Ajax was telling the Director about something that had happened while the two Ossyrian researchers, disguised as Chihuahuas, had been staying with their friends, the Turnstones.
‘Abel had just had his birthday, so he’s now two. He and his parents came round while we were at Will’s, and when Will brought the tea tray into the front room, Abel pulled his mother off the armchair. He said, “Grandad chair, Grandad chair!’
‘He was quite agitated’, said Alfie, ‘as if the whole world depended on everyone being in the right place. He sat on his own little green chair when he’d got his grandparents sorted.
‘Mrs T was laughing, but Abel was too intent on getting things right to notice.’
‘What do we take from that?’ Pondered T, the Director. ‘An inborn desire for order, security, perhaps. But Abel does not always want a rigid routine. He also wants adventure. Remember when he went paddling in the pool last winter?’
‘Don’t remind us!’ said Alfie, ‘and don’t expect us to come swimming with you just because the air temperature is above 20° Celsius.’
‘He was wearing a ski suit and boots. But do I take it that you guys are ready to go back to pod life? I’m sure it could be arranged in a couple of earth months.’
The pseudo-chihuahuas buried their heads under their common blanket. There were thoughts they did not wish to share with the Director.