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The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

The student news site of Moravian University

The Comenian

Sigmund and Beaumont: Miss Sally’s Birthday

Sigmund and Beaumont: Miss Sally’s Birthday

November had come around, and with it came a particularly nasty chill. The world was blanketed in a sheet of frost, stripping any remaining ounce of vibrancy from the world outside, replacing colors with a dull, muted version. The wind bit and cut its way right through you, chilling anyone to the bone. Inside Miss Sally’s house, though, it was different. It was warm, comfortable, and inviting. Beaumont, a wee black house cat who loved to wear bowties, sat by the fireplace in the parlor, twitching the tip of his tail as he stared straight ahead in deep contemplation. 

“Ole friend-o,” said a small spider who swung down from the ceiling. “What’s ailin’ you?”

“Sigmund! It’s Miss Sally’s Birthday,” Beaumont meowed. “But I just don’t know what to do for her. I want to do something for her!”

“Let’s me do some thinkin’,” replied Sigmund. He put a leg to his mandible in thought, and another scratched the top of his head. Beaumont sat down, ideas as to what to do for Miss Sally spinning in his head. A minute slipped by, then two, then three. But then, after five or so minutes, Beaumont dashed over to the old standing clock in the corner of the entry hall. 

“I’ve got it!” Beaumont exclaimed. “I remember Miss Sally saying something about a gear that fell out of her great grandfather’s clock and then disappeared. I’m going to find it. Then we can surprise her later at her party. Oh, she’ll be so happy!”

Sigmund swung over, perching himself on Beaumont’s pale blue bowtie. The clock hadn’t ticked for years, longer than Sigmund or Beaumont had been there for. Beaumont had once overheard her telling Mr. Thomas, the kindly neighbor Miss Sally was rather smitten with that it hadn’t ticked since she inherited it, with the house, but she remembered watching it ticking when she was a little girl. Beaumont had a feeling in his gut that the missing gear had to be somewhere in the house. 

“Yeah, yeah, that’ll be great, me thinks,” Sigmund said. “I’ll helps ya do the lookin’ for it from above, so I will.”

The two set off on their quest, determined to find it by supper time that evening. Beaumont’s little heart pounded in his chest, driven by a combination of excitement, thrill, and the pressure of finding it in time. Then, there was a knock at the door. Miss Sally’s friends, Mrs. Kathleen and Mrs. Margaret, with their animal companions Andy the Armadillo and Bernice, a Doberman, respectively, had arrived early to help set up the party. 

“Hi, Beaumont and Sigmund,” Bernice said. “What are you two looking for?”

“Oh, Bernice!” replied Beaumont happily. “We’re trying to find the missing gear so we can fix Miss Sally’s old clock for her birthday. She often said she would watch the clock when she was a little girl, but at some point, the gear must have gotten lost and fallen out. Goodness knows where it’s gone off to since then. That was a very long time ago.”

“Buts we do be seemin’ to have no luck in findin’ it,” said Sigmund, swinging down to be at eye level with Bernice.

“Well, we can help you look, Beaumont! It’ll be swell,” said Andy, chiming in. “Four pairs of eyes – or well, I guess three pairs and however many Sigmund has – is better than two. I betcha we’ll find it if we all work together!”

“Sigmund, you and Beaumont continue to look here. Andy and I will look in the parlor and then in the dining room if we don’t find it there,” said Bernice with a sparkle in her dark eyes. She wagged her stumpy tail. 

Beaumont nodded, and they split up to cover more ground. Sigmund continued to swing from above and crawl into crevasses the others couldn’t fit into. Beaumont crouched down. He hopped up onto the furniture. No luck for either of them. Bernice trotted around the parlor, eyes sharp and ears keen. Andy waddled about, peering under and around the parlor furniture, using his nose to guide him. 

Then, Andy called out.

“Beaumont, Sigmund, I found something!” He shouted, dancing around by an old bookshelf that sat on the exact trajectory from the clock. “I smell something. Smells like … metal, and lots of dust.” 

“That could be anything,” said Beaumont as he came into the room. Sigmund sat on Beaumont’s bowtie. “How do you know it’s specifically our missing gear?”

“I don’t know it for certain,” Andy admitted. “But we’re running out of time, and this is the only good lead we’ve got so far. And besides, I think it would be rather weird if anything else metallic got stuck back there.”

“I’ll move it, Beaumont; you can slip your paw back there and grab it,” Bernice said, pressing her forehead against the shelf and pushing with all her might. Then came a loud CREEEEAAAAK! It budged. Beaumont flicked his tail and darted over. He reached his paw back into the dusty crevasse, digging around. His ears perked up when he felt something. He scooped it out with his paw, then sneezed when a poof of dust exploded from the gap behind the shelf. There it was, lying there on the floor behind him, dusty, but there. The missing gear was glorious to see.

“Oh gollie!” Andy said, dancing around once more. “Do you think that’s your gear?”

“I think so,” Beaumont replied, blowing on it to remove some of the dust. “We’ll have to wait for Mr. Thomas to come help us. He’s the only one of our humans tall enough to reach into the clock face.”
“We did it in the nick of time, though!” Andy said. 

“I can’t wait to see Miss Sally’s face when you give her the gear. Your human is so lovely, Beaumont,” Bernice said happily. 

Mr. Thomas arrived as the sun fully fell below the mostly barren horizon, and the festivities for Miss Sally’s birthday went on. After the human companions of Beaumont, Bernice, and Andy had finished their supper, Mr. Thomas brought her a cake with an impressive 51 candles on it. She smiled and blew them out, and they all enjoyed it together. When they had enjoyed the cake, Beaumont, followed by his friends, made his way into the dining room. Beaumont meowed jovially, dancing around to catch Miss Sally’s attention. 

She and her friends followed the wee cat and his own group of friends out into the entry hall. Her face wore a look of confusion and intrigue as Beaumont ran to grab the gear. He picked it up and proudly marched it back, stopping at the base of the clock. He put it down and meowed, going to dance around Mr. Thomas’s feet. Getting the hint, he followed Beaumont and grabbed the gear, opening the clock face and finding where the gear once sat. He put it back in place, then took the winding tool, which was kept within the clock casing, and wound the clock to the right time. 

Miss Sally covered her mouth in surprise and amazement when it began to tick away as it had when she was a young girl. She ran to Beaumont, scooping him up into her arms and hugging him tightly. Her eyes welled up with her joy at seeing and hearing it ticking again, then scratched under Beaumont’s chin to say thank you. He purred, happy to have made his human companion so happy on her birthday, and just in the nick of time, thanks to the teamwork of Beaumont’s friends.

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