It's hard to see, and I'm a little afraid to look at the hand. Maybe it'll go away if I shut my eyes again. So I do. I squeeze them tight, tight shut, almost till it hurts. Then I open them again and I see whose hand it is.
Silly Alice! It's my own hand. I laugh a little bit when I see that. I don't feel at all like laughing really, though. I can feel my heart going bang bang bang inside me. I wonder why I didn't know it was my hand. I touch it with my other hand and it feels ever so cold. And another funny thing is that the hand I didn't know was mine can't feel the one that's touching it. It must be asleep - that's it. Maybe if I shake it, it'll wake up. I shake my cold, asleep hand and rub it with my warm, awake hand, and then it starts to feel like pins and needles, like I get in my feet sometimes if I sit on them with my bottom too long when I'm doing my colouring in. It hurts a little bit, but I'm a big girl now and I don't cry. I feel like crying, though. I laughed when I didn't feel like laughing, and now I'm not crying, even though I really feel like it. It makes my throat hurt a little bit.
When my throat hurts, Mommy usually gives me some medicine to make it all better. I wonder if Mommy will let me in yet.
It isn't so dark any more, outside my cave. I crawl outside and look at the door. The house is still dark, inside. I go to the door and sit on the step. Mommy will come soon. I wish it wasn't so cold. And I'm very hungry, too. I didn't have my supper, and it must be almost time for breakfast. My tummy hurts a little bit, too, just like my throat. I wish Mommy would let me in so I can have my Cheerios. I wouldn't even mind if she lets me eat the Cheerios out here if she's still in a bad mood. Just if she gives me my coat too, because it's so cold.
I sit on the step for a long time and try to make the sore throat go away by singing myself a little song:
''I'm sitting on the step. I'm sitting on the step. I ate a dirty wormy so I'm sitting on the step.
I'm hungry and I'm cold. I'm hungry and I'm cold. Oh Mommy come and get me cos I'm hungry and I'm cold.''
I don't sing it loud - just loud enough for me to hear, but that makes my throat hurt even more, and makes some water come out of my eyes, too, so I stop singing because I don't want to cry.
It's nearly light now. I can hear something inside the house. It's the telephone ringing and ringing. Why doesn't Mommy answer it? It's by the window so I go and stand underneath it. If Mommy answers the phone she'll see and might let me come in now.
The telephone carries on ringing but Mommy doesn't come, and I feel more water leaking out of my eyes and I rub them, hard, to make it stop. The telephone stops ringing.
Then it starts again. Oh, Mommy, you silly thing. Please answer the phone! I see a light go on, next door. Maybe I should go and knock on the door and ask Auntie Sharon to come and get Mommy to answer the phone and let me go in and get warm and have my Cheerios.
But I'm not allowed to talk to strangers. But Auntie Sharon isn't really a stranger, is she? She's not family, either, even though I call her Auntie Sharon, but I don't know if that counts.
The telephone has stopped ringing again and I wait for it to start, but this time it doesn't.
I wish I hadn't eaten that horrible worm. I never would have done it if I'd known that it would make Mommy in such a bad mood as this. I just thought it might taste a bit like gaspetti, and I love gaspetti, especially when it comes with meatballs. I'm so hungry.
I hear a noise next door and it's Auntie Sharon, and she's calling:
Boris is her orange cat. I like Boris, but sometimes he catches birds and puts them in front of our door so Mommy gets cross. I wish Boris was here so I could cuddle him. I want to shout to Auntie Sharon that Boris isn't here but I am, but I don't because she might be in a bad mood with me too, for being outside when it's still a bit dark.
I haven't seen Auntie Sharon in a bad mood, but you never know with grown-ups. Sometimes Mommy doesn't seem to be in a bad mood and then she suddenly is.
Auntie Sharon closes her door, and my throat starts hurting even more. I wish she'd open it again. I don't even mind if she's in a bad mood, just so long as she makes Mommy come and let me in.