Totally love this post by Katy Jackson over at her blog Moving back, Moving On. Go and read it. It stirred all sorts of memories of my own, and reminded me of my own time as a student at a catholic school and the less-than-saintly things we sometimes got up to.
And here is another something I wrote...
We can’t speak. If we say something, the old lady comes and raps us on the knuckles with a stick or maybe hits us on the head with a book. So we are silent. But it is very hot and still inside the room and there are a lot of us. We are too scared to speak but we poke each other and pinch each other daring the other to stay silent. It is not fair really. If you speak you are punished. If you stay silent you are tortured. We are mean to each other. Anything to stop the boredom. At the front of the large room a large fat furry bee buzzes on and on. None of us could tell you what he is saying right now. But we have heard it many, many times before and if you asked us we would usually know enough to escape a smack. It is for the grown ups.
If I close my eyes I can think what I would do if I won a million dollars. Maybe a pony for my sister and a Gameboy for me. And some jeans. I don’t know. Dad would like a new car and Mum wants a holiday. Or a dishwasher. I guess with a million dollars I could maybe get her both. Ouch! The old lady whacks my leg with her skinny stick. It stings bad. I jerk up straight.
“Open your eyes. Sit up straight,” she scolds.
Can I dream with my eyes open? The buzzing makes me sleepy. It is better to keep my eyes open. Now the bee reads from the book and the buzzing is stronger. Like the bee with honey. Here it is my friends he says.
That girl is very pretty. She is new. Her eyes are big and her eyelashes are thick and dark and long. They are like a curtain hiding a secret. She knows she is pretty. On her arm are all these coloured bangles. The old lady will have those if she sees them. Her friend is plain. Is it always like that? One pretty, one plain, like the knitting stitches my mother does. They are not speaking but I can see something passing between them. Pretty drops her eyes. Her cheeks turn rosy.
There is a red mark on my leg. My mother will know I was bad. I like the pictures on the walls. They look kind. They make me feel calm. My friend’s fidgeting is annoying. He cannot sit still. I like him because he does not tease me like the others. And he does not poke and prod me like the others. But instead he wriggles and squirms to himself and it is as bad as the poking and prodding. I want to pinch him but he is my friend. He has a skateboard. Instead I look at pretty and she is staring at me. I smile but straightaway I feel foolish and I can feel my face burn.
Whack! “Are you listening?” Two red marks. My mother will be worried and sad for me. She’ll cry. If she cries my father will be angry. I don’t want her to be sad. I don’t want it to be my fault. How can I make the marks go away. I rub my leg. The buzzing sounds louder and annoyed like wasps. The pictures seem different. I feel like everyone is looking at me even though they all face the front. It’s not my fault.
Now it is over and we all stand. Like silly sheep we all move toward the door at the same time. Maybe if we squeeze tight enough we can all pop out at once and be free. As I pass through the doorway I am pressed by the crowd against the pretty girl. My body brushes against hers. She is turned away but her hair smells like apples. I smile. The sun is shining. It is a good day.
Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: The Were-Nana
- Educational Resource: The Half Life of Ryan Davis
- Educational Resource: Made With Love
- Educational Resource: The House That Went to Sea
- Educational Resource: A Winter's Day in 1939
- Educational Resource: While You Are Sleeping
- Educational Resource: The Song of Kauri
- Educational Resource: Fuzzy Doodle
- Book List - Complete List of my Publications