Schroeder Fisher is feeling extremely excited. He checks his profile in the bathroom mirror and likes what he is seeing. Today is a very special day in the history of Sugarbush Valley, and he Schroeder Fisher, is part of it. The first ever health establishment is opening its doors today. Though tiny, the clinic is equipped with the best tools and utensils any doctor can ask for.
Schroeder went to their room and said goodbye to his wife and the twins. She will join him later, after she has dropped the twins at daycare.
Isabel: Good luck, Schoedie and enjoy the moment.
Schroeder: Thanks Bel and see you later.
When Schroeder arrived at the clinic, there was already a small audience awaiting the official opening. This surprised him, but also indicates just how important and much needed the clinic is in the village. Mayor Trunk gave a short speech and officially declared the clinic open.
Mayor Trunk: Friends, thank you for attending the official opening of our long awaited clinic. I want to thank my committee for their hard work, but also each villager for his and her donation and hard work towards making this village dream a possibility. Let me also ad, that our resident doctor, Dr Schroeder Fisher, is to my opinion the best in his field and you are in capable hands.
Schroeder: Thank your Mayor Trunk for the compliment and indeed for finally providing in the basic needs of our lovely village. And to you, my possible patients, please know that no ailment, illness or pain is to small to come and visit me.
The good friends shook hands and the villagers cheered them. The clinic was now officially open.
Schroeder had a good look around his new "office". It was surely much better than the non-permanent canopy he had to use as his clinic for the past few months. While he looked around Mayor Hugo had a quick word with Isabel.
Hugo: Isabel, I would like to thank your for your patience with me and our little village the past months, but I think it was worth the wait?
Isabel: It sure was Hugo, but I want to thank you for continuously fighting for the clinic and trying to convey the importance of it.
Hugo: At times it was hard, especially to try and convince people that a basic need like health care gets privilege over renovating homes.
Isabel: Yes that I can understand, well thanks again Hugo and do check in for check up.
They said their goodbyes and went their different ways.
In the meantime Schroeder was thrown into the deep end. Within minutes after the clinic was opened, Velvette Slydale was summoned by Mr Huckleberry, the school headmaster, as Buster was complaining about stomach cramps.
Schroeder: Hello Buster, just lay down on the bed so that I can examine you.
Buster: Ok Sir, but don't push to hard on my stomach, it really really hurts
Velvette: Poor boy, will he be ok Dr Schroeder?
Schroeder: I'm sure he will be, I think he must have ate something unusual?
Buster (sitting up right with difficulty): Well Sir, sort of yes. All the boys in my class had a bet on, I won the bet and got everyone;s snacks at snack time.
Velvette: Oh Buster, tell me you didn't eat all at once. What was the bet about?
Buster (blushing): Of course I ate everything and I only got a certain time to do it in too, otherwise I must have given it back.
Schroeder: Now now, Velvette and Buster no need to get upset. Overeating is not a life threatening disease. I'm just gonna give you some Castor Oil and then you will feel much better.
Velvette (frowning slyly): That will surely do the trick.
Buster: Actually I feel much better, I will even return to school.
And with that the Slydales were off, Schroeder had to laugh, nothing like Castor Oil to get any naughty boy feeling better instantly. Barry Hawton was already waiting with his foster child, Jesse, to be attended by Dr Schroeder.
Schroeder: Hi Barry, how are you, what is wrong with the little peanut?
Barry: I'm not entirely sure, she just seems so depressed and listless...
Jesse (seeing someone familiar): Daddy, daddy, daddy ...
Barry: Oh Sweetpea, I'm not your daddy, but we will soon find them.
Schroeder: Well, Barry I think there you have your answer, I think she misses her parents.
Barry: I know, but I don't know how else to help her and Noah, it as if their parents have disappeared from the face of the earth.
Schroeder: Just keep giving them all the love and undivided attention like you have been doing, I'm sure it all will work out in the end.
Barry didn't feel so sure, but in his heart he knew Schroeder was right, at least it is nothing serious, or rather not a serious illness. Schroeder had no time to chat, his next patients Stilton and Sage Bouquet were already waiting for him.
Schroeder: Hi Stilton and little Sage, good to see you, how can I be of assistance. Sage, did you eat too much at school, too.
Stilton (looking puzzled): What do you mean, Schroeder?
Schroeder: Oh sorry for jumping to conclusions, but I had a boy earlier who ate too much too fast and had a stomach ache so I thought maybe Sage was suffering from the same sickness.
Sage (giggling): Oh yes, Buster. That was funny though. Man can he eat!
Stilton (looking confused): No I actually brought Sage for his annual flu vaccine.
Schroeder: Oh yes ok, not the same as stomach ache at all.
Schroeder administered the shot and was glad for something straight forward to do. He referred Stilton to Isabel to complete the paperwork and attended to his next patient, little David Chiffon.
Delia: I'm not sure what is wrong with David, he just sneezes the whole time, but never coughs, have a fever or complains about aches and pains.
Schroeder: It sounds like plain old hay fever.
Delia: Hay fever? Really? That simple? Why didn't I thought of that.
Schroeder: It is not common for our area, so no need to feel bad for not knowing, Delia, but if David is suffering from it, it must be really bad. I'm prescribing some pills, lets see how it goes and I would like you to come for a follow-up in three weeks time.
Delia: That sounds simple enough, and here I was fearing the worst. We mothers always do that.
After Delia left, Isabel offered to make them a quick cup of tea. Schroeder needed this as he felt exhausted after the morning's work. They discussed the morning's patients and had a quiet giggle about Buster's bet. There break was cut short by Kate Periwinkle and her in-laws.
Kate: Hi Schroeder, I thought I quickly check in with my parents-in-law. As you might know they are visiting us for a few weeks, they arrived yesterday and I'm rather worried about my Father-in-law. He keeps complaining about a heavy feeling on his chest.
Schroeder: Ok that doesn't sound very good indeed, let me ...
Mable: Deary, let mé tell you what is wrong with my Mackie. He is having a subdued heart attack (starting to cry softly)
Schroeder: Mrs Mable, let me assure you if that is the case, which I doubt (winking at Kate) we will help him.
Kate: Oh, Mable it is not a subdued heart attack, where have you read that?
Mable: In my journal of medicine. I'm telling you ...
Schroeder interrupted Mable and diplomatically try to shift the attention back to Mack. He did a comprehensive check-up, and was confident that it was not a "subdued heart attack", but plain and simple exhaustion.
Schroeder: Mrs Mable you might not like this, but I think it is rather good news for Mack, but he is just suffering from plain old exhaustion. From what I've heard, you undertook a 3-day trip to reach Sugarbush Valley, and even in the best travelling circumstances that will exhaust even the fittest of people. I recommend a day's bed rest and ...
Mable: Lot's of chicken soup.
Schroeder (winking at Kate): Yes lot's of chicken soup.
Kate: Thank you for your help Schroeder, now my mind is at ease.
Mack: Grand, lets go home then. Sleeping and eating is my two favorite things to do.
Finally after more chatter the Periwinkles left. Schroeder was very relieved that Mable Periwinkle wasn't his mother-in-law. As he was going through his notes for the day, he could hear someone approaching. He felt disheartened, he barely had a break and wants so bad to just familiarise himself with everything in the clinic.
When he turned round two familiar faces was staring at him, but which he couldn't place at all. The male mouse spoke first
Jack: Good afternoon good sir, so sorry to bother you, but we desperately need your help.
Schroeder: How can I be of help:
Maisie (starting to cry): We are looking for our children Jesse and Noah...
Schroeder: You mean you are Jesse and Noah's parents?
Jack: Yes we are, do you know where they are?
Schroeder: Fortunately for you I know exactly where they are.
Schroeder locked up the clinic and lead Jack and Maisie to the Commune. They were lucky to find Barry Hawton, Jesse and Noah's foster father, in the Kitchen.
Schroeder: Hi Barry, guess who I found. Isn't it wonderful?
Barry: Schroeder, I'm not sure what you mean. Who are these people?
Schroeder: Sorry Barry, this is Jack and Maisie. Noah and Jesse's parents
Barry (looking taken aback): Are you sure Schroeder? I'm sorry for sounding and maybe being a bit shrewd and blunt, but having the twins best interest at heart I need to verify that these people are indeed who they are saying. I can't hand those to precious babies over to two strangers.
Maisie: Please excuse me Barry, but I understand your predicament one hundred percent and that is exactly the kind of behaviour that I would expect from my children's foster parents. Fortunatley I have a postcard here in my pocket. The photo was taken last Christmas and we made it into postcards and send it to our families. This one I got back from my Auntie in Eaglewood, as proof. Will it suffice?
Barry took the photograph and had a long and hard stare at it.
Barry: I guess it will. Let me take you to them.
On entering the room Maisie gave a heart stopping shriek when she saw her babies. Both Jesse and Noah started to yell "mommy" and "daddy" from the top of their voices too. The look on Hildie's face was pure shock when she realised what was happening. She knew the day would come, but not so soon.
Hildie immediately turned her back to Jack and Maisie and started to cry softly. Barry tried to comfort her the best he can.
Barry: Oh my dear, I know this is hard for you, but remember that four broken hearts are now, mended again.
Hildie: But what about my broken heart?
Hildie let herself have another minute to grieve for the loss of something that was never hers, before she turned around.
Hildie: Masie I'm so sorry for my behaviour just now. I'm really glad that these two precious little babies are finally safely with their parents again. It is just that I grew so fond of them that it is extremely hard to let them go.
Jack: Don't worry Hildie, I can understand how you must feel. No need to apologise. Me and my wife would like to thank you for taking such good care of Noah and Jesse.
It was clear that the children missed their parents immensely and wouldn't let them go. Maisie was completely overwhelmed and Jack wouldn't stop kissing little Jesse.
After the happy reunion, Hildie invited the Meadows (this turned out to be their surname, after proper introductions were made) for a cup of tea. Jack and Maisie gladly accepted.The Hawtons and Meadows spent the rest of the afternoon chatting and drinking tea....
And oh yes of course relaying the story of how Jesse and Noah got lost ...