Lorna disliked her name. Some kids at school would ridicule her: “Lorna needs mowing” and “Do you wash your clothes in the Lorna-dry?” and so on. These kids thought they were clever, but Lorna was hurt. She wanted to change her name.
“Can I change my name?” she asked her mother.
“Perhaps you could use your middle name,” suggested her mother. Lorna’s middle name was Elizabeth.
Lorna said she’d think about it. And then… quite by accident… Lorna discovered…
Lorna Doone: A Romance of Exmoor, a novel by Richard Doddridge Blackmore. She loved it! Why would she ever want to change her name from Lorna? Lorna! The woman who married the handsome and brave Jan Ridd! The woman who lived happily ever after!
James was driving along quite comfortably. His three year old daughter was strapped into a safety seat in the back.
James needed to make a turn into a side street. He had plenty of time to turn, even though there was an oncoming car travelling at speed towards him.
Just as he turned two young skateboarders began to cross the road right in front of him. No warning; nothing. They hadn’t even looked. James had to make an instant decision: does he screech to a halt in the middle of the turn and avoid the skateboarders, or does he plough into the skateboarders and prevent his daughter in the back from being struck by the approaching speeding car?
A parent’s instinct is stronger than anything else. The court case is next week.
Barbara made almost enough to get by on. She had two little children, and a little dog. Her partner had long left on a container ship. He had no intention of coming back. It was with a great deal of relief that Barbara managed to rent a little house within her budget.
The next door neighbour also had a dog; a pit bull terrier. It was a violent thing. It barked and smashed into the boundary fence like it wanted to kill Barbara and her children and their little dog. However, the man and woman living next door kept it under control.
And then the man died. He dropped dead in the middle of the night, slap bang at his front door.
After that, the woman living there had no control over the pit bull terrier. Barbara kept her mouth shut. She didn’t want to create a fuss at such a mournful time. But Barbara’s children couldn’t play outside, and nor could the little dog. In fact, Barbara was too scared to go outside to hang the washing out.
Barbara went to see the lady next door and explain. “Phh!” said the lady. “Phh! That was my partner’s dog. It’s precious. Surely you don’t expect me to get rid of my late partner’s dog? How heartless. Get a life.”
Things with the pit bull terrier went from bad to worse. Barbara went to the police. The next day Barbara’s little dog lay dead on the front porch. There was a note under the door. If you go to the police again your kids are not safe.
Barbara packed her kids in the car and headed for the Women’s Refuge Centre.
Pam was walking through the city mall and stopped dead in her tracks. There it was in front of her! A children’s play house! It was exactly as in her dream; the same little windows and doors, the same paint colours. It even had a little doorbell that Pam remembered ringing in her dream. And it was being raffled to raise money for the zoo’s rare goat breeding program.
The playhouse would be ideal for her grandchildren. And there was plenty of room to place it at the far end of her garden. In fact, it would look very pretty there. Pam took ten tickets at ten dollars each.
“I can’t believe it!” crooned Pam. “It’s exactly the same as in my dream. I know I’m going to win. Coincidences like this don’t happen without a reason.”
That night, she dreamt she’d won it. But the winning ticket had the number 2 in it. None of Pam’s tickets had a 2 in the number. Pam returned to the mall and bought ten more tickets, each with a 2 in the number. She had spent a total of two hundred dollars on what she regarded as a dreamed certainty.
And you know what? I know that you’re thinking the inevitable. You’re thinking that, of course, SHE WON! SHE WON! SHE WON! Or conversely, you’re thinking, SHE DIDN’T WIN! SHE DIDN’T WIN! SHE DIDN’T WIN! But no! The raffle is not due to be drawn until next Thursday.
As Janine backed the car out of the garage to take the two children to school she knew she’d run over the children’s pet cat. There was a bump.
“What was that?” asked Pedro.
“The car needs tuning. I have to take it in to get fixed later today,” said Janine.
She dropped the children at school, came home, gathered the dead cat, and put it in a box.
She would tell the children the cat had died. They could bury it in the garden and plant flowers on its grave. Then there would be the lengthy business of finding another kitten – Which one? Which colour? Which sex? Which size?
Thanks goodness Janine was experienced in the matter. It was their fourth cat in two years.
Of course a lot of people don’t know how to part their hair in the right place. There are a lot of people who simply part their hair where they feel like it, but the head has a natural part. If you part your hair in the natural place, you look a lot younger.
My husband is bald, so he wouldn’t know where to part his hair. We came out from Cambodia over thirty years ago. I said to my husband then, that we have absolutely no relatives here, not even a solitary old auntie, so we’d better start making babies so that we have some relatives. So that’s what we did. We made three babies, and then I got a job in Johnsonville while the smallest was still small.
I’m not a grandmother yet, but the oldest boy is twenty-eight now. He had a girlfriend but when he broke up with her it broke his heart and now he’ll have nothing to do with girls. My husband and I, ours was an arranged marriage. I said to my son, there’s lots of relatives overseas who will find a pretty Cambodian girl for you to marry. Then you can start making babies. But he’s more into not doing that. He says he’ll find someone when he’s ready. But he’s not going to get back his girlfriend because she already married somebody else. I said you go online and find a girl on Twitter or something, but he won’t do that.
After Johnsonville I got another job in Wellington, but it didn’t pay as well, and I had to travel there and back. There was no time for the garden. I like my garden very much. So I said to the boss that I would work only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so that’s what I do.
Anyway, that’s your haircut finished. Just pay as you leave.
Wilma was enthusiastic. She had finished her teacher training. She had applied for a job at the local school. She landed her first teaching job after her very first interview. She was to teach a class of six year olds. How wonderful! Wilma spent most of her summer preparing for the up-and-coming new school year.
Her classroom was a picture: colourful paintings and posters and blocks and educational toys and everything… just everything. And pride of place was a real live axolotl. The children would learn to care for it; to feed it and keep its living quarters clean.
The first day arrived! Welcome children! Welcome! Let’s learn everyone’s names!…
… And last, but not least, is the classroom’s pet Axolotl. His name is Joachim. Say hello to Joachim, children.
Wilma enthusiastically gesticulated towards Joachim, who lay there, in his living quarters, stark raving dead. As stiff as a board.