|On her third birthday, she received a new winter coat for her mother.|
|[Illustration by Rosie from Spotty Dog]|
Shortcut to: Part One
It was a strange sensation. At first Zena did not know what was happening to her. It started in the pit of her stomach, but soon spread up her arms and down her legs, until she was tingling from her toes to the tips of the hairs on her head.
In a frenzy she ripped the re-used Christmas wrapping paper from her present, and didn't hear her parents' protests against such wilful wastefulness.
"Don't tear the wrapping paper!" started her father.
"That could have gone back in the drawer for next year!" cried her mother.
"WHAT A WASTE! THAT WILL COME OUT OF YOUR POCKET MONEY!" they shouted together.
But Zena wasn't listening, and even if she was, she wouldn't have cared. Next year's wrapping paper would be a small price to pay for this. Besides, her parents never gave her any pocket money for it to come out of anyway.
Now, they didn't know what to do. Zena had always been such a well behaved little girl, and now she had disobeyed them for the first time ever. They didn't know how to begin punishing her.
She had taken a step back to admire her present in all its glory, and gazed wistfully at it. It was a very plain-looking brown box, and had the words "MICROWAVE OVEN" printed in big bold letters across the side.
Not being a very bright girl, Zena didn't know what a microwave oven actually was, but that just made it all the more exciting. She was sure that she would very much enjoy finding out.
After a good two minutes of speechlessness, her parents sprang into action. The snatched and yanked the box out of arm's reach of Zena and positioned themselves so as to guard between it and her. Slowly and carefully, they eased open the lid.
To be continued...
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