Not in Bruges

 

By Tiber

Since Dad’s looking for some extra income, one of his friends suggested renting out a room here. The house is so big and Dad’s friend even had a renter in the form of a Belgian man who has come to work for him for the next few months. Mom was none too thrilled but Dad said we could put him on the third floor and, except for meals, Mom would hardly even know he was here.

So, Jasper from Belgium arrived in a shattering rain storm. He stepped inside and said how much better it was to be with us than to be outside in a deluge. Good thing only Dad was there to greet him, as any of the rest of the family would quickly have cast doubt on that.

Anyway, Dad got Jasper settled into his room up here and soon we all were asleep.

Unfortunately, since Aunt April rarely comes out of her own rooms during the day, everybody forgot to tell her that a new man was in residence. Even more unfortunately, Aunt April does sometimes roam the halls in the dead of night and this is where she encountered Jasper, padding his way to the bathroom.

Speeding into action, Aunt April raced back to her room and then flew out wielding, honest to God, a pitchfork. How many people have a pitchfork in their bedroom?!? How many people even have a pitchfork in their garage?!? Poor Jasper ran but he doesn’t yet know the house that well and he ended up just going round and round in the halls, with this white-haired, pitchfork-charging demon in screaming pursuit.

Clearly, Jasper thought that by making one small wrong turn to the bathroom, he’d instead descended into one of Dante’s concentric circles of hell. Everybody woke up and it soon was all sorted out but Jasper, who’s sort of slight and polite, still looked a little shaky.

Cook, of all people, took pity on him and on her own initiative made him some Belgian waffles with Brussels sprouts, to “make him feel at home.” If there is a worse combination of any two foods, I don’t know what it is but no one wanted to say anything because, come on, it was Cook! Cook was actually being nice to somebody!

So Jasper, seeing all of us looking so pleased, went ahead and ate all of his “sproutaffles”, which I think may be guaranteed to elicit another trip to the bathroom later on. Dad did assure him, however, that he’d confiscated the pitchfork. Hey, it was the least we could do.

If Aunt April’s making haystacks in her bedroom, from now on, she’s just going to have to use her comb.

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