Tommys Lesson

Tommy entered the kitchen; his head bent forward to watch his feet as he walked. His hair skimmed the underside of the kitchen counter as he cut the corner.

Grandpa, can you help me tie my shoelaces please?

Sure. Up we go. He lifted his grandson onto a high kitchen chair.

Grandpa, why is it so hard to learn how to tie shoelaces?

Thats a good question. Everything we learn in life can be hard.

Why?

Because its part of learning.

Why?

Well, if everything was easy to learn in life there wouldnt be any strength to our character.

Huh!

Grandpa slowly looped a shoelace as Tommy watched. Let me put it this way, Grandpa continued as he twisted one end of the lace around the loop. Do you remember when your daddy and I took you fishing last summer?

Yes. Tommys face screwed up. It was so hard to get the worms to stay on the hook and get the fish to bite them.

Thats right. Do you remember how many times you had to practise to get it right?

Lots. The little boy nodded once and continued to study his grandfathers hands.

By the end of the weekend you had it just right and you caught the biggest fish for supper.

Tommys face beamed and revealed a toothy grin. He let his foot drop and held up the other one.

Your turn, Grandpa encouraged.

Tommy wriggled his foot onto his other leg and concentrated on the shoelace. It took a few minutes but eventually he made the final turn and pulled the loop through.

There will be other things in life you will need to learn and they wont be easy either.

Tommy sat looking at his shoes while he listened. Like what?

Oh, all sorts of things, like how to know the difference between right and wrong, when to make an important decision and how to choose which decision to make.

Why?

Because thats life and we need to learn lots of things like tying shoelaces and how to fish. Making a decision when choosing what kind of friends we should have can be a tough one.

That sounds really hard. Will I have to learn how to talk to grandsons too?

The old man laughed. Yes, but not for a while yet; thats a grown-ups lesson. You can wait for that.

Look, Grandpa. We tie shoelaces the same. Maybe you practised lots too.

Yep, I practised lots too but some life lessons took longer to learn than others.

Grandpa, can you teach me how to learn other life lessons?

I certainly can but right now why dont we have some ice-cream?

Tommy giggled and his eyes brightened. I guess we dont have to learn how to eat ice-cream.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Children’s Corner

Roof Top Dancing

tap, tap, tap
thud, thud,
bump bump.

repeat

There is someone on my roof
It sounds like they are dancing.

tap, tap, tap
thud, thud,
bump bump.

repeat

I wonder if this roof is dance-proof
It wouldnt be for elephants prancing.

tap, tap, tap
thud, thud,
bump bump.

repeat

Who is dancing on my roof?
Toward the eaves they’re now advancing.

tap, tap, tap
thud, thud,
bump bump.

repeat

I sneaked a peek to find the proof
To do this, it took some chancing.

tap, tap, tap
thud, thud,
bump bump.

repeat

There is someone dancing on my roof!
It’s three galahs belly-dancing.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galah

穢 Chrissy Siggee

Archived in
Poetry Mix and Children’s Corner

The Dragon and the Princess

Everyone except Thomas Creighton-Smiths granddaughter, Ada, knew Rosie was more than just a pig. Adas ideal retirement for Rosie was to explore the ancient land of dragons by day and visit the kitchen for under-the-table dinner scraps in the evenings before dreaming by the fireplace.

At breakfast one dank April Friday, Grandma had suggested they have roast pig for Sunday lunch complete with the traditional three vegetables and brown gravy made from the juices of the roasting meat. It was while Grandma chatted on about where she would insert the large rotisserie rod that Ada ran from the kitchen with Rosie close at her heels. ‘It will help tenderise the old sow’, Grandma was saying without acknowledging she had heard the back-door slam.

Thomas put down his morning paper. ‘I just wanted to take the pig to the abattoir to recoup some of our losses. After all, this is a working farm’. He muttered as he left the house in search of Ada.

His eyes scanned the landscape for a sign of the two gallant explorers. In spite of himself, old Thomas didnt envy the little girl. He had grown up in Beatrix Potter country and the fantasies she created. The stunning Lake District would have been more practical for Adas school holiday imagination. He shook his head. Maybe we should have stayed in Ambleside and taken up trout farming.

It was two days before St Georges national holiday and Thomas needed to take that fat old pig for a road trip but Grandma was fixed on having tough pork and bacon. He stood at the garden gate and looked around. Where are they? He squinted into the fog that settled over the bogs as he recalled his mothers favourite story that dated back to the 6th century. What was it again? Oh yes. St George rescued a young maiden by slaying a terrifying fire-breathing dragon. He slipped his hands into his warm pockets and headed for the main road.

So she wouldnt fall over, Ada held up her long flowing medieval princess costume as she marched down Old Kent Road. Rosie trudged slightly behind with cardboard toilet cylinders on her pointy ears and three black ribbons tied onto her limp tail.

They stopped near a red telephone box just beyond the intersection where the road-signs crisscrossed on a wooden post. ‘Oh Rosie, how could Grandma say such horrid things? I wont let them eat you.’ Ada stomped her foot splashing slops of mud over both of them.

She lifted the old play dress above her waist to search the pockets of her faded jeans beneath. With a silver coin in her hand she stepped into the telephone box. Finding the correct number from the list beside the chunky black phone, Ada dialled and waited. Rosie grunted, shuffled and squeezed in until she jammed herself tight between Adas knees.

‘Hello!’ Ada shouted into the mouthpiece. ‘Please help me. Theyre going to kill Rosie!’

 

Approaching the end of the lane where it met the road, Grandpa looked left then right. Their farm was located two miles due east of the abattoir between Dover and Holyhead. He sniffed the thick foul air. This neighbourhood is likened to the lowest-priced property on the English Monopoly board. A few moments later he decided Ada would have headed away from town so off he trudged.

Minutes later he heard an ear-piercing squeal followed by a shout from young Ada. He quickened his stride. The telephone box, a little way past the next farm on the opposite side of the road, seemed to be alive as it shook and groaned. Grandpa stopped in mid-step; his neck craned forward. There was someone, or something, in the telephone box. There were too many legs to count. He saw what looked like horns and a tail with blades. There was a lot of banging and bumping going on behind the grime and moss streaked glass.

‘Oh my, it looks like a dragon!’

Ada screamed again jolting Grandpa from his trance. Manoeuvring the door open to avoid swishing his granddaughter, he grabbed Rosie by the tail and dragged her squealing from the booth.

Later, after the local Bobbies had their explanation and had a good laugh, Grandpa and Ada sat down to rest at the nearby bus-stop.

‘Did you know Ada, only forty-five to fifty percent of animals at the abattoir can be turned into edible meat products, fifteen percent is waste, and the remaining forty to forty five percent is turned into by-products like bath soap, candles and glue? He paused. You know, glue suits her.’

‘But Grandpa’

‘Its OK. Id rather like rescuing my little princess from dragons. Come on, lets go home and break the news to Grandma.’ He winked at his granddaughter. ‘There will be no more talk of bacon and roast pork.’

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Children’s Corner

Bartholomews Adventure

‘Bartholomew? Is that you?’

pant pant

‘Bartholomew, its hard enough to get six babies to have a nap after Sunday School without you coming home late. This floor shook all the way through the singing. The entire ruckus has given me a headache.’

pant pant ‘When I catch my breathpant匈ll explain.’

‘Were you chased by the janitor?’

‘Mildred, hes on to us again.’

‘Well its no wonder. Your snooping around those Sunday School classes is going to get us into trouble one of these days.’

He ignored his wife and continued. ‘I got right up close to the piano. It was awesome. They were singing Jesus loves me; my favourite. I managed to sneak in behind the young ones going into class. Mildred, their new Sunday School teacher, Miss Cooper, is delightful.’

‘I thought you were going to find us some Sunday lunch, not check out the girls.’

‘I did. Anyway, I was captivated by the way she presented the Noahs Ark storypictures of the ark, birds, animals, even Noah. Young Tommy asked if there were any rats on board and everyone laughed. Miss Cooper assured Tommy that if there are rats around now; they wouldve been on the ark. She spoke with enthusiasm about our Maker and His promises. Oh Mildred, youd have loved it. It was a perfect morning.’

‘So why were you panting?’

‘I was coming to that. You see, Billy was about to leave the room with his Bible still on his chair.’

‘Again? His parents must have replaced his Bible a dozen times.’

‘I know, and I thought if I could get someones attention before they left, theyd see it and return it to him.’

‘So, what did you do, scare poor Miss Cooper half to death on her first morning?’

‘No, I simply marched over to the Bible and stood on it only I didnt see the janitor passing the door with his broom. He saw me about the same time as Billy did. Billy stood between the janitor and me so I could get away.’ He chuckled. ‘You shouldve seen me run. I slipped out the door as quick as a flash with that broom coming mighty close.’

‘OK, so wheres lunch? Maybe we can enjoy some of His gifts before the babies wake up.’

Bartholomew removed the pack from his shoulder and began to unload his findings. ‘I found a couple of potato crisps in the foyer. A gummy bear with his head removed in the cry room and a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich in the Sunday School Hall. All while they were busy singing themselves silly.’ He chuckled again.

‘Oh, this is great, Bartholomew. We wont go to bed hungry tonight.’

‘ILL FIND YOU, RAT!’ A voice bellowed through the walls.

Mildred began to shiver. ‘Bartholomew’

‘Mildred, take the babies through the side door to the end of the stage. Take the underground route to Uncle Moses and dont stop until you get there.’

‘Bartholomew, dont leave us. Where are you going?’

‘Its all right. Ill distract him and meet you at Uncle Mosess later. Ill be fine. GO!’

‘WHERE ARE YOU, RAT?’

Bartholomew scurried back through the hole and across the stage. His feet skidded beneath him on the varnished boards, causing him to slide sideways and crashing into a pile of electrical cables. He scanned the stage and the hall just as one of the cables hit the floor below.

‘I HAVE YOU NOW.’

As fast as his little legs could carry him, Bartholomew scampered into Miss Coopers classroom, raced past Noah and the ark and up the drapes on the other side of the room.

There he waited.

It was dark when Bartholomew reached Uncle Moses place, tired and hungry. He listened, but there was no sound. He tapped lightly before entering.

‘Bartholomew, where have you been? Ive been worried sick. The babies wore out poor Uncle Moses. Theyre all curled up with him on his bed.’

‘Im fine. I told you Id be fine. I know that place blindfolded. We can return in a few weeks once the exterminators have gone and the air is clear again.’

‘In the meantime, Bartholomew, you can help me with the babies. When we return home, I want you to take them to Sunday School, but no more adventures.’

‘All right, Mildred, no more adventures for me.’

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Children’s Corner

My Granddaughters Fairy Train – Update

Update: July 13th 2019.

More fairies have moved in and a few homeless elves took refuge in the garden over the past few months. We’ll be replacing some of the annual herbs soon and the paint work will need a touch-up but overall it’s growing well.

September 29th 2018

I have been working with my five-year-old granddaughter Amelia for the past few months to create this fairy train for her and her baby sister, Ellora. It’s finally finished.It won’t be long until they are well supplied with strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, lettuce, herbs and…of course fairies.

Haunting Wails and the Seashell

Multi-coloured seashells lined the shelf in Sophies spare room. They had always fascinated her nine-year-old granddaughter, Emma. Each shell had its own special story. Today, Emma had asked to hear about the big shiny spotted one, which twisted and curled to a little holey point.

Emma carefully lifted the shell from the shelf and sat on the bed as Sophie entered from the kitchen, wiping her wet hands on her apron. She smiled down at her granddaughter holding the shell gently in her lap. I suppose you want to know about this very special seashell.

Where did you find it, Nanna? Its so pretty.

It is prettyas pretty as the beach I found it on. But this shell has a sad story to tell. The memory will live forever in here. Sophie placed her hand over her heart before continuing.

Poppa and I were visiting a place far from here on the west coast for a holiday back in 1992. It was our holiday of a lifetimejust after your mother finished college. It was a summer. We were staying at a resort village and Poppa and I spent the evenings walking along the cooling sand. On the third evening there was a full moon and we were about to head back up the beach to our bungalow when we heard a pitiful moaning. It seemed like it was coming from the ocean. The sound lingered like a haunting wail that echoed. I have to admit, I was afraid. Im not one to believe in ghosts, but that night I would have believed anything.

Oh, Nanna, that must have been soooo scary. What did you and Poppa do? What was it?

Sophie traced the contour of the twisted shell to the point, holding her finger in mid-air for a moment before continuing. Well at first we just stood there trying to work out what it was. Some of the resort staff came running down onto the beach yelling, Save them! Save them! It was then that we realized there were black mounds rolling in the surf. They looked like huge boulders. Some were closer to us on the wet sand; water lapping around them from the incoming tide. Some of the people started running into the waves. Poppa grabbed my hand. The boulders were actually whales. Some had already beached themselvesothers splashed about a little offshore where waves crashed around them.

Tears ran down her cheeks as she recalled the events. People were trying to persuade them back by yelling at them. Others just stood, staring, as one by one they beached themselves. It was an awful sight.

Did they go back into the water? Emma asked, her eyes reflecting her anguish.

Unfortunately, most of them didnt. I guess its part of nature. We never did find out why those whales beached themselves. We tried to help by keeping the whales wet. We even tried to encourage them back into the water. Sophie shook her head. Four days later the beach was covered in dead and dying whalesfifteen in all. I remember I sat in the shallow water beside a mother and her calf and wept for them. Poppa and I took turns taking short naps and taking time out for meals provided by the resorts kitchen. We continued our vigil for four daysthe remainder of our holiday. Weve always considered it a small sacrifice. We managed to get three whales back out into deeper wateronly three, but we were relieved we were able to help in a small way.

Oh, Nanna, this is the saddest story of all. But, where did you find the shell?

Sophie picked up the shell and blew into the small hole at the point. It made a howling sound, like the wind. She handed it back to Emma so she could have a blow, and continued her story.

About mid-morning on the last day, men with hoists came and loaded the dead whales onto the back of trucks to take them awayfor burial. I suppose we were too exhausted to ask where. When they lifted the calf beside me, I noticed something lodged in the wet sand. Poppa used his hands to dig it out and held it up to look at it more closely. One of the helpers from the night before took it from Poppas hands and washed it in the seawater. He lifted it to his lips and blew it, long and loud. It sounded almost like the mournful cry we had heard the evening before. The man handed it to me and walked away, back up the beach to the resort where he worked. Ill never forget those whalesor the beach.

Emma blew into the shell. The haunting wail lingered like the memories on the shelf. Sophie sat beside her in silence for a few minutes.  Emma traced her finger around the shell before placing it into Sophies hand. She too, traced her finger to the point then placed it back in its place on the shelf.

穢 Chrissy Siggee

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the authors imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Archived in: Children’s Corner