The birds woke me up. They wake me up every morning, cheerfully chirping and singing , the parakeets’ screeching, sounding like someone having an argument. I opened my eyes and much to my surprise I looked into Pomi’s little face. My crochet doll was lying on my pillow fast asleep. I had felt something crawling around on my bed at night yet I had told myself that it was nothing and had gone back to sleep. Now I realized that what I had dismissed as my imagination, had actually been Pomi climbing into my bed. I looked at him for a while wondering what had made him get up and walk around in the middle of the night when he opened his eyes.
“Good morning Pomi.” I greeted the little intruder.
“Nooo!” Pomi covered his face with his hands.
” Are you ok? Did you have a bad dream? Is that why you came into my bed?” He did not answer.
” Never mind then. No matter what it was, it is time to get up now. We wanted to work in the garden today, remember?”
” I don’t want to.” Pomi whispered.
” Why not? What’s wrong? And why are you whispering?”
” My throat hurts and I can’t swallow. Aaahhh!”
” Oh my poor darling, let me take a look at you.” I touched Pomi’s face. ” Your forehead feels a little warm. I think you are running a temperature .”
” I will make you some tea.”
” But I can’t swallow.” Pomi objected.
” Ok. First of all take your scarf and wrap it around your neck. After that put shoes on.”
” Shoes, Pomi.”
” I will not put shoes on. I am staying in bed.”
” Why are shoes always an argument with you?” I grabbed my barefoot patient, tied the scarf around his neck, wrapped him in a blanket and carried him out into the garden where I put him down on the table in the morning sun.
” Fresh air is good for you, and so is sunshine.” I explained. ” We need to take your temperature. Put this under your arm.” I handed Pomi the thermometer. ”
Press the button to turn it on. I’ll go downstairs and make you some blueberry tea. And Pomi, please don’t get up and run around barefoot.” But Pomi did not look at all adventurous.
Within a few minutes I was back with tea and a plateful of kumquats cut in half. I placed both in front of Pomi, looked at the thermometer and decided that Pomi’s temperature was only slightly above normal. My crochet doll eyed the kumquats and then looked at me glaring his disapproval. ” What is this?” He inquired.
” These are little oranges and they will do you a lot of good. They are full of vitamin C.”
“I hate them.”
” The neighbors seem to enjoy them. Look over there, the parakeet obviously loves them. ” I pointed at one of those brightly colored, noisy birds that was nibbling away on a tiny orange.”
“Don’t be such a picky eater, Pomi.” I begged.
” I am not a picky eater, I just don’t like tiny oranges. They taste bitter. That’s all.”
<<Eat your oranges, son.>>
<< Hey guys, Pomi over here does not want to eat his oranges. What do you say?>>
<< I’d say: somebody spoiled him rotten.>>
<< I’d say: Picky eater!>>
<< And I’d say: pull yourself together kiddo.” >>
” Shut up!” Pomi blurted out.
” Excuse me? Do not talk to me like that.” I felt offended by Pomi’s words.
” I was not talking to you.”
” Oh you weren’t ? Who else could you have been talking to?”
” The parakeet?”
” You talked to a bird?”
“No, the bird talked to me and I answered”. Pomi looked at me. ” A mean bird by the way. And so are the others. They were making fun of me.”
” What did they say?”
” Nothing.” Pomi had started to eat the kumquats, pulling a face with every bite.
” Are you happy now?” He said when he had finished, pointing at the empty plate “I am tired and I want to go to sleep.”
And while Pomi dozed off in the warm winter sun the birds continued their noisy conversation, probably still chattering about picky Pomi.