‘Phew! That was close!’ cried Lennie.
Creamy just growled and slumped down on the grass by the roadside. He was still brooding over being called a bear by the fishwoman and in no mood for talking.
Lennie threw a quick glance behind them, but all he could see was a line of trees, dark and still. ‘Thank goodness people can't follow their noses very well or they would surely have found us,’ he sighed with relief and flopped to the ground next to Creamy.
For a while they both sat in silence. Suddenly, Lennie gave Creamy a nudge. ‘I say, Creamy! Look over there! Do you see what I see?’
‘What? Oh, you mean those workmen having tea?’
‘No, no, I don't mean them, I mean that machine by the pile of earth. I saw them using it before they sat down to tea and…’
‘Must've been a long time ago, as I've been watching them having tea all morning,’ said Creamy. ‘And not only tea,’ he added looking hungrily at a workman biting into a sandwich.
‘But we've only just got here.’
‘Oh? So how come that sandwich I've been keeping my eye on is almost all gone?’ asked Creamy with a touch of bitterness in his voice. ‘That man was just starting on it when we got here.’
Lennie sighed. ‘Could you stop thinking of food for just one moment, Creamy?’
‘Right, I will,’ said Creamy, not taking his eye off the sandwich and looking sadder and sadder, as he saw it getting smaller and smaller.
‘Well, what has occurred to me,’ Lennie went on, ‘is that we could easily do what these workmen are doing.’
‘You mean sit around eating sandwiches? Yes, I could easily do that.’
‘Of course I don't mean that! I mean digging, and working the drill, and so on. After all, you are big and strong and could manage that drill, couldn't you.’
‘Sure,’ said Creamy, ‘and then we could sit around and have tea for hours on end – just as they do.’
‘Oh, Creamy! You're missing the point completely. Though I have to say, I wouldn't say no to a nice cuppa after all that tracking through the woods….’
Creamy jumped to his feet. ‘I'll get it for you, Lennie. Would you like the blue mug or the brown – I can easily get it off one of those workmen.’
Lennie sighed. ‘Oh, dear! I know you mean well, Creamy, but we'll get our own tea when we've made enough money. And we could make a lot of money by helping dig up that road.’
‘Oh, really? You mean enough for tea, and a big bucket of pistachio ice cream, and perhaps even a small pot of honey?’
Lennie raised his eyebrows, a smile hovering on his lips, but said nothing.
Creamy caught himself up. ‘I mean…. er…,’ he stammered. But Lennie was already thinking of something else, and presently he said.