Nathan and the gift from Fipi Lele


1. Nathan went travelling over Christmas, and when he came back there was a package at the post office. "Is this like the gifts you got from hardhat, JP, and Wussy?" Yes it is. "So it's a mystery?" Yes it is, and that's why I asked you to help.

2. Nathan is a small hedgehog, small enough to see what's inside a post box. "Whatever this is, it needs batteries."

3. It's an Otamatone. "It has a face, does it talk?" No, but it does sing if you tickle its tail and squeeze its cheeks. "Please don't squeeze me to make me sing." Don't worry Nathan, I would ask first, and you are always allowed to say "no" if someone asks to touch you.

4. "Oh, bridge mix? for making bridges?" I'm afraid not Nathan, this is chocolate candies. "Did someone say candy?" interrupts Sheldon. You don't even eat candy, Sheldon. "Don't care. Want it." "I want a mix I can use to build bridges," says Nathan.

5. "These are packing pillows," explains Nathan, "and they keep the stuff inside boxes safe when the boxes fall." "This doesn't feel like a pillow this feels like a hat," says Sheldon. "The pillows go pop if something pokes them. I think I saw more bridge pieces inside the box," replies Nathan.

6. Nathan keeps digging. We're certain he found what poked and popped the packing pillow, and there are more. "Maybe I can mix these sticks to build a bridge" mutters Nathan. "What?" "Nothing! I'm still digging!"

7. Sheldon takes the tin while Nathan pulls out the paper and more of the sticks. "Aw, the boy is gonna hate this chewing gum, its got oranges," says Sheldon. "At least I have all these building sticks," says Nathan, "but they're too brittle to make a real bridge out of. Let me read the letter..."
"You still call him the boy?" "Old habits stick around like dried honey."

8. "Says here the sticks are for what's in the gum container," reports Nathan. "Why would someone put gum on a stick? That's dumb. They're dumb," scoffs Sheldon. "I don't think so. Look inside the tin." "Oh. I don't smell oranges, so there must not be any gum in here, just a... it's black and its dark inside the tin, let me get it out."

9. If we could see under Sheldon's fur, we'd see his stitching stretch into a grin. "Oh I know what this is: it's a pasgetti thrower! and the sticks aren't for bridges they're pasgetti sticks!" "I thought it was pronounced spaghetti" offers Nathan. "Nope: pah-sget-eee, like the noodles in sauce and spicy meeting-balls."

10. So thanks to Fnord and Fipi, I have a tickle-me-elnote, a letter wishing me a happy Christmas, bridge mix, and a bear that will fling many 1cm lengths of dry pasta all over my kitchen and apartment and I better take that thing away from him. "and packing pillows!" Yes Nathan, and hedgehog-sized air mattresses.
Thank you again, Fnord.