Once upon a time, a small boy called Jem was feeling unwell. At night he would toss and turn in his bed and in the daytime he would mope around, feeling rather grumpy and drinking an awful lot of water. His head hurt and he was getting more than a little bit annoyed of going to the toilet all the time. He didn't understand what was happening, and certainly didn't think to speak to anyone about it. He decided to just ignore it and carry on with his sad little life.
But Jem was only five and three quarters. He didn't know it, but he wasn't really the best person to be making these kind of decisions.
Fortunately Jem's mummy was quite the observant owl. On a chilly Tuesday morning in February she watched from her perch at the breakfast table as Jeremy came back from his fifth wee that morning. She watched as he clambered back onto his chair and finished the rest of his second glass of juice. She watched as he pushed away the bowl of Cheerios and got down again to refill his glass. She watched him finish that glass too, and noticed how baggy his eyes had become, how skinny his little arms were and how slowly he was moving.
Jem's mummy thought back a bit and thought about the changes she'd seen in him recently. She couldn't remember the last time he had been up in the mornings before her. She couldn't remember the last time he'd laughed or giggled or smiled. Furthermore, he sure did look a lot thinner than he used to, and it really wasn't like him not to finish his breakfast.
Jem's mummy began to worry.
Was he ill? What could it be? As a mother, she thought she'd read about everything under the sun that could go wrong with her precious little pumpkin. She thought she'd heard all the horror stories that had happened to people who knew someone's cousin's friend. She'd never heard of anything like this though.
She decided to do something about it.
When Jem got back from school that day (Timothy's mummy had dropped him off) he found his mummy in the kitchen. She was sitting at the table with very red eyes. On the table in front of her was a leaflet with a long word on the front that started with 'D'. Jem looked from the book to his mummy and asked her what was happening. At school they'd just finished their Ancient Egyptians project and he wanted to tell her all about it, but he felt that perhaps something important was about to happen.
Jem's mummy sniffed and gathered him up in her arms (remarking internally how light he felt). She explained in a very calm and simple manner that they were going to go to the surgery to have a chat with nice Dr. Williams. Jem knew Dr. Williams quite well (although he thought of him as Nick) because Dr. Williams was one of mummy and daddy's friends who liked to come to their house to play cards and drink wine.
While Jem's daddy stayed at home to look after Jem's little brother, Jem and his mummy got into the car and drove to the doctors' surgery. It wasn't far, but it seemed like quite a long way to Jem, because he was feeling a little bit nervous and quite a lot scared. You see, he knew something was wrong and he knew it had something to do with him, but no-one had told him the slightest bit about it yet. He hoped he would find out soon.
Jem looked out of the window at the bare trees and damp grass. He remembered about the Ancient Egyptians project (in ancient Egypt there was not very much grass at all) and decided he'd tell his mummy all about it after the doctors.
To be continued...
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