All The Loud That's Allowed
Oh, dear. Sarafina Dinkle is in trouble again.
It’s big trouble because her parents are calling her by her full name instead of just “Dink.”
Dink’s an inventor, like her parents. And early this morning, Dink tested a new invention. She tiptoed to the window and took a deep breath, because her invention was a loud noise. And this noise went “YO-DE-LAY-HEE-HOOOOOOOOO!”
“Hmm,” she thought. “What should I call this noise?”
Her family — who had just been startled awake – knew exactly what to call it: ‘Against the law.’
Dink’s parents quietly but sternly explained that her noise had no place in their flat. No place on the whole planet. For this was the tiny, crowded, very quiet planet of Husharoon, where Dink lives with her five parents and twelve siblings.
How tiny is Husharoon? Begin walking in that direction after breakfast, and you’ll be back where you started before dinner, having travelled around the entire globe.
But don’t shout, “Ahoy - I’m back!”
Because there’s no shouting on Husharoon. Ever. Everyone whispers. Even Husharoonian babies have cries that sound like the tinkling of little bells.
It wasn’t always like this. With oodles of Husharoonians living on such a tiny planet, there used to be lots of elbows smooshed into noses, and strangers’ feet jabbing your bottom when you tried to sit. Everyone was so rude and so loud that finally the High Court of Husharoon made new laws: no yelling, no shrieking, no silly noises. And because there just wasn’t room: no running, no skipping and, for goodness sake, no twirling.
Dink understood the laws, but it was hard. Husharoon was so crowded, there was no place for Dink to get rid of her wiggles. And Dink had more wiggles than anybody.
After Dink apologised for noise-making, her parents forgave her in gentle voices. Now they had to get ready for work and school.
Dink poured some HushNut milk on her HushFlakes. While she ate, she stared at her parents’ latest invention: a pair of little twinkling balls called Hearrings, which allow you to understand any language in the universe! Dink wondered if she might be able to talk to the Bomble Tree down the street.
“Dink,” said her parents, “Don’t be late for school! Your BubbleBus is already glowing.”
Though everything on Husharoon is nearby, Husharoonians travel by BubbleBus. It’s a personal bubble. When not in use, they gently float in the corner. When it’s time to go, just slip inside and...POP! You’re where you want to be.
POP! POP-POP! POP! Dink’s family headed off to work and school. Dink was alone.
“Maybe,” thought Dink, “I could bring those Hearrings to school for show and tell.” Dink clambered onto a stool, reaching towards the twinkling orbs on the shelf. No sooner were they in her grasp when the stool slipped. CRASH! She fell to the floor and her bowl of flakes flew straight into her BubbleBus. *FIZZ! CRACKLE!* The Bubble smoked and sparked.
Dink hoped the Bubble still worked - she had to get to school. She squeezed into the Bubble, aaaand...POP!
Dink stepped out of the Bubble and instantly sunk up to her neck in something white, fluffy and freezing. This was not school. There was no one and nothing around. Just flat, white ground, with a super-tall white triangle in the distance. Thousands of small, cold, white things were falling from the sky! One landed on her skin. Then it disappeared. Back home, outside and inside were always the same temperature – medium. Here it was so cold, her cheeks felt funny. And she could make fog with her breath!
But now Dink felt someone else’s breath. Warm, damp air smelling like nuts and old socks blew on the back of her neck.
She turned around. And there, facing her, was a very tall something, with long, gangly legs, an enormous nose and what looked like a huge spiky hat (but was actually antlers)!. Dink would have been scared, except the creature had kind and curious eyes. It grunted a wonderfully loud, nose-blowing sort of sound.
“I wish I knew what you were trying to say!” said Dink. “Oh! Hold on!”
She fished the Hearrings out of her pocket and attached one to her ear. “Can I stick this on you?” The creature looked intrigued as Dink fastened the other Hearring on its ear.
“There. Can you understand me?”
“This is so interesting,” said the shaggy beast. “You don’t look like anything I’ve seen before.”
“You either!” said Dink.
The creature looked surprised. “You’ve never seen a moose?”
“A moose?” Dink shook her head. “And I thought I knew all the creatures on Husharoon.”
“This is Husharoon, isn’t it?” asked Dink.
“This is Earth!” said the moose.
“Earth?” Dink was confused. But to be polite, she introduced herself. “I’m Dink.”
“I’m Donk!” the moose answered.
“You’re very loud, Donk,” admired Dink.
“You haven’t heard anything yet!” said Donk, who then boomed a honking gargle, stranger and louder than any sound Dink had ever heard.
“Brilliant!” gushed Dink. “I invented a noise today, but it’s nowhere near as good.”
“I’ll be the judge of that,” said Donk, eager to hear Dink’s noise.
Dink took a deep breath. “I won’t get in trouble, will I?”
“Trouble?” said Donk.
“For being too loud?”
“The louder, the better!” laughed Donk.
Deciding to trust the moose, Dink again filled her lungs.
“Wait!” Donk interrupted. “Follow me! Let’s do this right!”
Donk galumphed ahead and Dink ran after him. On the way, she learned all the white stuff was “snow” and the tall triangle ahead was a “mountain.” As soon as they reached it, Donk said, “Check this out.” He then let loose a whoozling bellow, which echoed all over the canyon.
Dink’s eyes widened.
“Yup,” said Donk. “Best place for noise-making. Your turn!”
For the first time in her life, Dink delivered a noise at full-volume.“YO-DE-LAYEE—YO-DE-LAYEE—YO-DE-LAY-HEE-HOOO!”
Donk was amazed. “You can yodel? I’ve always wanted to yodel!”
Dink was happy to learn her invention had a name. But Dink and Donk couldn’t be amazed and happy for long. Something was rumbling high up on the mountain.
“Uh oh,” said Donk. “Your yodel has started an avalanche!”
“A what?” asked Dink.
“A that!” Donk pointed with his hoof as an enormous wave of snow barreled toward them.
“Run!” yelled Donk. And they did.
But Donk’s tall legs were better for running in the snow than Dink’s short ones.
“Quick. Jump on my back and hold on!”
Dink clutched tightly to Donk’s furry neck as Donk galloped at full speed. A huge wave of snow roared behind them, getting nearer.
“I’m running...out of breath,” panted Donk, collapsing.
But Donk had mostly outrun the avalanche. Though it buried them in snow, it only just barely covered their heads. Donk and Dink poked up into the open air.
“That was scary,” said Donk.
Looking at each other, they said at the same time, “But so...much...FUN!”
They laughed like loons until Dink caught sight of her BubbleBus glowing.
“Oh! I have to get back to Husharoon!”
“Come back, won’t you?” asked Donk with hopeful eyes. Dink promised she would. And Donk promised to practise yodelling.
As Dink entered the BubbleBus, she called out to Donk, “I really really can’t wait.”
And POP! The BubbleBus was gone.