In the attic we live, Elbereth and Tintallë, Lorna and Wally Femi and me. Elbereth and Tintallë squabble about most things. They are youngsters, sexually mature and practically adults, and youthfully overconfident they are. You have to keep a watchful eye to make sure they don't make a mess of things. You don't trust them completely, even if they have skills. Elbereth and Tintallë have tails. They were born that way. They live in their own part of the apartment, specifically an aquarium full of sawdust where they dig tunnels. They stick out their little noses with the trembling minimal whiskers when their master comes and they like to run up my arms, to explore this wandering treat machine. Their eyes are half closed as they receive tomatoes, cabbage and oatmeal with their little gloves. They are perfect miniatures, completely engrossed in their world as gerbils, and I say goodnight and turn off the lights in the youngsters room when it's time to go to sleep.


In the morning they come thundering, Lorna and Wally full of energy. They want to join in and they know what they want. I set out breakfast and they eat it while quibbling. So we carry on with the day, while Lorna and Wally run around my legs. When I try to help them, they refuse firmly, knows best themselves. They were born with skills and abilities and they may happen to be in my world but they know who they are. Lorna has a beard and strong hind legs. Wally has furry feet and floppy ears. They spend the afternoon munching on hay with their long front teeth.


Femi is older than her siblings and gifted. Even as a baby, she could figure things out. Like how to catch a gerbil. She has innate gifts, born a leader. She has integrity and is particular about her own space and private dreams. But she likes to hang out with me, watch movies, cook dinner or help out with Lorna and Wally. She feels responsible for them, but at the same time gets bored with them. Elbereth and Tintallë in their aquarium, on the other hand, fascinate her in ways she doesn't understand. Perhaps they are not siblings at all? Perhaps Femi is something beyond the eldest daughter here in the attic apartment? With her striped tail, her claws... The mystery excites. But she's only little, after all. She lets go of her wrestling and comes to cuddle with her master for a while. She gets a lot of appreciation, the highest rank she is and was born to be. Her nose is white, as if someone has spilled a dollop of cream, and she is the oldest of the children in the attic apartment.