"I hope you enjoy your new baby girl," the clerk at the Baby Store said to Mr. and Mrs. Read, who were following him out of the secret back room. Mrs. Read held in her arms a tiny infant aardvark wrapped in a blanket.

"Oh, we certainly will," Mr. Read replied. "And thanks for convincing us to get a girl instead of a boy."

"Maybe we'll try for a boy in a few more years," said Mrs. Read with an obvious lack of enthusiasm.

As the proud new parents wandered around the mall fawning over the beautiful baby girl, D.W. and Nadine hovered invisibly behind them on the radioactive Play-Doh-powered time tricycle. "So far, so good," D.W. remarked.

"I've adjusted the settings on the time tricycle," Nadine told her. "The changes in the timeline will affect you as soon as you wake up. You won't just watch it happen, like the last time we did this."

"Awesome," said D.W. "Soon I'll be older than Arthur, and then I can boss him around for a change. Come on, Nadine, let's go back to bed."

D.W. awoke the next morning to a completely dark room. Anxious to see if her time trip with Nadine had brought about the expected results, she threw off her blanket and jumped down to the floor. To her dismay, she found that her chin was level with the top of the mattress.

"I'm still four years old," she thought bitterly. "I guess it was all a dream."

D.W. yawned, stretched, and shuffled, bleary-eyed, out of her bedroom and down the stairway. When she arrived in the kitchen, she found that her mother was there, wearing a bathrobe and sipping from a mug of coffee.

Across the table from Mrs. Read sat an eight-year-old aardvark girl with glasses and long blonde hair. D.W. didn't recognize her, and assumed she might be a cousin or other relative who had popped in to visit.

The strange girl turned to her, smiled, and said, "Good morning, D.W."

"Who are you?" asked D.W. in a weak, just-woke-up voice.

"I'm Martha," replied the girl with an incredulous grin. "You know, your big sister."

D.W. could only stammer. "But...but I don't..."

Then it dawned on her. She and Nadine had altered the flow of time, and she now had an older sister in place of an older brother. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

But wait...her parents had said they would try for a boy in a few years...

Glancing downward, D.W. discovered that her pajamas were no longer pink, but blue.

"AAAARRRRGGHH!" shrieked Daniel Webster Read.