I looked at the mess on the ground and felt like banging my head against the wall. Two things stopped me:
- There was no wall readily available in the middle of the playground; and
- I knew that you need to be patient with kids like Steve, getting mad at them will only make things worse.
But making Steve aware of my disappointment in him was equally important, so I looked at him with a somber expression and said, “You know you are not supposed to do stuff like this Steve. What will Papa think when he comes to know about this?”
Steve had tears in his eyes as he said, “Wasn’t my fault ma’am, I was just sitting quietly and eating….”
This denial of responsibility would not do at all, so I cut him short, and said, “You need to start taking responsibility for your actions, son.”
“But I was not responsible ma’am, it wasn’t my fault, I swear,” cried out Steve.
“Then whose fault was it?” I countered.
“Well, as I was trying to tell you ma’am…” Steve started off.
I don’t know what came over me then, but I just couldn’t resist stopping him right there and telling him, “There is no try, only do.”
I’d always wanted to use that dialogue, fate had finally presented me with an opportunity, I wasn’t going to let it go this easily.
Steve kept staring at me quizzically, like I was not the Headmistress of his school but some veteran of a mental asylum who had replaced her, and then shrugged his head, and said, “I was just sitting, and trying to eat in peace and quiet…”
I interrupted him again, “What were you eating?”
He looked at me with his tear-filled eyes wide open and said, “Duh?”
I realized my error immediately, and said, “I know, I know, I was just trying to evaluate the impact of the shock on your memory.”
Steve gave up on me at this point I think, and continued as if I had not interrupted, “I was just eating what Papa had packed for me today, when the gardener asked me for the time.”
I thought of butting in at this point, but as they say, discretion is the better part of valour, so I demurred.
Steve continued, “I looked at my watch, and that is when it happened.”
I did butt in at this time, and said, “And look what you did on my watch by looking at your watch!”
I’m too much of a smart-ass at times, but what’s the use of being in charge if you can’t get away with saying such things.
Anyways, I gestured at Steve to quickly conclude, for out of the corner of my eyes, I could see the clean-up crew arrive and start prepping up.
Steve was looking quite embarrassed by now, and his eyes threatened to overflow again, but with a valiant effort, he narrated the rest of his story, “My watch was on my left hand, the same one in which I was holding my blackberry jam-filled doughnut. I turned my hand, and the jam spilled on top of the poor gardener. I immediately kept my doughnut on the side and started cleaning the gardener up. And it was then that I realized….”
I didn’t say anything, but I’m sure Steve saw the question mark in my eyes clearly enough, and he said, “…I realized…that I had kept the doughnut on top of the gardener’s wife.”
And despite myself, I couldn’t help but steal a horror-struck look at the gardener’s wife, or what remained of her, squashed by the 500 kilograms jam doughnut that had been the lunch of the only son of the BFG.
Photo courtesy Sue Vincent
Written as a part of Thursday Photo Prompt – Carved at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.
Oh dear…poor Steve 😉
Ha ha ha, poor Steve indeed.
I didn’t see that one coming!
Thank you so much Jane
Those giants can be so careless! 🙂
Oh noooooo! I expect to see shoes wiggling like the Wicked Witch that the house lands on in the Wizard of Oz.
Ha ha ha, sorry to disappoint you 🙂
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I doughnut think I expected that — stone barmy!
Ha ha ha, gracias.
Wow! That was a surprise.
Thank you so much Jan
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