Previous superfudge part 31.
My father signed up for ten Chinese cooking lesons. He bought a wok, which is a big, round pot, and four cookbooks. Most nights, he would sit in front of the fire, reading.
“When you finish writing your book, maybe you can open a Chinese restaurant,” I suggested.
“I don’t want to open a restaurant,” Dad said, thumbing through The A to Z of Chinese Cookery.
“I just mentioned that because Jimmy Fargo’s father used to be an actor and now he’s a painter, so I thought maybe you were going from advertising to writing to cooking.”
“No,” Dad answered. “Cooking will be a hobby for me, not a profession.”
“Oh,” I said. Then I added, “I like to know what’s going on, and sometimes you forget to tell me.”
“Nothing’s going on,” Dad said. He flipped through a couple of pages, then turned to Mom. “What do you think about making this for tomorrow night? Stir-fried chicken with green onions, muchroom, water chestnuts and a touch of ginger?”
“Sounds good to me,” Mom said.
“Cocoa and animal crackers sounds good to me,” Fudge said. He’d been very quiet tonight, stretched out on the floor with a pad of paper and a fat, green crayon.
“Anyone else for cocoa and animal crackers?” Mom asked, getting out of her favorite chair and yawning.
“Me,” I called.
“Make it unanimous,” Dad said.
“What’s unanimous?” Fudge asked.
“It’s when everyone agrees,” I explained.
“Everyone agrees,” Fudge repeated. “That’s nice. I like it when everyone agrees.”
“What are you busy drawing?” I asked.
“I’m not drawing… I’m writing.”
“What are you writing?”
“A letter to santa.”
“Isn’t a little early,” I asked, “sincewe’re still eating leftover turkey from Thanksgiving?”
“It’s never too early,” Fudge said.
“Where’d you hear that one?” I asked.
“From Grandma,” he said.
“I thought so.”
“That makes it amanimous,” Fudge said.
“Hey, Dad,” I said, “I wish you’d think twice before you use big words in front of him. Now he’s messing up another one.”
“Messing… messing… messing…” Fudge babbled.
“it must be pretty hard to write a letter when you can’t even write,” I said to him, chuckling.
“I can write.”
“Since I was born.”
“Just because you never see me write doesn’t mean that I can’t. right, Dad?”
“Good reasoning, Fudge,” Dad said.
“Let me see that letter,” I said, suddenly wondering if the kid really did know how to write. Maybe he is some kind of genius and my parents don’t want me to find out because I’m just a regular kis, I thought. Maybe they already know that he’s going to skip first and second grades. Worse yet, maybe he’s going to skip all of elementary and wind up in seventh grade next year, with me. Worse than that, maybe he’s going to be one of those kids who goes off to college at twelce. There’ll be stories about him in all of the news magazines. And people will say to me, “Hatcher… hmmm, that sounds familiar. You aren’t, by any chance, related to that child genius, Fudge Hatcher, are you?” And I’ll have to admit, “Yeah, he’s my little brother.” And they’ll scratch their heads and say, “Wow… too bad some of it didn’t rub off on you.” Then they’ll laugh and walk away. I reached over and grabbed Fudge’s letter. I looked it over carefully.
“It’s just scribbling,” I said, feeling relieved.
“It is not!” Fudge said.
“Santa never going to be able to read this,” I told him.
“He’ll read the important part.”
“There’s only one word that makes sense,” I said. “Bike.”
“That’s the important part,” fudge told me, grabbing back his letter.
“I’ll help you write a real letter,” I said.
“This is a real letter.”
“I’ll help you write one to go along with this one, just in case Santa has trouble understanding what you want.”
Icould see Fudge thinking over my ofter. When he’s thinking hard, he scrunches up his lips and looks like a monkey.
“Okay,” he said. And he passed me the green crayon and a fresh piece of paper. “I’ll tell you what to say.” He stood over me and began to dictate.
Next superfudge part 33.