Once a month, Sister Mary Hedwig organised her Year 4 class to do something to raise money for the Missions. It would be only a little thing. Each theme would last a week. For example there was Bring a Stuffed Toy Week and there was Wear Something with Spots On Week. If you took part you would pay as little as one cent although you were always welcome to give more. Sister had a little nest egg hidden away for those who couldn’t or didn’t pay. The money would go into the piggy bank sitting on Sister’s desk. One year the class made almost fifty dollars which they sent to Brigitte’s uncle who taught poor children in Rwanda.
For the Bring a Stuffed Toy Week Nigel brought along bits of a teddy bear torn to pieces by his dog. It’s really stuffed, said Nigel. Language Nigel, language, said Sister and charged him two cents instead of one. My father put me up to it, said Nigel.
One day Esme turned up to school wearing the most elaborate necklace. It must have been worth a pretty penny. It had real pearls (at least they looked like real pearls) with silver interconnecting bits. It’s my grandmother’s, said Esme. She said I could borrow it for the week provided I was careful.
But why are you wearing it to school? asked Sister Hedwig.
You said not to forget our theme for the missions: Necks Week.
I said next week, said Sister Mary Hedwig.
Esme went a delicate pink. Nigel thought it was hilarious.