Whale Wants to Buy Plants

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It is 9 o’clock at night and Hot Dog has already tucked herself into bed. Whale, meanwhile, is sitting in his living room and chatting with Jack Sr. The radio is playing some opera music in the background but the two of them are not paying any attention to it.

Whale: I want to buy some potted plants and place them in my backyard.
Jack Sr.: Really? Do you have any specific plant in mind that you want to get?
Whale: No, not yet! When I am at a nursery, I am just going to browse what they have and pick some.
Jack Sr.: Which nursery are you going to go to?
Whale: I have not decided yet. I am going to use this app I have on my smartphone called London’s Shops to find one. I love the app. It’s really good.
Jack Sr.: It is?
Whale: Yes! You just type the word ‘nursery’, followed by the name of your neighborhood in, and it will find all the nurseries located close to where you live. I also love the app because right after that, an animated Abyssinian cat says “Make the shopkeeper happy and shop all you want!”.

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The Frying Pan

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It is four o’clock in the afternoon and Fat Pig is using the only stove which Mr. Brown has in his kitchen to fry some fish balls. Mr. Brown isn’t home yet from work; he usually returns home at somewhere around six o’clock in the evening. Only ten minutes after Fat Pig begins to cook, he gets the strongest urge to watch some television. So he leaves the kitchen with food still frying on high heat on the stove to do that.

Three hours later…

Fat Pig: Mr. Brown! Uh, it looks like I have burnt one of your frying pans really badly.
Mr. Brown: What? How?
Fat Pig: I was frying fish balls in the frying pan to have them for dinner tonight. But I left the pan unattended on the stove for a long time so it got burnt really badly. I am not certain but I think your frying pan is no longer usable now.
Mr. Brown: Fat Pig, don’t you know that you are not supposed to leave the kitchen when you are still cooking?
Fat Pig: I know that! But I really wanted to watch some television and I didn’t want to wait until I had finished my cooking to do that.
Mr. Brown: Why would you leave the kitchen only because you wanted to watch television?
Fat Pig: Because I really like to, that’s why. Uh, if you want to punish me for what I did then you can just make sure that I don’t watch anymore television until tomorrow evening. I am sure I will learn a lesson and not act this irresponsibly whilst cooking again.

The Chat over Football

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It is a really sunny day and Jack is hanging out with Hot Dog during recess. The two are sitting on a square-shaped lawn which is situated in front of their red-colored school building.

Jack: Hot Dog, my friend, do you like football?
Hot Dog: I do! Sometimes, over the weekend I watch football matches on television.
Jack: You do? That is so amazing! Do you have a favorite team?
Hot Dog: Yes, I do! My favorite team is The Cerise Falcons.
Jack: Oh, that team is good! My favorite team is The Viridian Pigeons. I don’t play football myself, yet but I hope to when I grow up. I once shared this with Mr. Jack Sr. and he told me that it’s more likely I will fall asleep on the pitch holding a football rather than play any football because I am so lazy.

The Conversation

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Blau is looking at photographs in a newspaper and eating a piece of buttered toast at the dining table. Snowball is sat next to her chair on the floor; it has just finished eating breakfast comprised of a handful of cherries.

The newspaper, which belongs to the old man and was kept at the dining table, has many colored photographs: an old man is smiling holding some grass in his hand, a young woman wearing an olive-colored maxi dress is walking through a room inside a palace which has many paintings of men on its walls, a young man is holding a paintbrush and looking at his unfinished work of art – a painting of old bottles holding red poppies plus green roses, and so on. After she has finished eating her toast, Blau puts the newspaper down and remembers that she needed to converse with the old man regarding getting back to Moscow; he is cooking some vegetables on the stove.

Blau: I need to get myself back to Moscow soon. I have some work there.
The Old Man: Oh! What kind of work?
Blau: I am working on two cases right now and I can only find more clues regarding both in Moscow; those clues should help me solve the cases fast.
The Old Man: Really?
Blau: Yes! One case involves a young boy who was murdered and another case involves a young woman who was has been kidnapped.
The Old Man: Oh! How horrible! So, you have no idea who committed these crimes?
Blau: No, not yet! But I am certain that I can solve both the cases soon. Uh, do you have any idea how I can get myself to Moscow?
The Old Man: Yes, I do! I can take you to the closest train station and from there you can get a train which will take you to Russia.
Blau: Oh, thank you! Can you take me there tomorrow? I want to take Snowball and go to the train station in the morning.
The Old Man: Yes, I can take you there in the morning!
Blau: Brilliant! Will we be walking to the train station?
The Old Man: Yes, we will! It’s not far…it will take us maybe thirty to thirty-five minutes to get there. It’s a very small train station actually but if you buy a ticket when we get there, you and your dog should be able to get on a train which leaves for Moscow in the evening.

Whale Buys a Toy and a Locket

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Whale is window shopping during his lunch break at a shop across the street from where he works. It is a small shop called ‘A Naughty Porcupine Named Aiden’ that has some items for sale next to a window which include chocolates wrapped in silver foil and sold in square boxes featuring a red-colored illustration of a porcupine character called Aiden.

Whale (thinks to himself): The chocolates in this shop are so expensive! I do not think I will be able to afford anything from here but let me still go inside and take a look at what else they sell!

Whale goes inside the shop and finds that it also sells other items, such as plush toys of Aiden and story books on the character as well. He checks out the price tags of some of these items and finds that he can afford one plush toy and a gold-plated locket which opens up to reveal a print of a love-struck Aiden giving a camellia to a female porcupine inside; Whale grabs the two items and goes to the till to buy them.

Whale (to the shopkeeper): Uh, I want to buy this toy and pendant.
Shopkeeper: Sure!
Whale: Can you just put them inside a shopping bag for me to carry?
Shopkeeper: Yes! I will be doing that!

Five minutes later…

Whale walks out of the shop with an azure-colored paper bag which features illustrations of Aiden in metallic gold.

Whale (thinks to himself as he walks back to work): I found such a nice plush toy for myself; the locket for Hot Dog is really pretty too! I cannot wait to plop the toy on the rug I’ve got next to my bed.

The Book

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Blau is trying to fall asleep on the couch in the living room but finding it hard to do so. As a result, she gets up and looks through the many books shelved in the bookcase to find a good book to read. She takes a book out which has the title ‘Ivan’s Great Life’ on its spine and lies back down on the couch to takes a look at it with the help of a burning candle which is propped up on a red plate near the foot of the couch; it provides her with some light in the dark.

The book is written in a language which Blau is unfamiliar with; she finds this strange because the title of the book is written in English. Soon, however, Blau comes across a page in the book which contains two paragraphs of English text:

‘A long time ago there was a woman called Thelma who used to live in Vladivostok in a neighborhood called Tulip Lane. Thelma had a troublemaking son called Asher who Ivan had met when he was in the Russian city. Asher had shared a story with him: Thelma had lost her mind when she came to realize that the man she was secretly in love with had never heard about her; he was a very handsome prince and Thelma was just an ordinary woman.’

‘Ivan was out one evening for a walk in some snow-covered park in town where he had claimed that he had seen a ghost. The ghost was that of a man and it was wearing a long jacket, a pair of trousers and loafers. He was roaming through the park murmuring the words, ‘Natalie, where are you? I am innocent.’

To Blau, the two stories sound oddly similar to two mysteries which she has been trying to solve at work. Soon, Blau falls fast asleep and the book falls from her hand and onto the ground.

The Test

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Hot Dog is reading through three questions which her teacher, Fiona Ward, has written on the blackboard with chalk:

Why could Jason not marry Hazel?
How did Jason and Faith meet?
What did Jason ask Faith to give him?

She and her classmates are having a Literature test. For the test, they have to write down answers to the questions on sheets of paper within forty-five minutes; Ward will then grade the answers and let them know during their next class how they performed in the test.

Forty-five minutes later…

After the test is over, the students hand their papers over to Fiona and she permits them to talk to each other till their class is over.
Jack: How did you find the test Hot Dog?
Hot Dog: Um, it wasn’t too hard! What about you?
Jack: I found it too hard! I couldn’t remember…
Fat Pig (interrupts): I don’t think I did well in this test! I wrote Jason couldn’t marry Hazel because she liked to eat tuna when he didn’t but I just know that that wasn’t the reason why he couldn’t. Moo (a classmate), do you think you’ll pass?
Moo: I couldn’t remember most of the story when I wrote down my answers but I am really hoping that I will pass!