When very young, thus told Godfrey, “I could tell by the smell of the house, ironing board out, Dad’s hat and coat hung to air, meant that my parents were going somewhere…leaving big sister Alice to mind me. Quiet, holding my cat, I sat halfway up the stair. Simon’s tail twitched as it hung down, we listened as Ma and Pa, left for a pub evening in town. Alice cooked our supper- beets in phlepmy sauce and eel. How Beatrice knew, even then I did not ask why or how, she sneaked me a potato and lamb chop off her plate, and at bedtime, Alice told us the story of a nasty wayward sow.
“Wild, she was, Alice told of long ago, “The sow ate a little boy who disliked beets”. Found one sock and a gumboot by the cemetery hedge row. Beatrice and I listened warily, for we oft played slaying dragons down in the cemetery. “The wayward sow belonged to nobody..Alice paused to think, a great spotted pig, not cute or pink.”””I have seen her tracks, smelled her breath in the trees when I walked to school at your size. “Saw her snout through the shrubs, and her beady pigs eyes. Being six years older than you, means the sow is now bigger, and hungrier to.
Beatrice and I share a lifelong vow- keep each other safe from beets, bullies, and the wayward sow. Uncle Lou often cuffed me on the head from behind, said he’d feed me to the first wayward sow he could find.
Beatrice writes- I was not a fearful child, well aqquainted with swine, walked home alone After Alice’s story, in the dark, across the road knowing I would be just fine…Alice’s bedtime stories always ended grimly, yet he always believed his sister, odd little chap was Godfrey. Sometimes playing we did stay out too late, saw a large white thing once in the bushes by the cemetery gate…heard squealing under my window once at dawn, Arthur Bosomsworth had beets dug up, and signs once that a pig had crossed his lawn…
.”I’d lie awake, wrote Godfrey, “until I heard our old car and thud of Ma’s purse on the table”. “Click of the toilet light that hung on a string,” hear dammit no loo paper, her muttering”. Dad had one last beer and a smoke out on the steps, then I’d hear him singing”. “I can smell the cheap perfume as Ma leaned over me, with a gruff, “Shut up Godfrey even now.” “My parents danced neath the moon, Alice dreamed in her room, we were all safe from the wayward sow.
Funny, wrote Worzel, to Beatrice, none of us had children, “I forgot to, it was not in your’s or Godfrey’s destiny, no thankfully Alice, the eccentric mis-begot.” “Our stepmother, Mrs Gibberflat read “Uncle Arthur” bedtime stories each night to Cudberth, Inkerman, Fillipendula and I”. They always ended happily, no sows or monsters wielding beets, no ghoulies peering in”. “Not what Godfrey and Beatrice endured, thanks to Alice’s imagination. Alice writes the last word from Skibbereen, (famous for it’s Herring) “At least I read to my odd little brother, “It proves I was tender and caring- so pluffgh”.