7.Noortje and the suitcase

Noortje is happy that Daddy is home again. This time he was on a business trip in Denmark and he had taken many pictures and tells nice stories about it. Now that he’s home, they can play together and perhaps they go to the zoo again. She is so curious about how the young tigers are doing now.
‘Mom, Dad shall we play hide and seek?’
‘In a minute, darling,’ Mommy calls.
‘Princess, I can’t play hide and seek with you because I have to leave,’ Dad says and kisses her on her head. ‘When I’m back, I’ll find you. I’m sure mommy won’t be able to find you in the meantime.’
She smiles at him. After all, she has found a great new place where she can hide. The suitcase, which daddy always takes with him on a journey. It’s empty now, she has heard Mom say that to Daddy. ‘Let the suitcase air for a moment, he stinks,’ she said.
Noortje takes a good look around to see if Mom is nearby. Sneaks to the suitcase and crawls in it. That just goes. She grabs the lid and carefully lowers it. Then she hears a click but doesn’t know that the lid has fallen into the lock. Patiently she waits until Mommy comes to search and find her.
She has been in the suitcase for a while now and it feels uncomfortable. There is not so much space to move around. She tries to push the lid up, but that doesn’t work. Mom is probably looking for me now, she thinks, and she waits patiently till Mom finds her.
In the meanwhile, dad is home again and asks Mom where Noortje is.
‘I think she is outside dear, just look by the pond. She must be sitting with the little swans or she has already hidden herself,’ mom answers.
Dad searches the garden but can’t find her anywhere. He searches the house and looks briefly at the suitcase. She might have hidden in it. No, she doesn’t, he thinks.
Again, he searches the garden, but again he cannot find her. He is a bit worried now. He looks anxiously at the pond. I hope she didn’t fall into it, he thinks.
‘I can’t find her anywhere; we have to call the police. There is no alternative.’
Mommy looks around anxiously. She blames herself for not paying attention to her daughter.
In the meantime, Noortje gets it very hot in the suitcase. Her hair is wet from all the sweating. She tries to push the suitcase open with her shoulders, but that doesn’t work.
‘It was very stupid of me to hide in the suitcase,’ she mumbles. I should never have done this. Now Mom and Dad are very sad, she thinks.
The police have arrived and are searching in and around the pond. A diver is searching in the water and a few policemen are sitting in a boat. All the neighbors are helping mom and dad. They all are hoping they will find Noortje.
Noortje does not know all the trouble she courts and occasionally she falls asleep and hopes mom or dad will find her soon.
Again, she tries to call. ‘Mommy …, Daddy …. I’m here. In the suitcase,’ but nobody hears her.
For quite some time the crow flies through the garden and is trying to attract the attention, but they only get angry with him. ‘That annoying crow,’ they call to each other.
Then he tries to attract mommy’s attention, but she sobs too and calls that he should leave her alone. He flies away and leaves them behind. The diver comes out of the water and tells that he has been unable to find anything.
From a distance, mother and father Swan look at what is going on in and around the pond. They don’t understand anything that’s going on. The crow tells them that they are looking for Noortje, but that they do not want to listen to him. After all, he knows where she is.
Father and mother swan decide to help and the whole family climbs out of the water. One after the other they walk stately through the garden.
Father swan walks to Noortje’s dad and says: ‘We know that you can understand us. Come on, we know where your daughter is,’
Dad looks at them in a frown and he and Mom walk after them. The swans walk towards to the suitcase and with their beaks, they tap against it.
‘Did you look in the suitcase,’ he asks Mom.
‘No, that’s not possible. She’s not hiding in that suitcase.’
Father opens the suitcase and there she is. Her face is completely red, and she is soaked with sweat.
A little dazed, she lifts her head and says: ‘Finally you find me. Can I hide well or not?’
Mom is overjoyed that they found her. ‘Sweetheart, that may be true, but you should never ever do this again. what you did is very very dangerous. For punishment, you go to your room until I permit you to come down again.’
‘We are so sorry that we have caused you all so many problems,’ tells Mom everyone who has helped with the searching
‘It’s all right, ma’am. Luckily everything went well. Don’t punish her too hard. She just wanted to play hide and seek, ‘says the old police officer.
Dad hugs Mommy and says he will talk to Noortje. Noortje is sobbing on her bed. Dad sits down next to her and strokes her head.
‘Do you know why Mommy is so angry,’ he asks.
‘No, not really,’ Noortje sobs.
‘Mommy is angry, but also very sad. We were so worried about you. Mommy’s anger passes quickly. I’m happy…’
‘Happy, why are you happy,’ ask Noortje surprised.
“How should I say that,” and he rubs his hair uncomfortably. ‘Would you believe me if I told you from whom I heard where you were hiding?’
Noortje looks at him in surprise and nods.
‘The swans have betrayed you. They told me where you were hiding, and they had heard it from the crow.’
Noortje jumps up and puts her arms around his neck and gives him a big huge hug. ‘I believe your dad. I am so happy that you also can talk to them.’
‘Yes, honey, but let it remain our secret. No one would believe us, not even Mommy. You must promise me that you will never, ever again, do such a dangerous stunt.’
She promises Dad that the next time she plays hide and seek she not hiding in a suitcase and together they go downstairs.

Mommy looks up and looks endearing at her man and daughter. She is so glad that Noortje is well.

End.