THE DESOLATE GARDEN
One gloriously sunny afternoon when Tilly was helping her mother to carry in the dried washing from the line stretched over the long grass at the rear of their farm house, she suddenly started to laugh for no reason.
“What on earth is the matter, Tilly!” Mary asked in an agitated fashion, at first mistaking the laughter to be one of distress. “Are you okay?” she asked.
“Perfectly, mum! I was thinking of a funny thing said at my school this morning. It was so amusing that I just had to laugh again.”
“What was it then?”
“Well, the bell had rung ages ago when Glen, you know him Mrs Robert’s son finally arrived in class. Miss Susan asked why he was late and he replied; because the school started too early, Miss! Everyone rolled up. Of course, that didn’t include the teacher. She was not amused at all!”
“At least he was quick-witted.” Mary responded.
“Yes, he was! It started me thinking though, mum, about how different we all are but share happiness and sorrow. By that, I mean, that there are so many languages spoken in the world while a smile is a smile wherever one goes. I wonder why?” Tilly asked.
“I don’t know the answer to that one, Tilly, perhaps dad does. We’ll ask him at dinner tonight. He said that he’ll be late home, that’s why Teddy went to help out. Ploughing can be a very tiring job on your own!” thoughtfully she replied.
“I know the answer, but I don’t want you to think I was eavesdropping on your conversation because I wasn’t. No, noise travels easily through my clouds. I listen carefully to hear voices that I know! Hello there, Tilly! Hello, mum! How are you both?” It was Jacobi, hanging from the underneath of Nebula, his favourite cloud.
“It’s looking heavenly down here today, would you mind if I came down and had a cuppa with both, mum?” he asked.
“I simply can’t remember the last time someone other than me made the tea! Once a poet always a poet! Don’t you agree?”
“I do indeed,” mum replied, adding. “It will be my pleasure to concede,” she giggled at her rhyme. “Not only will I concede to your wish, but it will be an absolute honour to welcome you to our home, Jacobi. I only wish Peter and Teddy were here to greet you!”
Jacobi was in good spirits as Nebula split in half allowing the old man to lower himself gently to the ground grasping what appeared to be a white rope but was, in fact, a thin vapour of mist.
“Well, then, in that case, we will enjoy each other’s company whilst supping tea and dunking biscuits together! Have you any of those delicious all butter shortbreads of yours, Tilly?” he asked, taking her hand as she led the way into the kitchen.
“ I do and I know where Teddy hides his chocolate digestives, Jacobi. He thinks I’m thick!” she announced loudly.
“Good oh!” he said. “Let’s leave the discussion about fun until the other two arrive, as it is a bit of a sad tale to relate on an empty stomach.”
“Did the birds not feed you?” mum asked in amazement.
Book Three in the Teddy and Tilly's travel series.