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JANE GOES OUT TO STAY
By Enid Blyton
Jane was going to stay with her friend Pam. She felt very important indeed She had never been away from home before – but here she was, watching Mummy pack a little bag with her nightdress and dressing-gown, her flannel, sponge and toothbrush, and a clean frock.
“Should I take Bunny for you?” said Mummy.
“Oh, no,” said Jane. “I know he sleeps with me every night, Mummy, but I’m too big to take him together with me. Pam would laugh.”
“No, she wouldn’t. Pam is a year younger than you are, and I expect she takes a joy to bed with her every night,” said Mummy.
“Very well. I won’t put Bunny in.”
Jane thought of all the things she would tell Pam. She wanted to make Pam think she was very grown-up. She would say, “Pam, do you know this – Pam, do you know that?” and Pam would listen eagerly.
She arrived at Pam’s in time for dinner. Pam hugged her, for she liked Jane very much.
“Do you mindbeing away from home?” she said. “Will you like staying with me? I’ve never stayed away even one night without Mummy.”
Ah, but I’m older than you,” said Jane, grandly. “I’m in a class higher at school, too. I shan’t mind staying away from home a bit!”
They had dinner, and then they went out to play. The dog next door barked, and made Pam jumped.
“Pooh!” said Jane, scornfully. “Are you afraid of dogs? I’ve got a dog of my own at home. Can you ride?”
“No,I can’t. Can you?” asked Pam.
“Oh, yes. I go riding every Saturday, on a big white pony called Sweetie,” said Jane. “I gallop. And once I went so fast that everyone thought my pony was running away with me. But he wasn’t.”
“You must be very clever,” said Pam. “I wish I could do things like that.”
Jane chose all the games, and she choe ones she was best at. She could ran faster than Pam. And she could jump higher.
“Mummy, Jane is amazing,” said Pam. “She does everything quite well. And she’s not a bit afraid of dogs or horses – or of tigers, either, are you, Jane?”
“I don’t expect I would be, if I met one,” said Jane, pleased at all this praise, “I like animals. You ought to like animals, too, Pam, then you wouldn’t be so scared when you see a big dog, or hear a cow moo.”
After tea they played card games. Jane was much quicker at them than Pam. She won four games of Snap straight off. Pam looked a little sad.
“I wish I could win just once,: she said.
“Have a game of Happy Families. You may win then,” said her mother, feeling rather sorry for the smaller girl. She thought that Jane might just let Pam win one game, to please her. But no, Jane won Happy Families, too.
“I’m stupid, aren’t I?” said poor Pam, almost in tears. “I wish I was a wonderful as Jane, Mummy. She can do anything. Jane, do you ever cry?”
“Oh, no,” said jane. But this wasn’t quite true. She did cry sometimes.
“Not even when you fall down and hurt your knee?” asked Pam.
“Of course not!” said Jane. “I’m not such a baby.”
“Are you ever frightened in the night?” said Pam. “Because I am.”
“Of course I’m not,” said Jane, in a scornful voice. “I just go to sleep, and don’t bother me about anything, not even thunder.”
“You’re too good to be true, Jane dear,” said Pam’s Mummy. “And now I think it’s bedtime. Hurry up and have a nice hot bath, because it’s very cold tonight.”
Soon the two little girls were in their separate beds, eating a nice supper. Then Pam’s mother said good night to them both, and went downstairs.
She came up a little later with Pam’s got-water bottle, and one for Jane, too. But Jane was already fast asleep. So very gently Pam’s mother pushed the hot-water bottle, inits soft furry cover, down into the bed inside the sleeping Jane. Jane never had a hot-water bottle at home, and had never even thought of having one.
Now about three hours later Jane woke up. She felt a warm patch against her legs. Whatever could it be? She put down her hand and felt it. It was soft and furry and warm. It must be some animal that had crept into bed with her when she was asleep!
“Go away!” said Jane, and kicked out at it. But it didn’t move. It just lay there against her leg, furry and warm. Jane felt suddenly frightened.
She sat upin bed and yelled. “Help! help! There’s a wild animal in bed with me! It’s biting the light and stared at Jane. “Oh, Pam! There’s a horrid wild animal in bed with me!” cried Jane again. “It’ll bite me to bits! I believe it’s nibbling me now! Oh! OHHHHH!”
“I’ll save you, I’ll save you!” cried Pam. She jumped out and pulled Jane right out of bed, then threw back the covers. She saw the furry hot-water bottle cover, and bent to pick it up and throw it away, thinking it was an animal.
Then she saw what it was. How she laughed! She had a very merry little laugh, that went ha-ha-ha-ho-ho-ho, he-he. She rolled on Jane’s bed and she laughed till the tears came into her eyes.
“What’s the matter, Pam?” asked Jane, offended. But, when Pam was telling her, she was also laughing too much. Then in came Pam’s mother to see what all the noise was about.
“Oh, Mummy, oh, Mummy! Jane was so funny!” said Pam. “She screamed and yelled and cried because she said she had a wild animal in her bed that was biting her to bits! And I got out to rescue her from the dreadful animal – and it was only her hot-water bottle!”
Then it was Mummy’s turn to laugh. “Well, well, well – to think of our brave and wonderful Jane being scared of a hot-water bottle! I slipped it into your bed, dear, when you were asleep.”
Poor Jane! She did feel so very, very silly. To think she had yelled like that over a hot-water bottle. And what a pity she had said it was biting her!
She got back into bed, very red in the face. She threw the hot-water bottle out on the floor.
“Now don’t be cross as well as foolish, Jane,” said Pam’s mother. “it really was very funny, you know, and we couldn’t help laughing. And don’t you think little Pam was brave, to jump out of bed and try to save you from the wild animal you were shouting about?”
“Yes, She was brave,” said Jane. “Thank you, Pam. You’re braver than I am!”
Then they went to sleep. But you won’t be surprised to hear that next day Jane was much nicer to Pam, and even let her win two games of Snap!