'No,' said Mummy. 'We can't. There is no room in this little house for a dog.'
'Oh please, Ma, don't say no,' pleaded Rani. 'It can sleep with me - I'll share my room...'
'Or with me...or on the stairs...or in the kitchen...oh please, we'll manage,' said Meera.
'No,' said Mummy again. 'It will be cruel to force a dog to live here - we do not have enough space for it to run around, no garden for it to play in...and really, children, I do not have the time to take on a dog,' said Mummy firmly.
'Please, Mummy,' begged the children. 'We'll help - we'll do all its work - we'll bathe it and take it for walks and feed it and play with it...'
'Feed it - that's another point,' said Mummy. 'You know we do not eat meat - and that I will not permit it in any form within the house. How can a dog get its natural diet with a vegetarian family?'
'We'll teach the dog to be a vegetarian,' said Meera seriously.
'Don't be silly, Meera,' said Mummy sternly. She was feeling quite cross with the children now.
Meera and the Surprise Pet...continued