‘What’s your name?’ asked Josie.
‘Are you all on your own?’
‘No,’ said Amina, ‘I’ve got a friend here. Give me your hand.’ Amina took Josie’s hand.
‘Here, feel,’ said Amina. Josie felt something soft and warm in Amina’s hand. It was even softer than the blanket.
‘Stroke him,’ said Amina. ‘He won’t bite you.’
The something soft and warm was alive. It wriggled under Josie’s fingers. ‘What is it? A hamster?’ asked Josie.
‘No, he’s my pet mouse. He used to be wild, but I tamed him. He’s called Sinta. Only you mustn’t tell, because food is short and Mum won’t let me give him anything.’
‘Where’s your Mum?’
‘She went out to get wood, before it got dark,’ said Amina. ‘Only then they started shelling. As soon as they stop, she’ll come back. She always does.’