When the woklecockle first arrived we thought it was the most wonderful thing.
It was there to do for us what we basically didn’t have time to do, or were too lazy to do.
We took full advantage of it and sat back each evening after it had cooked dinner and watched it clean up the kitchen. It moved with such grace that it was literally poetry in motion: that was dad’s evaluation after the first week.
At first, it didn’t have any personality but rather was a machine that could do everything.
I liked the fact that it would prepare meals and make my bed. How good was that I would say to myself? I did try it out one night with my homework, and it did the most marvellous research on the Ancient Greeks I could have wished for. Needless to say, I aced that assignment but when my parents discovered what I had used the woklecockle for they put an end to that insisting I gain an education by my own sweat and tears.
A month after it arrived we began to notice that the woklecockle had changed somewhat in its demeanour. It developed sounds, a sort of woklecockle language that mostly exhibited disapproval of us.
For example, if we inadvertently took our dirty dinner plates to the kitchen, there would be this tsh tsh sound coming from it, and it would stand in the doorway to the kitchen as if to say, back off this is my territory.
A little later we discovered it liked to watch TV and would object to us changing the channel it may have been watching by giving out a growl to demonstrate its displeasure.
The woklecockle being an object we didn’t pay it a lot of attention to but thought it rather quaint that it was evolving sounds, like a baby growing, learning to walk then to speak.
It had arms of a sort, which it could retract into itself when not required, it had small rollers under its grey metallic body, which as time went on became more and more agile.
Then one day when Mum went into the kitchen and announced she was going to make a cake to take into work the next day. The woklecockle took exception to her being there and when Mum attempted to turn the stove on it extended its arm and gave her a nasty shock.
That night she and dad called us together to discuss the woklecockle and find out if we had noticed it was getting far more aggressive than any of us liked.
My sister announced that it came into her room when not invited and tended to lurk outside the bathroom when she used it, which she found unnerving. I had to admit the same, though I often found it when I returned from school playing my X-Box.
Dad decided it was time for it to go. As he said that the lights went out in the house. All we heard was the sound of the woklecockle’s wheels crossing the floor before the lights came back on and projected onto the wall in front of us were the most terrifying words: “Now hear this! I am taking over.”