The Brown Box Of Old Books

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It is a Saturday morning. Whale is sitting on the floor of his living room with Hot Dog and looking through a brown box filled with some dusty old books. His mother dropped by last evening to give him the box – the books used to belong to Whale when he was still in school.

Hot Dog: Did you actually read all these books Whale?
Whale: Yes, I did!
Hot Dog: Which one was your favorite?
Whale (picks out a book from the box): It was this one!
Hot Dog: I like the cover of the book! It is in a nice green color and the bronze lettering on it is also very nice! What is the book about?
Whale: It is a really scary book – a bespectacled, very studious and unsociable boy one day disappears from this school and strange murders starts happening in a neighborhood close to the school.
Hot Dog: Oh my God! How does the story end?
Whale: The mystery with who is behind those murders and why gets solved. We will read it later together! I want to keep that book and a few others from this box. But first, I need to clean the books and also find some space in one of our bookshelves.


The Unsavory Cheese Balls

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It is a weeknight. Whale and Mr. Brown are sitting on the front porch of Mr. Brown’s house and chatting. Hot Dog and Fat Pig, meanwhile, are watching some television inside his house.

Whale: When I was a teenager, I used to make cheese balls for myself every weekend.
Mr. Brown: Really?
Whale: Yes! I used to make my cheese balls with cheddar cheese!
Mr. Brown: Was cheese balls your favorite dish as a teenager?
Whale: It was! I only changed my mind about it when I accidentally cooked up a batch of cheese balls with blue cheese instead. I found blue cheese unsavory because it is so salty. But I still had to finish eating that whole batch of cheese balls just to not waste any food.
Mr. Brown: Oh no! That must have been awful!
Whale: It was! Since then, just looking at cheese balls reminds me of that nightmarish experience and so I cannot even make some for Hot Dog.

Whale and Hot Dog Talk About School

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It is Friday evening and Whale is at a coffee shop called ‘Warm Browns’ with Hot Dog. Every single time Whale drives to work, he catches a glimpse of the place and so wanted to try out what coffee is like at the shop. The two are sat next to a window inside the coffee place and drinking two really big mugs of blueberry-flavored coffee.

Whale: So, how has school been lately Hot Dog?
Hot Dog: It has been good.
Whale: How are you doing in the subjects you are weak at? You know, Italian, Portuguese and Chemistry?
Hot Dog: I am doing fine in those foreign languages but not great in Chemistry really.
Whale: Do you find Chemistry very hard?
Hot Dog: No! I just don’t find Chemistry very interesting to study.
Whale: You did not fail any of those occasional tests you have in your school in Chemistry, did you?
Hot Dog: No! Um, Whale, why do I have to spend so much time and effort learning something I am pretty sure I will never want to have a career in when I grow up?
Whale: Um, because otherwise you will never finish school!
Hot Dog (sighs): I hate going to school sometimes!

The Hot Meal

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The old man’s hut has four tiny rooms: a bedroom, a kitchen, a bathroom and a living room. Blau and Snowball are standing inside the living room with the old man. The living room is the first room you see when you enter the hut – it has only a bookcase, a long blue-colored couch and a red-colored rug in front of it.

Old Man: I will give you a few of my clothes to change into.
Blau: Thank you! I really appreciate that! I think I will require only a shirt. You are so tall that wearing only one of your shirts will be like a dress for me
Old Man: Certainly! Anything else you require?
Blau: Uh, a belt and a pair of socks if you have got those to spare to.

The old man leaves Blau and Snowball inside the living room and goes to his bedroom. He opens his wardrobe, looks through his clothes and finds three shirts, two pairs of socks, plus a belt which he carries to the living room.

Old Man: Here, take these! You can use my bathroom to change; it is right behind this room. I will just get a hot meal ready for you until then in the kitchen.
Blau: Thank you!

As Blau changes her clothes in the bathroom and Snowball waits for her outside the bathroom’s door, the old man prepares some hot turnip soup and herbal tea for her to have to with six slices of bread. After ten minutes, Blau comes out of the bathroom and uses one of the remaining two shirts to rub Snowball completely dry. Blau is wearing a blue and white striped shirt which almost touches her knees, a simple brown belt across the waist and a pair of white socks.

Old Man: Young girl, come here to the kitchen! I have prepared soup and tea for you to have with bread! It is the room right next to the bathroom.
Blau: Oh! Come Snowball! I will give you some of my bread to eat.

Hot Dog and Fat Pig Chat About Music

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It is a really hot Sunday afternoon. Hot Dog and Fat Pig are sitting in Mr. Brown’s garden and sipping cold lemonades.

Hot Dog: Ooh! I think I am feeling less hot now after drinking nearly half of my lemonade!
Fat Pig: Yeah? I still feel just as hot as I was when we sat down in the garden a few minutes ago.
Hot Dog: So, how has your weekend been so far? Mine has been really boring.
Fat Pig: Oh! I didn’t get around to doing anything except listen to a few new music records.
Hot Dog: You didn’t finish homework? I spent almost whole of yesterday doing nothing but that.
Fat Pig: I will only begin doing the homework in the evening today…no idea how I will finish but it’s only homework. I was too busy enjoying my latest music purchases to care.
Hot Dog: What did you buy?
Fat Pig: I bought all of Lulu’s three albums last time I was in town with…
Hot Dog: Oh you like to listen to music by the pop star?
Fat Pig: Yeah! I just spent whole of yesterday dancing around in my room with her music blaring loudly from my sound system.
Hot Dog: Mr. Brown didn’t mind the loud music coming from your room?
Fat Pig: Nope! But that’s only because he was in a pretty good mood yesterday so I just got him to wear a set of soundproof headphones and do whatever he wanted to do – he ended up spending most of yesterday reading some book and cleaning around the house.

Whale Talks with Hot Dog about the Newspaper

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Whale is sitting in his living room and sipping his morning tea. It is 8 o’clock in the morning and quite a cool Sunday morning. Whale is about to begin reading his newspaper when Hot Dog suddenly pops into the living room.

Hot Dog: Whale…why do you read the newspaper?
Whale: Huh? Oh! To learn about what is happening in the world. So much happens in the world every day.
Hot Dog: Like what?
Whale: Natural disasters, exhibitions, wars, festivals…
Hot Dog: That sounds so boring! A storybook seems more interesting to read than any of that.
Whale: The news can be interesting too! I think once you grow older you will find them interesting to read as well!
Hot Dog: Oh yeah? I doubt that.
Whale: I don’t!
Hot Dog: Well, so far I have only been looking through your newspaper to check out the daily comic strips they print. They are really funny and I love to read them at times.
Whale: Really? That’s very good! There are items in the newspaper that I love to read too – they can never compare to the reading the whole newspaper!
Hot Dog: And what items are those?
Whale: Well, I love to read the opinion columns – those journalists, the columnists, have such clear perspectives over the most important daily stories. I often find myself agreeing with what they write.
Hot Dog: Really?
Whale: Yes! They comment really passionately too and I think that is why I love to read their columns – for example, one of them, a really young female journalist, recently wrote in her column that she has noticed that the Prime Minister’s shameless love for sweets is unflatteringly showing in his waistline – it has increased five times in size. So, she wished the Prime Minister would eat less because now he appalls with his appearance just as much as he does with the way he governs the country.

The Nickname

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Whale is working in his office today. He is proofreading a fiction paperback – it is the dullest of tasks in the world, so Whale is taking a break from it and chatting to his Boss who came to grab a cup of coffee from the coffee machine – it’s placed really close to Whale’s office.

Whale: Boss…is Bart your real name? It sounds like a boy’s name for a woman.
Bart: No, Bart is a nickname my friends in school gave me once.
Whale: Why did they give you a boy’s name as a nickname?
Bart: Don’t you have work?
Whale: I do! But I am bored of going through the paperback…it’s too long. Plus, I really want to know more about your name…what’s your real name?
Bart: Um, I got a female first name!
Whale: What is it?
Bart: I will tell you it some other time!
Whale: Boss, you didn’t answer my first question!
Bart: Oh! Well, in my school yearbook, I was slated to become a great female inventor one day because my teachers felt that I had the oddest of talents. My friends thought that it was pretty amazing they felt that because it meant that I could become an equal to men, even though I was a woman when something like that is such a rarity in the world. So, my friends nicknamed me Bart even though I was a girl; haven’t been able to get rid of the nickname since then.
Whale: Oh! That’s a really nice story. I got no nickname myself. But once a friend in school did think I was just like a cartoon character…
Bart: Which one?
Whale: You know the one from that cartoon show on television that is about a chef called Mr. Beefy that always annoys him because he talks to himself like a lunatic whenever he cooks at Mr. Beefy’s restaurant?
Bart: You mean, Mr. Oregano?
Whale: Yeah, him! I got so mad when my friend said I was just like him because it made me suspect if he somehow found out, and I have no idea how, that I sometimes mutter under my breath when I am feeling lonely and then thought I was a lunatic too!
Bart: Oh! That’s awful…
Whale: I know! I’m trying to get rid of that bad habit…
Bart: No, I meant the reason your friend might have thought you were like Mr. Oregano.
Whale: Yeah, that is awful too! Tragic, that the same thing also made me feel attached to the character…like, Mr. Oregano’s challenges in life all of a sudden seemed so similar to mine.