It was an ordinary day at the Devilles'. Phil and Lil were digging for worms,
Betty was lifting weights, and Howard was inside, baking cookies.
Just then the cell phone, which was sitting on a lawn chair, started ringing. Betty picked it up.
"Hello," she said.
"Oh, hello, cousin Betty. This is Winifred," said the person at the other end of the line.
"Hi, Winnie," said Betty. She didn't think much of her cousin. She lived in London and enforced strict rules on her twins, Hedley & Smedley, who were the same age as Phil and Lil.
"I was thinking, and I've decided that our twins need to start preparing for the world. I have heard that if children do not learn to be able to be away from their parents at an early age, they will become too attached to them and will never want to be away from them. Imagine how that would effect their social life!"
"Sounds like a bunch of rubbish to me," Betty commented.
"Betty, you have to think about your childrens' futures! What if it's time for them to go to college, and they are too afraid to leave you? What shall you do then? You need to wean them from the need for their parents!" Winnie said.
"Whatever. But don't you think they're a little young for that?" Betty asked
"If you don't start now, it will be to late!" Winnie told her.
"Well, if you really think it's that important, I guess..." Betty began.
"Good!" said Winnie, "Your doing the right thing for your twins! I think you should leave next week, come down here, and drop the twins off! Then you can be off again with Smedley & Hedley!"
"Don't you think this is sort of short notice? Why not next month?"
"Better sooner than later, I say!" Winnie said.
"Uh, ok," Betty agreed.
A week later, Betty, Lil, and Phil were boarding their flight to London. Phil and Lil liked the plane.
"Look how high up we are!" said Phil, pointing out the window.
"Wow!" Lil exclaimed, "Neat!" Just then a flight attendant with a tray of food came by.
"Would you like anything?" she asked.
"Yeah," Betty replied, "I'll have a turkey sandwich for me, and some cookies for the kids."
The attendant handed her the food, and went on. Phil and Lil gobbled down their cookies.
Several hours later, they arrived in London. Betty grabbed Phil and Lil, got
their luggage from the luggage department, and went to meet Winnie.
She was standing in the lobby, looking around for them.
When she spotted Betty and the twins, she ran over and hugged and kissed them.
Betty quickly backed away. Betty put Phil and Lil down.
"So, where's your twins?" Betty asked.
At that moment, a Smedley & Hedley stepped out from behind their mother
and bowed and curtsied politely.
"Alright then, let me just get you Lil and Phi..." Betty stopped short when she realized that Phil and Lil were not there.
"Where are they?" Winnie asked.
"I don't know!" Betty said, "Let's go find them!"
At that time, Phil and Lil were riding on the "moving floor". A sort of conveyor belt for people to ride on if they got tired. It just went a short distance, but Phil and Lil found it extremely fun.
"Whee!" Lil squealed.
She and Phil were trying to run against the conveyer belt.
Then Phil tripped and started moving backwards.
At the end of the belt, he tried to get up, but his shirt was caught under the belt. Lil ran over and tried to help him dislodge it. It was pulling hard at his shirt, trying to pull itself in its usual direction. Lil grabbed the other end of Phil's shirt and pulled with all her might. The belt slowed. The shirt was slowing its movement.
Betty, then, caught sight of them.
"Phil! Lil!" she yelled.
She ran over and managed to pull Phil free. But a large piece of his shirt didn't make it; it was jammed in the belt, causing it to stop moving.
A worker came up to see what was the problem. He walked over to the end of
the belt, and saw the shirt. Then looked up and saw Phil. He looked from the
belt to Phil's torn shirt, then turned to Betty. He pointed to the malfunctioning
"What happened here?" he asked.
"My kids ran off, and Philly here got caught," Betty told him.
The worker grabbed the shirt piece and yanked it free. He held it up.
"You should feel lucky you didn't cause any bad damage," he said angrily as the belt started moving again.
"You really should enforce stricter rules upon your twins. Perhaps then they would not be such a worry!" Winnie lectured. Betty sighed.
"I'll just take Smedley & Hedley and leave now, OK?" Betty said.
"Yes, alright, well, goodbye, sister!" Winnie replied, and they went their separate ways.
Later, at Winnie's house, Phil and Lil were being changed into fresh clothing. Lil wore and blue dress with white polka-dots, and a white ribbon around the middle. Phil wore a mustard colored vest with a white shirt and brown pants.
"You see, Phil and Lil," Winnie explained, "I believe it is important for twins to dress differently, so that they can be distinguished as individuals! Now, let us get something to eat, shall we?"
Winnie brought Phil and Lil into the kitchen, put them in their highchairs,
and served the lunch she had prepared before she left to pick them up.
On their plates, Phil and Lil were disgusted to see, was canned spinach, tuna casserole, and rice cakes for dessert. The twins grimaced. They loved worms and bugs and sticky green goo, gut they couldn't stand veggies and health food.
Winnie watched them stare disgustedly at their meal.
"Go on then, eat," she prompted.
Phil grabbed a handful of spinach, but, instead of trying to eat it, hurled
it across the room, where it landed right in Winnie's face. She screamed.
She stood up, took the nearest towel off its rack, and wiped her face off. Then she walked briskly over to Phil and Lil, picked up a spoon, and tried to get them to eat the food, but they refused.
"Fine, then," said Winnie, exasperated, "Then don't eat anything! And time out for that food slinging."
She lifted the two, with effort, and carried them to a small playpen. She set
them down in it.
"I shall let you out in five minutes," Winnie told them as she walked off.
At the Devilles' house the next day. Smedley & Hedley woke up in their crib, and waited patiently for Betty to come dress them. Soon, she came and let them out of the playpen.
"Alright, lets get you dressed!", she said.
She opened a drawer and pulled out one of Phil's outfits for Smedley, and one
of Lil's for Hedley. She dressed them and let them look at themselves in the
mirror. They did not like their outfits.
"Oh, no, how shall she tell us apart now?" Hedley asked.
Betty picked them up and carried them to the kitchen.
She set them down in their highchairs and served them some cereal. Smedley & Hedley didn't eat cereal at their house, but they took their spoons, dipped them into the bowls, and ate the cereal, all at the same time.
"This really isn't all that bad!" Smedley commented.
The two ate the rest of their cereal.
"OK, let's go outside and play," Betty said.
She helped the twins out of their highchairs, and led them to the door the led to the backyard. She opened it and stepped out. Smedley & Hedley followed. They stood for a moment, trying to decide what to do, then headed over to the sandbox and started making neat, symmetrical sandcastles.
To Be Continued
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