They must think we’re daft

I see our beloved leaders are still pushing the twin mantras of consumer consumption and property ownership.

Let’s build our way out of recession by having more houses for sale; lets keep the shops open all hours so we can have “choice”.  We are skint.  Thousands upon thousands can’t pay their bills for basics and you want us to troll round the shops on a Sunday for what exactly?  Presumably to check out the home furnishings for the house we can’t get a mortgage on.  Give me a break, please.

The Nine Loves of Henrietta

Anthony was mooning, tentative, and no match for a captain of netball: he gave her mumps.

Hardeep, life after A levels already mapped by his parents, gave her self-determination.

At University, Viktor was exciting and dangerous: he gave her causes.

Alan, unsure of his sexuality, and Nigel (sure enough to become Nigella) gave her self-awareness, but dear Daniel (dearest, it transpired, to Mary) gave her anorexia.

Johnny, challenging – especially to his probation officer – and Pierre, charming, sophisticated, and married, gave her resilience.

But Lionel, who knew the art of compromise, just gave and, in return, Henrietta finally gave herself.


Andrew Gold 2012

(reproduced with permission of Readers Digest 100 Word Story Competition)


Ellen sipped at her coffee, flicking toast crumbs off her dressing gown as she re-read the engagement notices in the morning paper.  It was not hard to believe he had a fiancée.  “Pity,” she sighed to herself before moving on to the arts review.

The idea of an affair with him had taken root long before she noticed it: a little seed drifting on an autumn breeze that ruffled her serenity.  She had done nothing to encourage it, but neither did she uproot it; she liked the way it teased her from the corner of her vision as she tended her life. It wasn’t a weed, just something wild and unexpected, even quite pretty: a tiny bit of chaos in the ordered rows.  There was nothing profound about it; it was just an idea: she had never even met him.

A year before she would have ripped it out with a violence borne of self-loathing.  A year before she wouldn’t have even considered it possible.  But that was before ‘Weight-Watchers’: she was turning heads again.  Later, looking at herself in the mirror to see the new earrings she pretended he had bought her, she thought “Still, not bad for fifty-one.”


© Andrew Gold 2009



She had been watching him from the kitchen window.  The ‘goose-bumps’ and fluttering of her stomach surprised her: after 17 years of marriage, and four children, she did not expect to be stirred.

The water seeping into her Marigolds brought Catriona back to the present and she made to empty the sink.  As she felt the taut resistance of the plug-chain, she looked out again and realised that Murdo was no longer there, and that she was no longer roused, but flustered.  She jerked at the chain and, suddenly, more than dirty water was draining away, the fluttering was a different kind of emotion, panic.

She was still in free-fall when Murdo came in to wash the smell of drains from his hands.  Did it show?  How could he not notice her turmoil, her burning face, her bright eyes.  Why didn’t he say something? He spoke over his shoulder, “I’ll send the bill to Allan.”

“He doesn’t even see me”, she thought “I’m part of the background, another kitchen appliance, another broken drain: an adjunct to another man’s life. A wife.”  She screamed silently, “Why not me, send the bill to me, this is MY house, I’m here, see ME”.   She said, “Fine” and handed him the towel, but held onto it so that, at least, he would have to stand facing her.

Later, the shipping forecast incanting in the next room, Catriona sat on the edge their bed, re-running her life for a sign that she was mistaken, hysterical, hormonal.  Allan would say that.  Anyone would say that.  Everyone WILL say that.   But there was no sign, only a bottomless void where certainty once was, and that was what thrilled her.  She was at the top of the roller coaster, too late to get off, arms raised in exultation and shouting in excited terror.  She was in love, but not with Murdo or her husband: she was in love with the feeling of being in love again.

How could she tell kind, steady Allan, safe Allan, reliable, predictable boring Allan, that she felt smothered, most of all by his compulsion to plan every last drop of spontaneity from their lives – from her life.

How could she tell him?  How could she not?


© Andrew Gold




The Gardener

Hamble Axton carefully laced his shoes, hands weaving the same path this day, as every other, in a noiseless ritual.  Each lace exactly the same length, same loop, not too tight, so that his tired feet and sprained ankle would carry him through this last long day’s walk.

His hands shook gently as he gathered up his few possessions, so carefully set out the night before, and took inventory of his fading memories.  He paused to stroke the engraved surface of an ancient snuff box, long since empty save for a broken needle, some greasy thread and the stump of a pencil, struggled briefly with a painful evocation and thrust it, with the rest, into the pocket of his canvas coat.  Finally ready, he carefully lifted his satchel in both hands, momentarily stopped inside the  doorway of the bothy, then, sniffing at the air, drew himself stiffly up to his full height and ducking through, stepped through into another solitary, windless, and silent day.

Hamble knew it was day because he was awake: he had, after all, slept and after sleep it was always morning wasn’t it?  Certainly there was no other way of measuring the passage of time, the lightening or darkening of the sky having long since merged into a uniform half-light, and since there was nobody else to argue the point, he was satisfied to move his mental diary along just one more space.

As he limped on through the desiccated ground cover of the forest he reprised the forty days since a tidal wave of silence had crested Byers Ridge and rolled down his beautiful valley.  It was the sudden absence of forest sounds that had alerted him on that first day, and he had scrambled into a clearing from where he could see nothing but the peak of Mount Linar and a blanket of yellow fog.  Sensing the danger he had climbed higher still and, by the time he had reached a small plateau above the tree line, there was nothing: no forest, no mountains, no sound and no sun.  He had decided to stay put for a while.

It was three days before he was again able to discern other features below as the, now, white veil parted to reveal the familiar, but strangely unknown, pattern of ridges, peaks  and valleys that had been his home for nine years; it was another four days before he felt it safe to come down into this new world.  Until the thirty fifth day he had seen no other living thing, heard no bird or insect, tasted no food other than the remains of his rationed summer camp store, and drunk no liquid but the condensing mist from the brown and shrivelled leaves. He was alone in a dying world and, he guessed, he was going to die with it.

He had tried to imagine what it must have been like in the city.  He reasoned that the catastrophe, man made or natural, must have overtaken cities very quickly: you could never see anything coming in a city with all those buildings in the way.  After the failure of the last climate control experiment in ’24 people had relied on the vidi-screen to tell them what the weather was like down at ground level.  If you could call it weather. Even then the forecasting had become increasingly unreliable.  In fact it had, for some time, been impossible to differentiate between man-made and natural in anything, even the food had become engineered.  Impossible, that was, unless you were an Outsider like Hamble Axton, but all that “progress” hadn’t helped much in the end.  The factories, fully automated for years, would still be churning out goods until the raw materials or power finally gave out.  All those people must still be lying where they had dropped; kids plugged, now un-sensing, into their ‘Experi-pods’; people in bed, floating in swimming pools, in elevators (doors still musically sliding back and forth), limp policemen presiding helplessly over the traffic jam to end all traffic jams – literally.  As a retired Engineer the macabre humour amused him. He had grown to hate the city and everything it stood for; it was its utter pointlessness that had finally forced him to become an Outsider, like others before him, to live alone in the forest, hunting, raising his own food, and thinking his own thoughts.

On his eleventh day off the plateau he had found the body of Jackson Freyn, the Ranger, at his favourite lunching spot. His cap at an angle, but still on his head, and his badge of office now dull, he seemed oddly unreal.  The paternal bureaucracy had never quite come to terms with the notion of the Outsiders that it had, itself, created.  It was the Rangers’ job to keep an eye on any that survived in case, he supposed, they developed some form of group that threatened to challenge “the system”.  The absurdity of this hypothesis, that those who had rejected any form of organisation would form another one, had escaped Freyn.  He had dutifully come to the Outside to check, every six months;  to some degree they had respected each other and Hamble had thought, once or twice, that Jackson had a little Outsider in him too.  Now, even the ants in Freyn’s open food pack were dead, but the unfinished sandwiches and fruit were mouldy so Hamble took a little solace from the conclusion that dead things were decomposing.  Life, in some form at least, continued but it was the first time that he had thought about bacteria with any affection.  Day on day, he worked his way around the receding edge of the mist, bitter and angry at the injustice of his own ending until, finally, he was down into his beloved forest again and ready to die.  But then, on the thirty- fifth day, something happened.

Tripping over a root, hidden under the pine needles and dead leaves, he fell heavily, twisting his ankle and winding himself. He lay for a while breathing in spasms, the air burning at his throat, wishing that he could just stay there forever, but eventually shook his head to clear the pain and, in the corner of his eye saw a flash of colour.  At first he thought he was hallucinating from lack of food, or the poison in the air, and it took him fully a minute to focus his eyes and longer to believe what he saw.

A flower.  A small, brilliant blue, flower.  A perfect joyful explosion of a blue flower.  He was not alone.  Not everything was dead.  And, for the first time in the longest time, Hamble Axton began to laugh out loud; at first quietly, his big weary shoulders moving with his breath, and then a ripple of giggles building to a huge crescendo of uncontrollable sound that echoed off into the silent trees, until he began to realise the importance of his find.  Here was the only other living thing that he had seen in more than a month and, probably,  it would die too:  slowly Hamble Axton’s laughter turned to tears.  For hours, it seemed, he sat cross-legged in the clearing staring at the flower, afraid even to touch it or to see if it had a perfume, nursing his ankle and rocking gently as he tried to make sense of it all.  Finally he became disgusted with his own inaction and self-pity.  He could not reason why this small plant had survived, but if the flower had survived the fog it would surely, at least, survive him.  Although he had no way of knowing if any other Outsiders had survived, his was the highest territory and he supposed not.  He determined that his only focus must be the plant’s survival.  Even if there were, somewhere, another such flower he could not risk there being an insect left for pollination.  Nor could he risk searching for one and then losing his way back to the clearing – the fog might return. Although he had foraged and lived for years in the forest Axton had no great knowledge of cultivating flowers, but he knew that he had to risk uprooting it, and finding a way of nourishing and watering it, in the hope of finding another, and quickly.

Carefully he circled the plant with a shallow trench dug with his bare hands.  The digging was easy in the rotted vegetation on the forest floor but he went slowly, and started a long way out from the flower stem, not knowing how extensive the root system might be.  Gradually working in, narrowing down the circle, Hamble finally stopped when he had a diameter of about two hand spans across and then probed downwards all around until he could feel his own fingers meet under the centre of the flower.  Then, tearing the end from his shirt to make a bag for the root ball, he tenderly lifted the flower out of the ground and into his satchel.

Each day then, until this the fortieth, he had deliberately moved through the forest around the mountainside staying, as far as he could judge, along the same contour line as the clearing where he had found his prize, for it seemed to him that if there were any other plants of the same kind, they would most likely be at this altitude.  Each evening he collected moisture from leaves where he found it and carried it, lovingly, in his snuff box to the flower, keeping little back and trusting to gather moisture for himself on the move each day.  But each day there was less for them both; each day he could walk less far as dehydration, and his damaged ankle, slowly drained his will to save the plant. Before making camp on the thirty-ninth night he had circled the bivouac in a last vain reconnaissance for another flower, or a stream, but found only the old Outsiders’ bothy.  Without water he knew that he would be unable to make it through a forty first day so Hamble decided to make his last night one of relative comfort and moved his precious cargo inside.

That night he did not immediately sleep, but lay instead contemplating his life.  He was too exhausted for anger now; instead, it saddened him to think how so much promise and excitement had been corrupted.  He had tried to make those around him see the insanity of attempting to control everything, but even after the first two planetary experiments had failed, they did not understand.  He had resigned from the colony, to become the first Outsider in years, and had been disowned by all, except Freyn, for his dangerous heresy. And now they were all dead and, soon, he too would be.  He remembered, too, the stories of ancient cults who had believed in a universal force for good.  One of them, he thought, had an initiation ritual that had something to do with spending forty days and nights in the forest, which amused him.  Now, after his own trial in his own personal wilderness, he would have been qualified to join except that, had the believers not already died out last century, they were certainly dead now.  Anyway, they would have struggled with the most finite proof that there was no such universal force for good: the extinction of the world, to the very last flower.  And so, as he finally settled into sleep, Hamble Axton decided that in the morning he would travel as far as he could and, when he could go no further, he would plant his flower, and lay down beside it where he could at least see it as his eyes closed for the last time.  After his acceptance of the inevitable, the new day was strangely easier and, once or twice, he thought he felt just the merest kiss of wind on his cracked face, but Hamble was well past the caring as he limped into the evening. He could do no more.  Carefully scooping the soil to form a shallow pit, as gently as he had lifted it from the ground just five days earlier, he re-planted the little blue flower and dripped the last of the water onto the fragile petals.  He sat for a while, then he emptied his pockets and satchel and set out his possessions in one last, orderly, act of remembrance.  He wrote his name on a scrap of paper, and even managed a smile to himself as he broke his pencil point, adding a very final full stop, before folding it neatly into his snuff box.  Then, just as deliberately, he composed himself in a protective semi-circle about the flower.  He allowed himself one halting, tender, caress of the bloom with a single fingertip, and waited.  It was not long.  As he floated away he thought he saw a flash of light in the mist, heard voices calling him and smelled fields of summer grass.  But he did not feel the first splash of rain nor see, in the middle distance of his passing, the other blue flower beyond the first, or the rising of his planet’s second moon.


© Andrew Gold

Dildeep and Mooly Visit the Shops

Dildeep and Mooly visit the shops.

Dildeep and Mooly are little and a bit bigger.  Mooly is little and Dildeep is a bit bigger.  Dildeep can nearly reach the kitchen taps.  Mooly has to stand on a stool.

One morning, their Mummy says they are all going to the shops: after breakfast, after Daddy has gone to work.

“I want toast” says Dildeep, “with the crusts off.  I don’t like crusts”.  Mummy knows this.  “What would you like on your toast?”

“I don’t want toast, I want cer-re-ral” says Mooly, rather loudly.  She has her bottom lip sticking out.  “Yes”, says Mummy “but I was asking Dildeep.  And it is more polite to say ‘may I have’, and ‘please’, and not ‘I want’”.

Dildeep says. “May I have, and please, not I want, jam.  May I want strawberry jam?”  While Mummy is putting jam on Dildeep’s toast she speaks to Mooly.  “Now, you would like cereal, yes?” “Yes I want ce-re-ral with milk and jam.  And toast.  And chips”.  Mooly likes chips.

Mooly and Dildeep go to the table.  Dildeep can reach but Mooly has to kneel on a chair.  She has cereal, but not chips, all down her arm and her pyjama sleeves are soggy.  “Oh, Mooly”, says Mummy, “look at your pyjamas, they are all milky!”  Mooly sucks the milk off her sleeve and grins.  She wipes her mouth on her other sleeve, just to make sure.  Mummy sighs.  Dildeep is making a dinosaur with his toast.  Mooly says “Mummy, look; Dildeep is playing with his food!”.  Mooly likes to get Dildeep into trouble sometimes.  “Dildeep makes a fierce roaring sound and bites his toast in half.  “Don’t play with your food Dildeep”, says Mummy.  Dildeep says “I’m not playing – I’m a Toastosaurus”.  Mummy says “Yes dear” and takes her tablet.

Daddy comes in from the bathroom.  He has been getting ready for work.  Daddy is very important .  Mummy says he’s a merchant banker but he doesn’t work in an actual bank. He wears a suit and tie.  He would rather wear jeans but Daddy’s boss doesn’t like jeans at the office, except on Friday.  Friday is the boss’s secretary.  He says “Sorry dear, I am late, no time for breakfast – I have a meeting. I’ll get something at the station”.  Really he is afraid Mooly will spray him with her ce-re-ral.  He kisses Dildeep and Mooly and Mummy goodbye, and sets off.  He has a toast dinosaur stuck to his elbow. Poor Daddy.

After breakfast Dildeep and Mooly get dressed to go to the shops.  “Please may I, can I, not want, to wear my Spiderman outfit?” says Dildeep.  “I don’t think Spiderman is quite the thing for the number 49 bus or Sainsbury’s”, says Mummy, “Why not wear shorts and shirt, it’s such a sunny day?”.  “Dildeep is very pleased.  “OK” he says “I can do it myself.”

Mooly wants to wear her denim overalls with the pink patches and love hearts.  She likes pink and pretty.  She also wants to wear Wellingtons and a woolly hat.  Mooly is not old enough to co-ordinate.  “I think you had better put on your sandals, and you don’t really need a woolly hat on such a nice day”, says Mummy.  “OK” says Mooly “I can do it myself.”

Mooly and Dildeep come to the door.  Dildeep is wearing his Arsenal strip and football boots.  Mooly has on a pair of flip-flops and a Paddington Bear hat.  Mummy sighs.

On the bus Mooly asks, in a loud voice, “Do very fat people pay for two seats, Mummy?”  Mummy says “let’s get off and walk from here, I’ve just remembered I need to go to the post office.”  When they are in the queue at the Post Office they stand next to a very nice lady in a long black dress and large funny white hat. “What’s a grobsite, Mummy? says Mooly.  “That man on the bus said I was a little grobsite.  That was nice of him wasn’t it?  I want to be a big grobsite when I grow up.”  Mummy sees the lady in the black dress is mumbling and playing with some beads and a cross.  Dildeep asks Mummy “Is that lady in fancy dress Mummy?”

Soon they are at the shops.  Mummy asks Dildeep to push Mooly around the shop in the big basket while she goes to get some Cod. “Whee…..faster, faster”, says Mooly.  Mummy hears the crash really quite well from the fish counter.  Mooly is still in the basket, with lots of packets of something called ‘reduced offer’.  Dildeep’s football boots are sticking out of a pile of empty boxes, but the rest of him is head first in the chilled meats.  Poor Mummy; but the shop manager is really quite nice after she gives him lots of money.  He even gives Mooly a biscuit.  It has a name printed on it.  Bonio.  That’s a nice name isn’t it?

When they get out of the Police car, Mummy is very quiet.  Dildeep asks “What’s a care order Mummy?”  Mooly says “What’s medication Mummy?

Mummy sighs.


© Andrew Gold 2007

The Dark Side

The Dark Side

It’s cold on the dark side;

beyond the play of your warming rays,

this satellite of a satellite waits in vain.

The daily rise and set,

with promise of release and light

that tantalize,

but never pass the rim.

A pulse of energy is all,

we are none more than this;

some dying while others flare

with temporary brilliance.

An ember in fading orbit

trapped by the gravity of my love

and lost for ever

on your dark side.

I will

I Will

I am undone

How can you bear to be so patient,

To softly call and see me pass you by?

To know I hear the sigh of Your breathing me

in, and out, in and out with Your gentle, terrifying question,

“Will you?” “Will You?” “Will YOU?”


I am exposed

How can I bear to be so frightened;

To hear my sudden answer, “Yes”, and not know the reason why?

To know it came from ME when I wasn’t there at all,

To know I answered true, I answered true.

Dildeep and Mooly Go to the Country

Dildeep and Mooly go to The Country

 Dildeep and Mooly are brother and sister.  Mooly is Dildeep’s sister and Dildeep is Mooly’s brother.  They are little, and a bit bigger.  Mooly is little and Dildeep is a bit bigger.  Dildeep can nearly reach the middle shelf.

They live in a house, in town, where there are no Horses or Cows or Giraffes or Dinosaurs.  Dildeep likes Dinosaurs but he has never seen one.  He likes them anyway.  He likes the way they bash cars and eat aeroplanes.  And he likes ‘Banjo’.  Banjo is his cat.

One day Dildeep is bored: It is raining.  He says to Mooly “Let’s go across the sea to ‘The Country’, that’s where the Dinosaurs and Giraffes live.  Mummy told me.”  Mooly wants to see a Ninosaur, an’ a Raffe an’ a Norse too, but not a cow.

“Can we be back for tea?” says Mooly, “Mummy said we are havin sossgis today”.  Mooly likes sausages.  And potatoes and bananas, but not peas or blackberries.  She doesn’t like the pippy bits in blackberries.  Dildeep doesn’t like lots, especially not crusts, mushrooms, spinach and apple peel.  He likes snacks, but not cheese.

“I don’t know,” says Dildeep, “but we need to take lots of snacks, so I’ll get them from the fridge, and the sausages – in case.”  He gets some snack drinks and a yoghurt pot.

Mooly doesn’t like the idea of having no proper tea, but packs her bag with her two bestest ever dolls, Baby and Tilly, and her rain hat, and a baby wipe, and her book about how butterflies eat cabbages, and a ribbon that came round her Christmas present.  Dildeep packs his Transformer Killerator Zomboid Drone, some colouring pens and a piece of paper, a football (in case the giraffes want to play), a book about how to speak dinosaur and the walking-about telephone from the kitchen.  And a toothbrush.

“Do they have toilets in The Country?” asks Mooly.  “There might not be any paper, like in the supermarket yesterday.”  “No,” says Dildeep, “they don’t have things like toilets, or baths, or spare underpants or anything.  You’ll have to go now, before we leave.”

When Mooly comes back from the bathroom she says, “How will we go without Mummy seeing? She’ll never let us go to The Country without her,” half hoping that she won’t have to go at all.  Mooly isn’t very sure about there being no toilet or spare underpants.

“It’s alright,” says Dildeep, in his most bravest ‘I’m nearly old enough for school, so I know a lot’, voice. “Mummy will be busy with the ironing for hours, and then she said she was going to make us a cake.  We can go, and be back, before she gets to the end of the sheets”.  The sheets always take a long time because Mummy has to keep stopping to get Banjo off the washing heap.  Banjo likes to play in the washing.

Mooly thinks for a bit and then says “But how will we get there? My trike is broken.”  Dildeep sometimes thinks that Mooly is so completely silly that she doesn’t understand anything at all.  He puts his hands on his hips and rolls his eyes round (he’s seen his Daddy do that) “You can’t go to The County by trike, it’s too far.  We have to go across the sea in a raft and then walk for ages.”  He thinks there might be a bus, but he isn’t very sure so he doesn’t say.

Mooly’s bottom lip sticks out, and she puts one hand up to her eye.  Mooly knows this always works with Mummy, but it doesn’t work with Dildeep.  “Don’t be such a baby,” he says, “it will be a ‘venture.”

“Will there be ‘nakes and ‘piders, I don’t like ‘piders,” says Mooly.  She almost says Boo Hoo, too.

“Yes,” says Dildeep, “snakes and spiders and grerillas, and a hittapoperus.  But it’s OK ‘cos I’ve got my water gun.  Snakes and spiders don’t like water.  I’ll squirt at them if they come too near.”

Soon the raft is ready.  They have a big sheet for a sail, which they have taken off the spare bed so that Mummy won’t notice it has gone.  Dildeep jumps onto the raft, and it rocks quite a lot.  Mooly is frightened it might tip over and Dildeep has to help her get in.  “Cast Off,” Dildeep orders, in his salty seadog captain’s voice.  Mooly doesn’t know what ‘Cast Off’ means, so Dildeep has to do it himself.  They begin to paddle furiously out into the stream and down towards the sea.

After a while Dildeep says “I’m hungry, let’s have a snack.  We can stop over there and make a camp.”  Mooly is quite hungry too, so they paddle for the shore and pull the raft up onto the beach.  They aren’t allowed to play with matches, so Dildeep makes a fire by rubbing sticks together and Mooly unpacks Baby and Tilly to share her snack with them.

“Are we at The Country now” says  Mooly as she tucks into her Apple Crumble and Wheatflake bar (with no added sugar she can hear her Mummy say).  “No, not yet” says Dildeep, “it’s over there a bit, and round the corner past the deadly crushing rocks and the whale cave.”

“Tilly’s tired,” says Mooly “she wants to stay here until tea time.  Can we?”

“No.  I want to go to The Country.  If you don’t go to the Country with me I won’t speak to you ever, never, again.  Even when you come to big school with me.”  So they pack up their camp, and put everything back on the raft.  Dildeep thinks it will be a good idea to take the fire, in case it gets cold near the whale cave.  He’s heard Daddy talk about a fire bucket, so he puts the fire into a bucket and lifts it onto the raft.  “Cast Off”, Dildeep commands.  This time Mooly knows she has to untie the cord from Dildeep’s dressing gown, but she throws it onto the shore instead of bringing it into the raft.  Dildeep is annoyed, because Mummy will wonder what has happened to it.  Soon the current takes them fast into the deep blue sea and sweeps them round the headland and past the whale cave.  Dildeep gets his water gun ready, but the whale must be asleep, because they don’t see even a bubble or a burp from under the waves.  On and on they go, until Mooly is so tired she falls asleep in the bottom of the raft.

She wakes up suddenly when Dildeep shouts “Land Ho! We’re there, look Mooly, we’ve arrived at The Country.”   Below the great grey cliffs there is a small beach where they land the raft and lift out the fire bucket.  “We have to explore up that path and find the dinosaurs and giraffes.”  “And the ‘orses too,” says Mooly “after a snack.”

The climb up the cliffs is very hard, but soon they are at the top and there, ahead, just above the tree tops, they see a tall funny head with two bumpy bits on top.  “Look”, says Mooly.  She is excited.  “It’s a ‘raffe”.  Can we feed it some of my snack?”  “S’pect so”, says Dildeep, “but only a bit ‘cos they might not like it and then we might get into trouble.”

Mooly shows the giraffe to Baby and Tilly.  They are a bit scared and Mooly has to hold them very tight, but they like it really, especially the long eyelashes and big, big, curly tongue.  The ‘raffe licks them.  Then Dildeep sees something else tall above the trees; a big tall neck like a giraffe, but it is all green and scaly and it has big TEETH.

“Help”, says Dildeep as he grabs his water gun “it’s a dinosaur and it’s going to attack us!”  Mooly screams and clings to her brother’s legs.  “ROAR” goes the dinosaur. Squirt, Squirt, goes the water gun into the flashing jaws.  Dildeep transforms his Killerator Zomboid Drone which launches itself into the fight, biting and bashing the dinosaur.  Then Mooly has a brainwave and throws the sausages to the dinosaur, which eats them so fast that it falls over dead with indigestion.  “Gosh, that was close, says Dildeep.  My gun is out of water.  We’d better get back to the raft, and go home before we see any more monsters.”   “But we didn’t see a Norse” yet says Mooly, a bit disappointed.

Back in the sea the raft flies along under the big sail, but the fire bucket tips over in the bumpy waves and soon the raft is on fire from end to end.  “Oh help”, says Dildeep “what shall we do?”  He is very afraid, but Mooly is very clever and uses the bucket to take water from the sea and put out the fire.

Then Dildeep says, “Help! Now there is too much water in the raft and we’re sinking!”  But Mooly uses the same bucket to take the water out of the raft and put it back into the sea.  “Oh Mooly, you are clever,” says Dildeep, “you’ve saved us both, with the sausage eating dinosaur and the fire.  Well done you!  You are a great explorer.” And he gives her a big hug.  Mooly is very proud.

Sure enough, they creep back into their room just as Mummy finishes the cake.  She calls through from the kitchen “Hallo you two, you’re very quiet.  It’s nearly tea time – have you seen the sausages? I thought they were in the fridge?”  She comes into the room, but Dildeep and Mooly are fast asleep on the floor.

She thinks to herself, “What a mess!  Just look at that sheet.  What are the sausages doing in here, and why have they got teeth marks all over them?  And where is Dildeep’s dressing gown cord?  Why are the walls all wet, and what is that bucket doing on the bed?  Never mind, I’ll ask them tomorrow; maybe we can all take a trip to the country.  That will keep them amused!

© Andrew Gold 2007

Dildeep and Mooly Have a Busy Day

Dildeep and Mooly Have a Busy Day

Dildeep and Mooly are brother and sister.  They are little, and a bit bigger.  Dildeep is a bit bigger.  He can nearly reach the pedals in Daddy’s car.  He likes Daddy’s car.

One hot day Dildeep said to Mooly “We should do something nice for Daddy.  Daddy works hard all day so that Mummy can sit around drinking coffee with her friends.”  Dildeep knows this because he has heard Daddy tell Mummy.  Often.

“I know,” says Mooly, “we can clean Daddy’s car while he’s at work.”  Dildeep thinks this is a very good idea.  Daddy goes to work by something called The 7.49 and never has time to clean his car.  Busy Daddy.

The car is on the drive because the garage is full of something that will come in handy one day.  It has been there a long time.  Mummy is waiting for the pigs that can fly to collect it.  Dildeep is looking forward to seeing this, very much.

Mooly gets her special bucket, the red and yellow one for the beach, and fills it with water from the garden pond.  It is a nice pond. It has frogs in it.  And goldy fish.  Dildeep thinks she is silly.  “That will take too long.  We should use the hose”.

The hose has a sprinkly thing on it, for watering the grass, but neither Dildeep nor Mooly know how to take it off.  Mooly says “I know, we can put the sprinkly thing on top of the car, and then it will be like rain.  Daddy’s car will soon be wet and then we can wash it.”

Dildeep cannot quite reach the top of the car, but manages to push the sprinkly thing onto the roof with the garden rake.  Clever Dildeep.  He tells Mooly to turn on the tap, and then get some soap.  Mooly is not tall enough for the kitchen sink, but she can reach the bath.  Nice bubbles.  Daddy’s car will smell of lavender.  He will like that.

Dildeep goes to the kitchen.  He can reach the scrubby thing that makes the saucepans shine so bright.  “That will clean the dirt off nicely,” thinks Dildeep.  While he is in the kitchen, Mummy comes in and suggests, as it is such a nice day, that they go to the park with a picnic lunch.  Dildeep says “After we have made a surprise for Daddy,” and Mummy says “Alright, I’ll start making the sandwiches and the drinks – but don’t be long.”  Dildeep says “Take off the crusts, I don’t like the crusts.”  Mummy knows this.

Outside, Mooly is already soaping the car, but the sprinkly thing is not making the car very wet after all.  “Never mind,” she thinks, “I’ll use the water from the pond.”  See the frogs in the pretty bubbles.  They go all orange when Mooly rubs them.  They make pretty patterns in the purple bubbles.  Dildeep begins to scrub too.  Daddy’s car is very dirty so Dildeep has to rub really hard.  Soon Daddy’s car is lovely and shiny, especially the bits that Dildeep can reach.

Mummy calls from the kitchen that the picnic is ready, and to come in as they have to go the back way to the park.  Dildeep tells Mooly to throw the rest of her bucket of water over the car and to leave the sprinkly thing on, to finish rinsing the bubbles off.  Off they go, hop and skip; what happy children they are.

After the picnic Mummy, Dildeep and Mooly come back by the same way to the house, and Mummy sends them upstairs to wash, so that they will be lovely and clean for Daddy when he comes home.  The water runs into the bath very slowly, and Dildeep remembers the hose.  He turns off the tap, but cannot reach the sprinkly thing because it is inside Daddy’s car, with Mooly’s goldy fish:  Daddy has left the sun-roof open.

When he comes home he is very excited about his nice clean car, and Dildeep and Mooly learn lots of new words.

When Mummy comes to tuck them in, Dildeep asks “What’s a vasectomy?”

© Andrew Gold 2007