The next day was Saturday. The children were off from school, and Papa did not have to go to work.
'I hear you want a dog,' said Papa to Meera and Rani after breakfast.
The children looked up. Perhaps their parents had changed their minds?!
'Yes, oh yes,' said Meera, 'But Mummy says we can't have one.'
'And she's right, you know,' said Papa, seriously. 'It really is impossible.'
Meera and Rani looked disappointed again.
'But,' went on Papa, 'perhaps there is another kind of pet that you COULD get.'
'Another kind of pet?' asked Rani. She wasn't sure if her father was serious.
'Do you mean a cat?' she asked.
'No, ' said her father.
'A mouse?' asked Meera.
'A parrot?' said Rani. 'A talking parrot, perhaps?'
'No, no, ' laughed Papa. 'None of those - you know Mummy has said no animals in the house!'
Meera and the Surprise Pet...continued