Something terrible happened the next day. Daddy told Jake to come outside and help him hang more of those pretty lights from the roof. If it were warmer, I’d have loved to be up there with them. Anyway, Jake was coming down this tall, climby thing they called a ladder. I thought it looked like a lot of fun, but all at once, Jake missed a couple of the steps and fell on the cold, snowy ground.
I sat in one of the living room windows looking out, so I saw him fall and heard him yell.
Daddy hurried down the ladder and, good thing, he didn’t fall. He knelt by Jake, then stood up and ran toward the front door. But Jake stayed on the ground. I wondered why he didn’t get up. He must have been really cold, lying in that wet snow. Just looking at him made me shiver.
Daddy banged open the front door. “Judy, Judy,” he yelled. Judy was the name Daddy called Mommy.
She came running into the living room. “What’s wrong?”
“Jake fell off the ladder. He can’t get up—he thinks he broke his leg. Come help me get him to the car so I can take him to the emergency room.”
“Caleb, shouldn’t we just call an ambulance?” Mommy looked worried.
“No, honey, I think we can help him to the car.” Daddy grabbed his car keys off a table. “Hurry, get your coat. He’s cold out there.”
My mama came and jumped up on the window beside me to watch as Mommy and Daddy helped poor Jake hop to the car. “Mama, what’s an ambulance?” I asked. I was scared.
“I’m not sure.” Mama rubbed her face against mine. “Just one of those people things. It’ll be okay. They’re going to take him to a doctor.”
Oooohh, doctor. That sounded bad. I had to go to a doctor once. She gave me hurtful things called shots, and looked in my ears, and made me open my mouth so she could look inside, and rubbed her hands all over me. I wanted to run away, but another lady held me down the whole time. It was scary.
“You think he’ll be okay, Mama?” I hiccupped.
“Yes, sweetie, I think so.” Mama gave my face another soft rub. “Come on down. Let’s go take a nap.”
Even though I was a big cat, I was still glad I had my mama. She was nice to snuggle up with when I was scared. We crawled under the messed-up covers on Jake’s bed, and I wiggled close to Mama, burying my face in her fur.