There are now five stick insects and two of them are sickly yellow in colour and bigger than the other black ones who have legs like feeble spiders. They are all 5cm in length. None of them do much - not when I observe them anyway. I have a sneaking suspicion that the moment my back is turned they turn on the disco lights and leap about to unsuitable music. Also, they do not eat. I keep putting in ivy leaves and bramble leaves but they just stare at the food and do not lift even one leg towards them. If I only start to get the tin opener out of the drawer, Serena my cat, savages my body. But not the sticks. I must take a photo so I have actual evidence of them eating.
Mum and Dad brought home a photo the other day. They went to the hospital to have it taken. It was black and white and looked like a badly drawn broad bean. They have put it in a frame and have informed me that it is a baby. Ugh. Then they gave me a copy for my bedroom. My bedroom is welcome to it, I say. If they are trying to get me to like it they are going about it in a funny way.
Mad Aunt Caroline has been phoning me for little 'chats' which is v v disturbing.
'You know your dear parents are unhappy that you are unhappy, Wilfred,' she says and her voice drips with Concern.
I stay quiet. I do not want to talk to her but I know The Parents are hiding behind the kitchen door, waiting. I wonder if the sticks are even now having a party and nibbling snacks.
'You must try and be kinder to them, Wilfred. Stress is not good for the baby, you know.'
I grunt a bit. I have to make some sort of noise. Stress is not good for the sticks either, I think. Maybe that is why they are spurning my leaves.
'Talk to me, Wilfred - tell me what troubles you,' she coos.
I must go and look after the sticks. It turns out that their legs drop off in times of stress. 'Can you tell me how babies are made?' I ask her. It is like a dam bursting.
'Of course! Darling! Just listen and I'll tell you everything...' and she is off.
And so am I.