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I hear a noise, a soft tapping in the corner of the room. I peer round the corner and see Elmo pecking softly at the closed door. He wants to go through, to search for Richard who has gone out. I open the door and Elmo eagerly searches the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, cooing in anticipation the whole time.

Disappointment. Richard is nowhere to be found. Elmo walks up to me and dances around my feet, “Where’s daddy gone? Where’s daddy gone?”

“What have you done to him?” Elmo accuses me. I try explaining that Richard has gone out for a while but that he’ll be back soon. Elmo doesn’t believe me. He thinks I’ve hidden Richard away so he continues to search the rooms and then dance around my feet – insisting that I go reveal where I’ve hidden Richard.

Eventually Elmo give up and goes back to his nest on the sofa to coo and call, waiting. He doesn’t accept my offerings of affection and attention. Not yet. He’s thinking of Richard and waiting for his return. He wants nothing to do with me so soon.

Elation! Richard has appeared and all is right with the world. Elmo runs about the room, cooing and bowing his head. His joy is contagious.