Twas busy on the High Street , west side of Fermoy, wrong end of the south end docks,  Godfrey lived on the eastern bit, long ago as a very small boy..

Miss Ruth Pentyouth owned the News Agents, as had her parents and theirs years before, the faded letters” Boultbee Pentyouth Prop”, still etched over the shop door.   This dignified lady kept her eye on Alice and Godfrey, and the jars of sweets on display, as the two bickered over a card for Ma, on Mothering Sunday.    “Follow your hearts timeless connection”, Alice read from a card with a Pansy bouquet.  “From your precious son, more beets! love those beets” !, she suggested writing in it to Godfrey’s dismay.   “Love keeps us from falling over”- this one with basket of kittens…(Ma wheezed round cats and pollen).         “Cross a sea of memory, I hear you oh dear old mother calling”   Godfrey told Miss Pentyouth in barely a whisper, how on our Ma’s birthday “Alice dared me to kiss her, we cornered Ma in the car where she could not leap out and run” “That is what broke the car door, we must now climb in over the seat from the undented  rear one”.  Miss Pentyouth listened to Godfrey politely, now knowing why, town folk pointed and laughed when the old, gray Morris Minor roared by.

” Wonderment awaits you, this special day- Though we are far apart across the sea” “It would delight Ma if you were off at sea”. Alice teased, she was 6 years older than Godfrey.   She chose a fathers day card they could alter to spell Ma, by changing F to M and smudging chocolate over “Ather”. It was a card with sailing ships, they bought Ma a bag of sweets, and a block of “Sea Foam”, but ate most of the candy on their walk home.   “Happy Mothter Day from Godfrey, he wrote as Alice mixed and moiled a layer cake, knowing he’d be blamed for the mess she spread far and wide…but it mattered not, for Ma was happy with one piece of candy and her sailing ships leaving with the tide.   The card went on the mantle and Ma did not complain, and that nightly slap never came, Godfrey ceased to worry, as with cake and tea, before the warm fire Ma told them a story.

Miss Ruth Pentyouth, after busiest of days, in her flat above the shop had one filet of Haddock, she cooked and ate it, saving half. Taking out pen and journal, window open a tad to smell the spring rain, she let her hair down and had a good, long laugh. She wrote, “He was a small, odd child, solemnly  informing me he disliked beets”, as his bellicose older sister, pillaged a rack of sympathy cards, for one they could give their poor Ma. This night of Mothering Sunday, Miss Pentyouth allowed herself an all out, teeth aside guffaw.  A dignified lady. a newspaper seller, one day would be Miss Ruth Pentyouths epitaph…and very few would know that she truly was a poet, and in her private moments, oh how she loved to laugh…..


7 thoughts on “ALICE PICKS A MOTHERS DAY CARD- From Worzel

  1. Thanks for the read, Mary- a friend sent me an early morning message, suggesting “Miss Pentyouth” as a new character, in time for Mothering Sunday. in memory of my Aunt Phyllis, a dignified lady, despite our family…

  2. ““Alice dared me to kiss her, we cornered Ma in the car where she could not leap out and run” “That is what broke the car door, we must now climb in over the seat from the undented rear one:” is spectacularly priceless, Sheila. I laughed like Miss Pentyouth (what a delightful play on words that name is) when I read it. And then again when I learned that the bellicose sister had been perusing sympathy cards. Your mind amazes me.

  3. Thanks Janet- so clear in my mind is this tiny, scruffy child, peering up at Miss Pentyouth, explaining so gravely what happened when dared to kiss his horrified mother. One year, I made our Ma a dreadful, flat cake, lumpen with baking soda, and running out of icing sugar, used half flour in the frosting…it is a wonder she lived to 72…

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