As always, a HUGE thankyou to everyone who reads and reviews these snippets of mine.
Kids Never Cease To Amaze
Splinter sighed long and contentedly as he settled in his favourite chair. His life had become even more hectic now that his young charges were old enough to be active most of the day, and he'd come to look forward to the peace and quiet afforded to him after they were put to bed.
It amazed him how energetic the three-and-a-half year old turtles could be, and he often wondered if human toddlers behaved similarly.
A slight noise caught Splinter's attention, and he gazed around the small, dimly lit den.
His sharp eyes picked out the little turtle's silhouette as it's owner peeked around the door of their room.
"Donatello. Why aren't you sleeping, child?" the rat gently chided, switching on his battered table lamp.
Donatello crept over to his father's chair, an old stuffed cat in his arms. Splinter picked him up and sat him on his lap, hugging him close.
"What troubles you, my son?" he asked gently, stroking the little one's cheek.
Donatello pouted. "Raph kicks me and I can't get to sleep"
Splinter smiled. "Yes, your brother is certainly restless, even when sleeping", he said, half to himself, thinking it might be time to separate them into their own beds.
Donatello snuggled comfortably in his father's arms, one hand holding onto a fold of the rat's tattered kimono, the other still clutching the cat.
Splinter looked at his quiet son as the boy gazed up at him with his big dark eyes.
"Story? Pleease Splinter?" Donatello begged sweetly, and the rat swore he'd learned the puppy dog eyes routine from Michaelangelo.
I have to learn to resist that look one day soon, Splinter said to himself, getting up and collecting one of the few children's books he'd managed to find over the years, or they will still be using it on me when they teenagers!
He sat back down, re-settled Donatello in his lap, and began to read, holding the book so the child could see the pictures.
After about two pages Donatello began to recite the story along with him.
That is not surprising, Splinter thought, They have heard these words many times.
He sighed and closed the small cardboard book.
"Would you like to see something new, my son?" he said to the boy, who'd given him a questioning look. Donatello nodded.
Splinter smiled and reached carefully under his run down chair. He'd made a real find tonight while searching through Central Park for food.
People often left behind blankets or clothing, and sometimes forgotten packages or paper bags of food while enjoying picnics, but this time he'd found a couple of children's toys, as well as a book, most likely forgotten by the carers of a play group or the like.
Splinter had decided to keep the treasures until tomorrow, so that the excitement over new toys would not keep his sons awake, but he also knew that reading to him was the easiest way to coax Donatello into sleep.
He showed the cover, with it's gold foil binding, to his son, and watched as his eyes lit up.
"Yes, Donatello. That is correct. This story is called "The Velveteen Rabbit", and it was written by a lady called Margery Williams."
Splinter handed the book to his son, who gently opened it to the first page and held it up.
The rat chuckled to himself. "Alright, child. "There was once a velveteen rabbit. In the beginning he was really splendid-"
Splinter paused as Donatello shifted in his lap, and then stared in amazement as the turtle took back the book.
"His was br-brown and wuh-white, and his ears wer-were lined with puh-pink sss...sat...sateen. On c...c...Chris...Christmas mm....morning he wuh- way...waited in the Buh-Boy's sss...st...stocking."
He grinned up at his father, not noticing the shock on his face, and then yawned widely, slowly letting the book fall closed as he began to doze off.
Splinter waited until he had fallen fully asleep, then eased himself out of the chair, careful not to wake the tiny turtle, and carried him back to his brothers.
Splinter gently tucked Donatello back in, next to Leonardo this time, who was a peaceful sleeper. He made sure all his sons were warm and covered, and wandered back to the den.
Splinter picked up The Velveteen Rabbit, amazed at Donatello's intelligence. He'd have to make sure this book was kept in a safe place.
He had a feeling it might become a favourite.