The Great Noodle Rescue

It’s a terrible thing to lose a dear friend. It’s even harder to bear when you are completely responsible. Of course, I’m speaking of the untimely “loss” of Pea’s favorite stuffy, Noodles. The original post can be found here. I’ll wait while you go read it….

You’re back? Excellent.

Fast forward two years where we find ourselves at Brookfield Zoo, Noodles’ first home. Boo reminded Pea of this, and sadly she responded “I loved Noodles – is he still down the hole?” “Yes, my lovely, he is.” This exchange slipped from my overburdened mind until the other evening, when Pea sighed quietly and whispered “I miss Noodles”.

Now to backtrack a bit: shortly after the original post went up, I received an email from our lovely landlords Mark and Kate who were stationed in Australia at the time. They had read my post and had come up with a few suggestions for rescuing Noodles, but I was unsuccessful in my (half-hearted?) efforts.

Needless to say, the thought occurred to me yesterday that they, or their sons, might have a go at a rescue themselves, so I tweeted them. Being the good sports they are, they immediately took up the challenge.

Since the rescue account is so brilliantly written, following is Mark’s own account of what is now being called “the Great Noodle Rescue”.

“My first thought was that being stuck down the back of a bookshelf for 2 years, 3 months and 6 days really sucks. So, however, does our spare and rather old vacuum cleaner – even though it’s been abandoned in a leaky shed for even longer. On that basis, a plan started to suggest itself…Up the stepladder to the top of the bookcase in the sitting room where a quick recce revealed Noodles’ prison. Second hole from the left, 10 feet down through a mass of spider webs and other assorted dusty crap.
Stepladder in place, Henry (apparently that’s the hoover’s name. It’s written on the back of the thing) was perched on top of the bookshelves and his hose, minus the brush attachment, went down the hole. Switch on – and the hoover’s motor quickly took on that slightly panicky note that tells you something’s stuck on the end of the tube! Great – carefully, slowly, we pulled the hose up to find this (sorry about the blurry shot, not much light at the top of the bookshelves, as I’m sure you remember – and the iPhone camera is not the best either):
A grubby, spidery penguin. Just time for a quick team photo at the foot of the stepladder with his rescuer,
a close up for the newspapers,
then off to get washed and dried. Oh, and one last thing before boarding the next flight to Chicago – a cup of tea.
What a success – Kate is almost as pleased as Maddie will be. And I’m quietly chuffed too, having come up with this solution all by myself. My Dad would be proud of me!”
* * * * * *
I only wish I had thought to photograph Pea’s response to the news that Noodles had been recovered! There was a high-pitched “squee” and a happy-dance of sorts, and much jumping around. Fortunately for Noodles, we are heading back to Wales next month, so he need not be subjected to transportation courtesy of either Royal Mail or the U.S. Postal Service.
The poor dear has suffered enough already.
Many thanks to the Hainge family. I don’t know what I enjoyed more – the news of the rescue, or Mark’s actual recounting of it! 


  1. Be sure to leave room in Maddies luggage for Noodles return. Does he have a passport?

  2. Gmom Phyl says

    What a wonderful story!! Which is best, Mark’s story or the rediscovery of Noodles???

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