Perfect Family Tales And Other Trivia

The art of the short-story writer is that of the cartoonist. It is the magical craft of creating entire worlds with a few simple strokes of a pen. Tales told by an idiot? Maybe! But my tales are also a mix of reality and fantasy; truth and lies; some based on my own family; others, not. Readers must guess which characters are real; who are inventions - and who are an amalgam of both. Please draw the boundaries for yourself.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

‘Jack and the Glory’

Grandma Dora bussed from Whitley Bay to Brum for the winter holiday with bags of old comics, chocolate pennies and tons of other funny love.


She also made loads of comments which the grown-ups didn’t like.

She’d say: “No-one buys Ford Zephyrs now. Your Aunty Flo heard it.”

“It’s all done by kindness.”

“Quite right, Humphrey!”

“Ooh, you are a daft kipper.”

“Eat your crusts. They’ll make your hair curly and your teeth pearly.”

“The last one upstairs is a silly sausage.”

So when Mum knew Dad was about to arrive home from work, she’d send Grandma upstairs with us on bath-time duties.

Grandma was really nice. She’d help us out of our clothes and get us to throw our socks in the air. “If they’re dirty, they’ll stick to the ceiling,” she’d warn. We were cross that it never happened.

Then she’d pop Jim and me in the bath, soap and rinse us, help us to get out and wrap us in big, thick towels before we had time to get cold.

But there is one bath time I can’t forget. As Gran got us warm and cosy, she whispered:

“I’ll tell you a story of Jack and the Glory. But you must promise not to speak in the middle. Do you promise?”

Jim and I gazed at her and nodded.

“Of course, Gran,” I said. “We promise.”

“Oh, dear,” she replied as Dad walked through the front door. “You’ve spoken. I can’t tell you now.”

Jim was still too young to understand much so he won’t remember. But I’m sure that just as I moaned “Aw, Gran, that’s not fair,” I heard fuzzy grumbling from downstairs.

Then came Mum’s voice: ”Ssh, Len. Have a heart. She’s only just come - and we’ve not got to Christmas Day.”


Natalie Wood

(Copyright – Natalie Irene Wood, February 23 2012).

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