Even from a distance, you could hear the giggling and shrill laughter of Susan the zebra and Richard the meerkat. The two of them raced through the dry grass, kicking up dust and sand in the process. Completely out of breath, they ran to the shady spot where Jasper the lion had made himself comfortable.
“Hey Jasper! Get up and play a game,” Susan called.
Richard gasped and joined him under the tree. “What’s the matter again, Jasper? What are you thinking about again?”
Jasper the lion pondered. He didn’t really know what he was just thinking about. He grumbled, “Just keep playing without me. I’ve got some work to do here.”
Susan and Richard looked at each other questioningly. “But Jasper, you don’t have anything to do. You’re going to miss the whole day if you keep this up. Can we help you with what you have to do? The three of us could think about it.”
But Jasper the lion didn’t want to accept their help.
“Friends always stick together! And if you don’t tell us what’s on your mind, we’ll tickle you until you do.” Susan and Richard giggled at the idea of tickling Jasper’s tummy.
“All right! For my sake, I’ll tell you. A big mishap happened to me. Yesterday, when I was visiting my grandmother, I was playing catch with my little cousin. I was about to finally catch the nimble fellow when I suddenly tripped over a tree root. I heard it clang and clank. When I turned around, I saw Grandma’s dearest teapot lying on the ground in a thousand pieces.”
“Was she very mad?” asked Susan, looking pityingly at Jasper.
“No, she wasn’t mad at all. She said it wasn’t so bad. But I know how much she liked her teapot.” Jasper the lion looked even sadder now.
“Enough mourning!” squeaked Richard. “After all, it should be possible to get the good piece back in shape. Your grandma won’t notice any difference at all from before.”
Jasper took out the bag with the individual pieces of broken porcelain. Richard got glue and a brush, and in no time, they had glued the teapot back together.
“Well, it doesn’t look like new. But I’m sure your grandma will be very happy anyway!” Susan and Richard looked optimistically at the patched-up teapot.
“Come on, let’s get this over with!” grumbled Jasper the lion. The three of them set off.
At the garden gate they were greeted by Jasper’s grandma.
“Hello, you three. Do you want to eat a piece of cake with me? I still have a few pieces left over from yesterday. I can offer you juice and water as well.”
“I’d love some tea, and I have the matching pot with me too!” Jasper beamed as he handed his grandma the taped-together teapot.
“You three are great! This teapot is ancient and belonged to my grandmother. Thank you for fixing it! And now there’s a piece of cake. Take a seat!”
Jasper the lion smiled and didn’t have to be thoughtful anymore.