It is summer, moonless night in the small village, starless and bible-black.
Suddenly a violent shriek erupts from somewhere outside the bedroom. A loud yelp follows almost instantaneously; then a few seconds later, a prolonged cry from the nursery.
I am terrified, and push my husband from the bed to investigate.
Daddy discovers that Gertie has wet the bed. Kempton, the new puppy has somehow found herself upstairs, inspite of the forbidding stairgate at the top. Gilby has also woken. I go downstairs to make up some milk and find myself clearing up a puddle of puppy-widdle. It doesn't help that I knock over the first bottle, spill watery formula everywhere and have to start again.
A sequence of events emerges. A sleepy-headed Gertie must have emerged with damp pyjamas from the bedroom to be confronted unexpectedly by the puppy, of whom she has a deep fear. She gave out an involuntary (and inhuman-sounding) scream. This woke her little brother, who was terrified by the commotion and rendered inconsolable. The milk was not enough to allay his fears and it took a good forty minutes to get him settled again.
So if we include Kempton's yelp, that is at least four of us who were frightened out of our wits last night. And two of us who had to clear up wee.