I was sprawled on the bed, my head dangling off the side of the mattress. Shweta was lying next to me, almost asleep. ‘You’re just like my little brother,’ she muttered. Now I’m used to her, and therefore not very easy to shock, but seeing we don’t have a brother, I said, ‘eh?’
‘You’re just like him.’
There had to be a story there. I prodded her.
‘I had him when I was young,’ she explained. An encouraging noise or two and the story emerged patchily. Apparently, he was sometimes a baby, sometimes about two or three; a rather brainless child with a penchant for getting into dangerous situations. Naturally, it fell to Shweta to rescue him from raging fires, heavy firing military zones and many, many perils – which she did, sometimes with sheer heroism and often with great cleverness. I don’t know too much about it but she even pretended to be a beggar woman once and got them both away to safety.
‘I see,’ I said. After a moment, ‘How am I like him?’
‘He was always sliding off the bed and falling off the cliff. I had so much trouble dragging him back.’
Ah! that ragged pillow. My sister’s Hobbes.