pulling a particular red book on the third shelf to the right in the library. It's a secret bookshelf door, like in the movies! Did you know we had one? Oh!" He suddenly slapped a paw over his mouth. "I wasn't supposed to tell you all that," he mumbled sheepishly.
"Oh, didn't feel bad about it," answered Angelica. "You have assisted me in a noble cause."
Immediately Savio's face brightened. "Really? Yay yay yay!" He then remembered he had left a tennis ball under the sofa and went to fetch it.
Per Savio's instructions, Angelica made her way into the library, pulled the red book on the shelf, and the bookshelf slid over, revealing a secret passageway. Angelica entered the passage and in a moment found herself in Yvonne's office. Other than yet more bookshelves lining the walls and the rather nice desk in the middle of the room, the room was mostly empty.
"What are you doing in here?" exclaimed Yvonne.
Angelica initiated her plan. She mustered the cutest, saddest little bunny face imaginable. "Would you please tell me a story?" she asked. Before Yvonne could answer, and Angelica knew how she was going to answer, she added quickly, "I know I still have reading assignments to do, but I just don't think I can work so much without a little bit of leisure in between."
Yvonne paused and stared into space. She seemed to be remembering something, something that Angelica could not see. "Fine. I'll tell you a story. But we're going into the living room. My secret office has been breached. I guess I'll just have to get a new one."
Yvonne had not yet returned. Angelica was still locked in the barren closet, not because Savio wanted to keep her there all that time, but because he had actually forgotten about her when, after the first couple hours being trapped in the closet, she got tired of whining incessantly. So when Angelica began to whine again that day, Savio remembered her and rushed to the closet.
He was just about to let her out when he remembered why she had been in the closet and the first place, and then he got a great idea as she whined, "Let me out! I don't want to be in here anymore! It's awful!"
"The grass isn't always greener on the other side," Savio said, thinking he was very wise.
"But at least on the other side I'm not in a closet!" complained Angelica.
"Then let me tell you a story," said Savio. He loved to tell stories because he thought that when he did he was making Yvonne proud by being like her.
Angelica was concerned that Yvonne was not back yet, even though she had said it would only be a week. Savio was sometimes concerned and then he forgot about all that and went on about his doggy business, like right now, when he was telling Angelica a story. She did not hear all of the story particularly well, since Savio's voice was a bit muffled through the closet door. It was a nice closet door. Actually it was rather like a dungeon door. In fact, most of the doors in that house were like dungeon doors, now that Angelica thought about it.
"Listen! Listen! Listen!" panted Savio from the other side of the closet dungeon door.
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.
"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..."