WITH EYES WIDE OPEN
WRITTEN BY ZARIUS
Disclaimer: Dangemouse (2015) and all trademarked characters are property of Fremantle Media and CBBC
Penfold walked into headquarters with his head high and a giant grin etched all over his face.
Surely everyone had to take notice at some point.
What else could he do?
Each day he seemed to top one achievement with another.
Just yesterday he had used cowardice as a tactical advantage to help the chief out, telling him to put up a pathetic and petty front to sour a galaxy’s worth of alien tourists on him as a gallant hero and as an attraction for them.
Penfold wondered just how long it would take for people to clue into the fact he was steadily earning his keep, that he was steadily earning the right to be an agent in his own right.
He paused briefly, wondering if he was thinking just a bit too much above his station.
His tutors at school had always told him to leave something at the door.
He always assumed it was a sandwich.
Or a milk bottle.
Or a tip for a well-earned education.
But no, it was something else.
He just didn’t know what it was, he couldn’t place it.
When he finally waltzed into the main lounge area, he found Sqawkencluck spread across the couch, her eyes wide open, curled up over a blanket, and snoring loudly.
He went over to her and nudged her just a bit.
“Professor?” he asked, Squawkecluck stirred
“Pen-Penfold? What is it? Is there an emergency?” she said.
“No, no, I was just wandering what you were doing sprawled on the couch like that” asked Penfold.
“Could’nt you see I was trying to get a bit of shut-eye?” she said.
“You were keeping your eyes open the whole time” Penfold replied.
“They were? Oh, yes, that’ll be a direct result of what I was up to back there on the moon” she said.
“Oh, when you were serving refreshments to those alien tourists?” Penfold asked
“I just zoned out eventually, it’s a little trick I learned from my uncle, who picked it up from Dangermouse himself, to essentially go into automotive sleep mode, keep your eyes open and still serve your basic function, but the whole time you’re actually sleeping and replenishing your energies. The whole time on the moon I focused on a single thing, the craters, and I imagined little things poking out of it. Usually cute critters, nothing like the little monsters I had to keep serving. It became almost second nature” Squawkencluck explained in detail.
“Sounds like a great method to cope…kind of like how I used my cowardly tactics as a means of coping with the pressure points of fame which allowed him to save the day” Penfold gleefully replied.
“Check it at the door Penfold” an unimpressed Squawkencluck said.
“Check what?” Penfold asked.
“Your ego. Nobody likes it when they brag. I think that’s why nobody notices it when you save the day, you then remind us daily that you did, so we just sort of zone out” she said
“Oh crumbs, sorry” Penfold said.
“Don’t worry about it, I can fall into that trap too, being the glorious innovator and inventor I am” she said, “Indeed, that’s sometimes why I practice this kind of sleeping technique, so I can centre myself and not get so high and giddy on my own genius” Squawkencluck added. “It gets me ready to face the day in a much more humble manner”
“Do you think I could join in then?” Penfold asked.
“Sure” she said.
And so the two relaxed on the couch, falling into a slumbering state, their eyes open, their minds dormant.
And their egos firmly in check.