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Jamie braced her foot on the smaller box and pushed for all she was worth. With a final lunge, she tumbled over the edge of the larger box and inside - right into a bed of cotton!
At first she had a grand time rolling and playing in the cotton. She even made a "snow gerbil" by piling a few cotton balls on top of each other, like she had seen Lucy and her friends do in the snow last winter.
But when she was ready to go, she realized that she couldn't climb back out. She had the small box on the outside to get in, but no small box on the inside to get back out. She was stuck!
Jamie frantically pawed the walls, trying to climb them. She jumped, hopped, and leaped. But no matter what she tried should couldn't get out. She was frightened half to death. Would anyone notice she was missing? Would they be able to find her in a box under the bathroom sink? She felt panic hit her like a wave...
With all the willpower she could muster, Jamie calmed herself. To panic wasn't the answer; she had to THINK to get out of this. Surely if she put her mind to it, she could escape her cardboard prison.
First she tried stacking cotton. If she could stack it high enough, maybe she could climb out the top. But the cotton would squash down as flat as a pancake when she stepped on it, and she was no nearer the top that when she started.
Then she realized that the box was CARDBOARD. If she could gnaw through a metal wire, surely she could gnaw a big enough hole in the box to squeeze through! And that's exactly what she did. She spent about fifteen minutes at it, but when she was through, she had a hole just the size of her head. And, as every gerbil knows, if you can get your HEAD through a hole, you BODY will follow.
Safely back in her cage, Jamie thought about her adventure. She remembered has she had almost paniced in the box under the bathroom sink; and how she had overcome her panic and thought her way out.
"Thinking is the best way," she decided. "With a little bit of thought, I bet I could do just about anything." And I suppose she could, too.