Chapter 15: Tonic and Tummy Aches
Belle was in her kitchen. It looked more like the laboratory of a mad scientist right now. There were bottles of liquid and boxes of powders and many unusual items covering every counter. The stove had strange-smelling substances boiling and steaming in little caps and lids.
Belle was stirring a thimble of tonic. She gave it a sniff. "Just right," she declared. She slowly began to combine the different brews until a thick yellow liquid was steaming in front of her.
Belle carefully placed her sharp middle claw into the liquid and zapped it for exactly 3 1/2 seconds. "DONE," she said and pulled the thimble off the heat.
Belle had been making her tonic for 80 years now. It had taken time to develop the formula. The plant life in our world was different than that of her own. With time and experimentation she had come up with a substance that prevented cancer, pneumonia, influenza, and the common cold. The mixture was so strong that one drop per year per person was all that was needed to keep the Rose family healthy.
She had also developed an antibiotic of great power. Six drops and every invading bacterium was dead. (All those years at MyHill had really paid off.)
It was hot and Lil Mike and the six boys were swimming in the pond while Grandpa James and the guardians watched. The boys had contests but Lil Mike just paddled around slowly beside Snow who loved the water too.
When she came home on Snow's back she was wrinkled, wet, warm and crabby. Her cheeks were red and she complained of a tummy ache.
Marie called from town to say her car had broken down. It would be easier to stay in town for the night.
By evening Lil Mike had a fever so Becca gave her medicine and Grandpa James read stories and sang lullabies early. Soon he tucked her in with hugs and kisses. She fell asleep with Pal on one side and Bandit Marie's Grey Persian cat on the other. Buddy lay on the rug at her feet.
Belle was finishing cleaning up her kitchen when her tail began to itch. She ran to the balcony quickly. She could see Pal pacing at the windowsill. Wink was on his way across the field. Belle flew over at once.
Pal let Belle in the window just as Buddy was bringing Becca and James from downstairs.
Lil Mike was very hot she was tossing and moaning. Belle watched from the dollhouse. Her tail itched terribly. What could be wrong?
Becca poked at Lil Mike's tummy. She screamed. "I think it's her appendix," Becca stated.
Belle slipped to the windowsill and rushed to get her antibiotic.
Becca rushed to the phone.
Grandpa James scooped Lil Mike up in his arms and rushed to the stairs. "Travis get the Ranger!" his deep voiced boomed.
Belle went as fast as she could but the Ranger had already started down the driveway. She might have missed it altogether if Travis hadn't stopped for a second before turning onto the road. She was just able to grab the bumper and slip between it and the back of the Ranger. She nearly lost the little bottle of liquid in her hand. She found a place to sit but she was most uncomfortable. It was a windy wild ride and the smell of exhaust fumes upset her tummy.
They arrived at the hospital (I won't tell you how fast they went). Marie was waiting at the door. Belle barely made it into Becca's purse before they were rushing into the emergency room. The nurse took them directly to a well-lit room inside and put Lil Mike on a bed.
Lil Mike was crying in pain. The doctor came in quickly. " Let's see what we have here" he said in a calm cheerful tone.
"This is an emergency doc, not another day at the office!" Belle frowned. (But, it was another day at the office for him.) Belle knew she needed to get the medicine to Lil Mike, but how? That's when she saw the old jellybean in Becca's purse. Belle tore off a piece and poked a hole in it. Into the hole she poured the liquid medicine. Then she carefully pinched the opening closed.
Time was short. In a flash she was up the privacy curtain. She waited for Lil Mike to scream once more and threw the candy into her mouth. She watched to make sure Lil Mike wouldn't choke. The medicine was swallowed just as the medical team rushed Lil Mike to surgery.
Belle and the Rose family stood frozen with a deep feeling of helplessness. Marie began to cry. Becca held her tight while a nurse showed them to a waiting room. Belle nearly missed her ride again.
The family waited for over two hours. Marie fiddled with her buttons, Becca held Marie, Travis held Becca and Grandpa James and Belle paced back and forth. (Belle was under the sofa.)
When the doctor finally arrived everyone jumped as if startled out of a bad dream.
"She had a ruptured appendix. She will be here for awhile until the infection goes down." His voice still seemed cheerful.
Belle wanted to bite him but decided against it.
Marie was taken to Lil Mike while the others went home to rest. Lil Mike would need to sleep.
Belle had no intentions of leaving. She wiggled into Marie's purse. It was a very little purse (but cute).
It was morning before Lil Mike was taken to a regular room where she could sleep. Marie was given a special chair to sleep in right beside her. Belle on the other hand had to make her own accommodations.
At first Lil Mike was fussy but Belle began to sing a lullaby and soon both Michal and Marie were sleeping restfully.
Lil Mike awoke around noon very confused. "Momma where are we?" she asked.
"We're at the hospital honey you got very sick last night and needed an operation." Marie answered.
"My tummy feels funny."
"I know. It will for a while but you'll be better soon." Marie tried to be comforting.
The nurses didn't expect a wide-awake little girl so soon. They didn't expect a hungry little girl just a few hours later and they certainly didn't expect a playful ball of energy the very next morning.
"I'm going to have to send you home before you tear down the hospital." The doctor announced in amazement. "I have never seen anyone recover so quickly. If it weren't for the incision I'd thick someone switched kids on me."
Belle huffed. "Of course she's fine do you think I'd give her bad medicine?"
As soon as Lil Mike was home safely in her own bed Belle flew to her home and went to work. It was obvious cures for cancer were not going to be enough.
Airabella Quick of Cherry Hill Farm is © copyright 2008 by Kimberlyn Kammerer. All rights reserved.
May not be reprinted elsewhere without permission from the author/illustrator.