The frightening day my mum shrunk to just 20 cm

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 February, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 February, 1997, 12:00am

Last Sunday, I was woken up by the telephone. No sooner had I picked up the receiver that I heard my dad's voice.

I was startled as dad sounded anxious.

I said, 'Yes dad . . .' 'Where's mum?' he asked. 'I haven't seen mum . . .' 'Go and find her. Quick! Go!' I dropped the receiver and ran to the kitchen, the bathroom, mum's bedroom and dad's laboratory, but I could not find mum.

At last I found mum. She was on her bed and could not get down because she was only 20 cm tall. I was both glad and sad. Thank God! Mum was still alive.

Mum was very pale. She smiled weakly and tried to talk to me. Her voice was too weak for me to hear, but I knew what she was trying to tell me. She suppressed her tears and tried to comfort me.

I could not help crying and mum cried in my hands.

I held mum in my palm and went to see dad.

Dad said: 'I'm leaving right now. Don't worry, I'll be home in 15 hours.' Mum told me that she had exchanged her own cough medicine with a new invention of dad's, which could reduce the size of animals.

Dad had gone to Tokyo to present his invention. I prepared some food for mum. She only needed a spoonful of congee. Then I came across a problem - I had to buy some more food.

I could not take mum with me as it might cause trouble and I did not want my mother to be seen as a 'little monster'. I could not leave my mum at home alone either.

She was unable to protect herself against a rat, or even a cockroach. Then, I thought of my friend. I phoned Tom and asked him to buy some food for me.

I told mum that dad and I would take care of her. Mum nodded with a weak smile. I sat beside her and thought: 'Can dad help mum grow back to her normal size again? If not, what can we do?' I thought and thought and fell asleep.

I was woken. I opened my eyes and saw mum. I said: 'Mum . . . ' All of a sudden, I realised mum was no longer 20 centimetres tall. Mum was normal height again! I leapt to her and hugged her.

Mum smiled happily, though her eyes were full of tears.

She patted me on the back and said softly: 'Don't cry, my boy. It is all over. I'm happy that your dad is unsuccessful. Come, I've prepared our dinner.' That was the best dinner I had ever had.

Raymond is a former pupil of Salesians Of Don Bosco Ng Siu Mui Technical School