Monday, 5 December 2011

In summer everyone else had to take the school bus.


  1. Judy was the only kid on her street who didn't have a pet. All the kids teased her. That was until her monster moved in....

  2. It was spring when Irene first had the idea and it was nearly spring again by the time that Irene and Brendan and Scarlet from next door had made it not be an idea and not an it.

    Scarlet from next door was in on it because Scarlet from next door was always in on everything, partly because she was nosy and partly because she was really good at drawing.

    Irene explained it, and Brendan explained how to make it work, and Scarlet from next door drew it out on the paper from the biscuit box, which was big enough to unravel.

    The mattress they found in a skip two streets down, and Brendan and Scarlet paid two big boys their dinner moneys to carry it home and put it behind the workshop.

    Irene stitched the buttons on for eyes herself; they were off a cardigan she didn't wear much any more.

    They took the cogs and springs out of their father's watches, and out of the kitchen clock, and the grandfather clock in the school hall. They got very good at wrenches, and climbing through windows at night, and breaking in.

    The still-beating hearts were harder to find, but Brendan knew a boy whose big brother was sweet on a girl who worked in Bailey's Abattoir in town.

    Scarlet from next door was less squeamish than Brendan and Irene, so she fitted the insides together. Irene sewed it up, and by the time she pulled the stitches taught (very, very neat) it was not an it, it was a he.

    They called him Puppy, and it stuck.

    He lived in the shed, and every night Irene watered him with an old watering can. She put chicken Cup A Soup in the water, for nourishment.

    The ears came all by themselves, and so did the legs. Irene was very pleased to see the legs sprouting, and even pleaseder when they flourished. No parent was ever as proud of their toddler's wobbly first steps as Irene was of Puppy's, but no parent ever got to ride around on their toddler's back like Irene did with Puppy.