"But sweetheart, Coral will be so disappointed if you don't go for your visit." Aubrey cooed. "Mrs Babblebrook was going to take you both all the way to the lake for some swimming." At the mention of swimming, Ethan's mood soared. After taking her son to his playdate, Aubrey stopped off at the shops and had a leisurely walk home.
"Now who could that be?" Aubrey thought to herself as she bustled over to the front door, flinging open the oaken door, she was surprised to come face to face with Mr Albert Farthing, immaculately presented in a crisp white shirt, navy trousers and a fitted tailcoat.
"Good day, Mrs Woodbrook." Albert greeted her in his cheerful but low voice.
"Why hello, Mr Farthing, sir." Aubrey rung her paws out in her crisp apron. The results of Sylvania's recent election had been broadcasted across the country, and it was no secret that Mr Farthing was the new Prime Minister.
"That we have, sir," Aubrey nodded, her teeth almost chattering. "Ummm...I don't suppose you'd like to come in?"
"As a matter of fact, I would love to." Albert smiled, kindly. "And please, call be Bert. Or Al. Whatever floats your boat, really Mrs Woodbrook."
"The structure was done late January, we moved in mid-February, and the furniture has been coming in bit by bit ever since." Aubrey explained, proudly. "My Andrew is so busy, what with the steady flow of new critters to this wonderful town, that he barely has a chance to furnish his own home. I've been busy decorating and whatnot, though."
"I can tell," Albert nodded. "The place looks beautiful, if missing a bits and bobs."
"With, and three cubes, if you don't mind." Albert replied, leaning against the table.
"I do apologise," Aubrey nervously added. "My Andrew hasn't yet got round to building any indoor seating. You'll have to eat outside."
"Oh, I shan't mind at all." Albert smiled, mischievously. "And I don't suppose you have one of those scrumptious teacakes to spare?"
"I'll see what I can do," Aubrey teased.
"I feel terribly rude," he shook his head in dismay. "Barging in on you like this. I imagine that you have one-hundred-and-one things more useful to be doing than watching me eat your delicious food and drink your refreshing coffee."
"Not at all," Aubrey smiled. "It's an honour to have you here."
"Goodness, you make me sound ever so menacing" Albert chuckled. "With my new job and all, everyone seems to be thinking of me differently." A mist overcame Albert's wide eyes, before he shook it off with a grin. "Not that I can complain. I am so privileged to be where I am, and can't wait to help the critters of Sylvania."
"Goodness me!" Aubrey exclaimed as they left the veranda. "My Andrew could learn a thing or two from you. He may be very handy with a hammer and saw, but he certainly doesn't know anything about cleaning or staying tidy."
Albert chuckled. "Well, tell him that he is welcome to stop by my office here in Summerprosse, when I'm in town. I'd love to chat with him about the very important work that he does."
"Me?" Aubrey was surprised.
"Yes, you." Albert assured her. "I'm in town Saturday through Tuesday, and only longer if Parliament is in session. I hope to see you soon, I'm on Level three, room five at Town Hall. Please stop by, I'd love to chat. Really, I would." Albert handed Aubrey a business card, before heading out the door.
"Goodbye, sir - I mean, Al. Or Bert. Albert." Aubrey called. After watching the Prime Minister disappear down the dusty road, she returned inside.
"I just spoke and laughed with the Prime Minister of Sylvania." Aubrey thought to herself in shocked glee. "He wants my husband and I to visit his office!"
"Hi Mum!" Chorused Evelyn and Ethan, from behind their father.
"Hello, my darling." Andrew greeted his wife. "Boy, today was such a busy day for me. So many surprises, too."
"Believe me," Aubrey shook her head, with a despondent smile. "You have no idea."