Little Jacky Pontin sat on the lawn of her parents house hugging her legs. Her chin resting on her knees, big bright eyes wide and shining with delight, she chattered away to her mother who was hanging out a pile of washing. This was the time she enjoyed most . Now nine years old Jackie felt she deserved some girly time to discuss girly things.
They had gone at length into Miss Venmore’s pathetic attempt at casting for the end of term play. The idea of Fiona Discombe playing Maid Marion was nearly as ridicules as Antony Philips playing Robin Hood, any fool could see he would be far better suited as Friar Tuck.
They had covered Boris Johnson’s method of handling the corona pandemic and the affect it was having on Jacky’s education. Mrs Pontin did not agree with any off the opinions held by Jacky, indeed she found one or two quite surprising, and wondered which of the teachers had voiced such extraordinary ideas, definitely not a devout conservative she decided. As often on these occasions Mrs Pontin decided to just nod politely, rather than spoil the pleasant atmosphere.
Jacky explained in great detail the pecking order necessary to establish just who could sign their name on Linder Watson’s plaster cast, and why. Obviously the higher places just below the knee were solely for Linder’s best and closest friends. As Jacky had never considered herself to be in this select few, nor harboured any desire to be so, she had been content with the small, sideways gap just above the ankle allotted her.
Another important item on the agenda had been the time spent with David Newman and his family. They lived some quarter of a mile away in a pleasant house with a large garden, and three acers of land.
David’s father was a baker, he and his wife spent most of their time in the bakery on the high street of the near by town. Jacky, had an open invitation to cycle over to their house whenever she wanted to visit. David had four rabbits, three guinea pigs, and strange assortment of poultry, all of them sharing a large, old-fashioned poultry house with an extensive enclosure.
Jacky, David, and David’s sister Lilly, would spend countless hours sitting amongst the animals, playing with them. And giggling at their antics and games.
Mrs Pontin had to agree eventual, that the only possible reason for Twitch, the small black doe, to stand on her back legs, shaking her front legs in perfect time to , One Direction’s latest release, was that she had a vastly superior taste in music than Mrs Pontin.
The afternoon wore on. Mr Pontin, sauntered out with a pleasant smile on his face. He sat down next to his daughter, and asked casually.
So what other things do the pair of you get up to then?
Jacky thought for a few seconds, then replied.
Well, sometimes we play the sausage roll game.
Oh , yes and what exactly is the sausage roll game? Asked Mr Pontin absent mindedly, gently removing a ladybird from his knee. And watching the little insect get it’s wings out and fly away.
Well, explained Jacky. David lifts up my skirt, and pulls down my knickers, and you know the little soft crack ,in-between my legs the where the wee comes out, well! We call that the pastry; then he takes down his shorts, only he hasn’t got any pastry, he’s got a sausage, so he puts his sausage into my pastry and slides it in and out. And we both shout, sausage roll! Sausage roll! Sausage roll! And it sort of tickles. We have to do it thirteen times of course. Jacky added almost as an afterthought.
The silence was deafening. Even the black bird at the end of the garden, let go of her worm and stood aghast, open beaked. Mrs. Pontin’s face, resembled a pilot, believing herself to be skilfully weaving her aircraft between fluffy white clouds, has just seen a heard of mountain goats on one cloud. Eventual Mr Pontin stammered in a hoarse croak.
Why do you have to do it thirteen times. Jacky sighed, then explained, with the air of someone who has spent all afternoon trying to teach algebra to a particularly stupid gibbon unsuccessfully, but has decided to give it one last try.
Because there’s thirteen in a baker’s dozen dad, surely you know that?