They could always rope the local kids into their games and either of them was happy to take the credit for the fun, with one notable exception. None
of the kids wanted to admit to being the one who had noticed that the cow pats in the local fields made excellent Frisbees. How many happy hours had
they enjoyed in those fields flinging the cow pats at each other until Vicky picked one up that had been carelessly 'dropped' onto a nest of red ants.
That was one of the very rare occasions when Vicky screamed, but everyone had agreed that she was entitled to. That was the end of the Cow Pat
Vicky finished the reading for her rather bemused victim and Jeanie asked her if she wanted to come on the walk, dangling the prospect of Nick and
Greta snogging in front of her friend. Vicky started to snicker at the thought as she packed up her table and blackboard.
The table had a bit of a history and had been a prop for Vicky in the past when she'd used it as an altar in the back garden. It had occurred to her
that her dog had not been christened and she was a bit concerned about it.
She hadn't been christened either, but felt that she could grow up to do good works and get into Heaven that way. But the dog, she knew, wasn't
likely to have as many years on Earth as she was looking forward to and would probably have little chance to do good deeds.
What had started off this chain of thought had been the discovery of an ivory silk christening gown, tucked away at the back of the top shelf of her
mother's wardrobe. Knowing that it had never been used for her, Vicky thought it was a shame to waste it when there was another family member in need
of it and had started to plan the christening for the dog.
She arranged for three of her friends, including Jeanie, to be godparents and had set up the table in the back garden. She'd filled her mother's best
fruit bowl with water and sorted out the best table spoon with which to scoop the water over the dog's head.
Blessing the water might have been a problem for anyone less resourceful than Vicky, but she had it covered. She'd waved her cursing stick over the
water and intoned a few appropriate words and was sure that the water was properly charged.
The cursing stick had been made by herself and was very effective. It was about a yard long and sported various ribbons and small plastic skeletons
and skulls that Vicky had found in Christmas crackers and Lucky Bags. Vicky had drawn her inspiration from Gagool, who she had read about in King
Solomon's Mines – another book left by the grandparents – and seen depicted with just such a stick.
If she didn't grow up to be a ballerina Vicky thought she might grow up to be a Witch Doctor since it wouldn't take the years of training required to
be a ballet dancer. She was planning to run away to Africa when she was older and learn from a Witch Doctor over there. She thought she might stay a
while with Tarzan and hoped he would introduce her to one.
Sadly for Vicky and the dog, the godparents didn't turn up for his christening which left Vicky to do the entire ceremony by herself. The dog,
although not especially large, was quite big for a nine year old to handle and didn't appreciate being dressed in the christening gown, lovely as it
was. Vicky managed to get him to the table / altar without any mishap, but struggled to hold him while she was ladling the now-holy water over his
head. With a final surge of energy the dog wriggled free and ran away, jumping all over the garden.
To Vicky's absolute horror, he put his front paw through the gown ripping it from nearly the neck to the toe. One long, straight, irreparable rip.
Poor Vicky finally managed to catch the dog and disentangle him from the ruined gown. Carefully, she'd folded it up so the tear wouldn't show and
packed it away in its box, hiding it at the back of the wardrobe where she'd found it. (She didn't expect to be forgiven if it was ever discovered
and spent many months hoping that no-one close would produce any babies).
Then, to take her mind off the disaster, she'd gone back into the garden to practise walking along the washing line, preparing herself for the day
when she would be a famous circus artiste.
The dog went about his business, barely christened and Vicky worried a bit that he might not be allowed into Heaven in the absence of any godparents
who, she had decided, ought to be forgiven for not turning up, as an act of charity on the day of the dog's welcoming into the Faith.
She comforted herself with the fact that he had, at least, had some religious instruction. Shortly after she'd learned to read, a few years ago,
she'd read the entire Book of Genesis to her dolls, Teddy, a blue toy rabbit and a rather fidgety dog, stopping to carefully explain all the bits she
thought they might find hard to understand. She hoped that the dog had been paying closer attention than he had appeared to.
Now, though, the table had served its purpose for the day and Jeanie and Vicky headed off to meet Nick and Greta for their soppy walk through the
hills, where they would hold hands and gaze at each other and, the girls tried to hold in their giggles, SNOG.
The girls hadn't bargained for the teenagers getting so miserable with them when all they'd done was laugh at them for kissing, although Greta always
had been a bit wet and it didn't take much to set her off.
Even so, after getting bored with playing Gymkhanas they went back to point and laugh at Greta and Nick all over again and were now lumbered with
wheeling Nick's bike along the bridle path.
They were quite a way ahead of the other two, having been made aware of their acute displeasure and were scared to get within eye-shot again. Nick
and Greta had made a bit of a mistake in dismissing them in this way as, if anyone needed careful watching when they were together, it was Jeanie and
Who could have guessed that Vicky was about to have one of her evil brain-waves at the very time she needed one?
Looking at the floor, she'd noticed some horse droppings and carefully steered the bike around them, half wondering why she was bothering when Nick
would jolly well have deserved it if she'd pushed his tyres right through the mess. She started to look out for some more, thinking that perhaps
she'd be a bit less careful next time. Except, ooh boy, now she had The Idea.
She called Jeanie over to put The Idea before her and was delighted to see Jeanie start to laugh and agree to carry out the evil plan.
Diligently, and with great care the two little girls filled Nick's saddle bag with horse droppings, imagining with great glee how surprised he'd be
when he got home and found it. They could barely contain their little selves as they accomplished their mission and walked on as if nothing was
They (just) managed to behave perfectly for the rest of the walk, being quiet as mice (a sure sign for anyone who knew them that they were up to
something) and leaving Nick and Greta in peace. Just up the road from their houses, they handed Nick's bike back to him and prepared to take their
When Greta piped up 'Nick, can I have my headscarf, please? It's in your saddle bag'.
The two little girls looked at each other – that very familiar look that both of them were used to whenever they got rumbled. Neither of them had
known about the scarf, tucked away in the dark depths of the saddle-bag, and they hardly knew whether to laugh or cry.
They started to move away as casually as they could as Nick put his hand into the saddlebag. Vicky was the first to run as they were pelted with the
offending matter, making it all the way to the safety of her front gate where, thankfully, her mother was standing, gossiping as usual.
Jeanie wasn't so lucky and had to go home with her whimpering sister, after having been on the receiving end of most of the missiles.
A couple of days later when Jeanie and Vicky met up and discussed the event they both agreed that they'd never be forgiven for this one.
edit on 24-11-2011 by berenike because: (no reason given)