Well, things continued to go missing in the house. Daddy’s brand new rake disappeared- Nicholas didn’t like having to sweep up all the leaves in the yard on Saturday. Mommy’s wooden spoon went missing, too- Nicholas didn’t like it when Mommy paddled him for being naughty! Granny lost her spectacles- Nicholas didn’t like the way Granny would look over the tops of them at him with her piercing eyes and ask, “Nicholas, have you been a bad boy today?”
He even hid his peas! He didn’t like peas, and he’d hide them in his serviette at dinner, and then go and deposit them in his cupboard later. Once, a whole batch of muffins went missing. Mommy had baked them for Aunty Mabel’s visit, and Nicholas loved muffins. So he took them and left them in the cupboard for later, but when he went into the cupboard to enjoy them, them could never find them again! It was terribly dark in the cupboard when the door was shut and, try as he may, he just could not lay hold of them.
Nicholas hid everything in his cupboard. His new shoes that pinched him went in. His friend’s soccer ball went in. Broken things went in, for Nicholas would never own up when he’d broken something and say sorry. Things he wanted and didn’t have gone in there. Things that got on his nerves went in there. He was the most hiding sort of little boy imaginable! And soon the cupboard became uncomfortably full, almost too full for Nicholas to fit in, too! But he would squeeze inside, and wriggle around, until he got in. It was rather dark and stuffy now, what with all those moldy peas and rotten muffins. And the things that were on top kept falling down and hitting him on the head! And the things on the bottom kept poking him, so that he was rather afraid to put his feet anywhere, and he had to be very careful about the rake- he didn’t want to find that again with his tail-end! (Once when he was hiding there, he’d accidently sat down on the rake, and it had left his end aching, so much so, that he couldn’t sit still at dinner, and Granny had looked at him and said, “Whatever is the matter with you, my boy? Do sit still at once!” Granny couldn’t stand any fidgeting at all!)
To top it all, Nicholas had started to have nightmares about the cupboard. He dreamed that he was running down the street in the dark and the cupboard was chasing him, trying to catch him and lock him away forever!