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Tiny Viola ~ Chapters 6-10
Six ~ A Translator
"My name is Viola Anderson. I speak English and I'm American," started Viola.
"American?!" cried Jean.
"American!" said Lielle.
"I have no idea why I'm here or how I got to be two inches tall," finished Viola.
Jean put out a hand for Viola.
"Jean-Paul!" said Jean.
"Lielle!" said Lielle.
Viola stepped onto Jean's hand and crouched down on it. He pulled it out from under the bureau and Viola, Lielle, and Jean all regarded each other.
"Maybe you guys can help me find someone who can make me big again?" began Viola.
Seven ~ French Shopping
The French couple looked at each other.
"Courses!" said Lielle.*
Jean nodded. "La cage de souris, le bol de souris, le lit de souris.."
The couple got up and began walking to the kitchen again. When Jean rose, Viola held on to his hand for dear life. She started talking again.
"I'd really like to be big again because you see, I'm a teacher and I have to take care of a class of 32 second-graders in San Francisco. I don't know how I found myself this tiny but I think it may have been that stupid potion I drank," Viola said.
It seemed so long ago now, when it all began.
The first thing Jean and Lielle did was find a pot and put Viola in it. This is not what Viola had imagined. Maybe they were going to cook her?
"NOOOOOOOOO!!!" screamed Viola, but to no avail.
"Au revoir!" said Lielle and Jean.
They closed the lid on the medium saucepan. Viola was in darkness. She jumped up but couldn't reach the top of the lid. No matter how hard she ran against the sides of the saucepan, it stayed put. She was trapped.
*Shopping! / Mouse cage, mouse bowl, mouse bed... / Goodbye!
Eight ~ A Long Day
Viola finally huddled herself in the edge of the round saucepan. She was tired and hungry and angry to be trapped. That stupid couple. What were they thinking? If only she had studied French in high school! Instead she had studied the more "practical" Spanish.
After some time Viola grew bored. Her head nodded and she fell asleep.
Nine ~ The French Return
A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.
~ Jim Morrison
She was awakened when the saucepan lid was lifted and light streamed down on her. A hand went down to her but this time she fought it. The hand backed out and the saucepan began tipping. Viola was thrown into a 10-gallon glass container, complete with padding at the bottom, a mouse water-drip bottle, a mouse bed, and a little bit of fruit and seeds in a little saucer. There was even a little mouse wheel for her to run on.
It was horrible.
She hated that she was trapped but at least now she could eat.
She hated the fluffy padding on the ground, which went up to her waist. She waded through the stuffing and to the food and ate. She didn't say thank you. Why did they lock her up? What had she done?
She ate part of an apple and part of a pear. She nibbled on a sesame seed. She nibbled on some carrot.
The whole time the couple watched her through the glass window as though this were great entertainment.
Then the man lifted up the entire cage and carefully left the kitchen with it. In the hallway he turned left and went into a different room, a living room. He settled the cage on a low table near the sofa, right in the center of it.
At last the couple retired for the evening.
And, after searching the entire cage for a way out and trying unsuccessfully to climb up the water bottle, so did Viola.
Ten ~ The Friends of the French
The next morning the French couple arose to find Viola hidden in the little mouse covering nest. She would not come out from under its protection no matter how much they pleaded with her in French. So Jean finally just lifted up the covering and took it out of the cage. Viola was much distressed at this but there was nothing she could do.
"Parle!" Lielle said to Viola.
"Why have you locked me up?!" Shouted Viola.
The French couple laughed. It was maddening. They spoke together in French some more and then left the room. While they were gone, Viola again tried to climb up the water bottle, but it was impossible. All that ended up happening was that she got all wet. The metal dripper part of the bottle that she could reach was just too slippery to climb up. And the times she did get up some she couldn't make it beyond the neck of the upside-down bottle. It was too wide and smooth for her to grab on to.
Viola sat next to her food bowl and cried. How long would she be trapped with this horrible French couple who locked her in saucepans and mouse cages just because she was small?
It was a long day and the French couple left Viola alone in the cage.
But that the evening they threw a party and had friends over. It was noisy and boisterous and scary for Viola. Everyone wanted to see the miniature girl and crowded around the mouse cage, peering down at her.
Jean took out a back scratcher, and used the long thin piece of wood to prod Viola into talking. When she talked, the French people laughed.
"Anglais!" they said.
"I don't know what you find so funny about me speaking English but I demand that you take me out of this cage and get me help!" screamed Viola, in tears.
"Awe..." said the French friends of Jean and Lielle. Besides Jean and Lielle, there were three ladies and four men. One man shook his head and clucked his tongue.
Finally they wandered around to the stereo and put music on. While the couples snorted coke and danced, the Frenchman who had clucked his tongue leaned down over Viola's cage.
"I speak English," he said. "I will help you."
"Thank God!" said Viola.
"My name is Ramon," he said. Then, "They mean you no harm. They just want to get rich off you. That's why they won't let you escape."
"Can you help me get to someone who can help me get big again?" asked Viola.
"I'll try," said Ramon.
"Take me now when no one is looking!" hissed Viola.
"I can't," said Ramon. "We have to plan this out. Lielle and Jean will know it was me."
"Please don't leave me!" yelled Viola to Ramon.
Her little voice did not carry very far.
Now Ramon knew that Lielle and Jean were going to be going on a vacation soon. They were planning on taking Viola in a little cage with them. Maybe Ramon could convince the couple to let him house-sit and he could look after Viola until they came back.
Ramon explained the plan to Viola. Viola agreed it was worth a try, and so Ramon talked with Lielle and Jean. After some time, they agreed to let Ramon take care of Viola because they wouldn't have to worry about getting her through airport security. Their "vacation" was a trip to convince their friend in Japan to put Viola in a miniature circus.
The trip was the coming weekend. It was Wednesday, so Viola and Ramon had to hold tight until then.