‘It doesn’t matter,’ Peter gulped.

She asked where he lived.

‘Second to the right,’ said Peter, ‘and then straight on till morning.’

‘What a funny address!’

Peter had a sinking. For the first time he felt that perhaps it was a funny address.

‘No, it isn’t,’ he said.

‘I mean,’ Wendy said nicely, remembering that she was hostess, ‘is that what they put on the letters?’

He wished she had not mentioned letters.

‘Don’t get any letters,’ he said contemptuously.

‘But your mother gets letters?’

‘Don’t have a mother,’ he said. Not only had he no mother, but he had not the slightest desire to have one. He thought them very overrated persons. Wendy, however, felt at once that she was in the presence of a tragedy.

‘O Peter, no wonder you were crying,’ she said, and got out of bed and ran to him.

‘I wasn’t crying about mothers,’ he said rather indignantly. ‘I was crying because I can’t get my shadow to stick on. Besides, I wasn’t crying.’

‘It has come off?’


Then Wendy saw the shadow on the floor, looking so draggled, and she was frightfully sorry for Peter. ‘How awful!’ she said, but she could not help smiling when she saw that he had been trying to stick it on with soap. How exactly like a boy!

Fortunately she knew at once what to do. ‘It must be sewn on,’ she said, just a little patronizingly.

‘What’s sewn?’ he asked.

‘You’re dreadfully ignorant.’

‘No, I’m not.’

But she was exulting in his ignorance. ‘I shall sew it on for you, my little man,’ she said, though he was as tall as herself; and she got out her housewife, and sewed the shadow on to Peter’s foot.

‘I dare say it will hurt a little,’ she warned him.

‘Oh, I shan’t cry,’ said Peter, who was already of opinion that he had never cried in his life. And he clenched his teeth and did not cry; and soon his shadow was behaving properly, though still a little creased.

‘Perhaps I should have ironed it,’ Wendy said thoughtfully; but Peter, boylike, was indifferent to appearances, and he was now jumping about in the wildest glee. Alas, he had already forgotten that he owed his bliss to Wendy. He thought he had attached the shadow himself. ‘How clever I am,’ he crowed rapturously, ‘oh, the cleverness of me!’

  By PanEris using Melati.

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