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A Right Fool
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Mothers forever seem to be a-frettin' about somethin' or other, don't they?
Whether it's your boot laces that trail on the ground behind you during Sunday church, or the mornin' egg yolk that constantly seems to be dribblin' down your front after breakfast, they always seem to know how to put you in your place. But I, as a young lad, learnt that listenin' to your Ma is better for you than anything ever could be. So, you'd best be a-lookin' at this here story, so you don't end up like the right fool I am, and always will be.
Me Ma had just made me brothers and sisters and I a right big meal of Yorkshire pudding (with a fat dollop of strawberry jam on top for me, much to me Pa's disgust), and beef drowned with gravy, leavin' me full as a pig.
Me feet were trailin' in the cool waters of the Windsor Way River, and I was just a-thinkin' what me Ma would say when she saw me soaked Sunday socks, when I felt something 'airy brush against me nose! Bein' the naive lad I was at the time, I simply sniffed and snorted and rubbed me snout, expectin' whatever-'twas to sail away into the afternoon breeze.
But... It didn't.
Och... if only me dear Ma could have seen me then. I was a-snortin' and a-sniffin' and a-jumpin' till me legs couldn'a take it no more, but the 'airy whatever-'twas sat fast.
The thing that was really a-grindin' on my nerves was that I couldn't take a look at it... could I?
As me dear Ma 'ad always told me, in a right firm tone of voice, "Listen 'ere laddie, you behave like the well-brought up lad you are. No pullin' of faces or crossin' of eyes, there's many a persons out there who'll think, quick as a wink, that your Pa and I are raising a raving lunatic."
And, she'd said, the wind could change before you could say King George, and you'd be a-stuck like that forever and onward.
Furthermore, if I was a-goin' to be a-crossin' me eyes, I would be disobeyin' me Ma.
But, how else could I take a peek at the 'airy annoyance lazin' about on me snout?
So, I did. Me vision grew somewhat blurry, and me eyes focused on me nose... together with the glarin' green whatever-'twas sittin' atop it.
Its 'airs must have been as long as me Ma's thinnest sewin' needle, all stickin' out into the air like grass out of soil. Its eyes were like blackened peanuts on the sides of a non-existent nose.
Aye, there was no doubt about it; this wee chap was an old caterpillar.
So, I gazed at it and it gazed at me, only he was just too lucky not to have his eyes crossed as he did so. Och... I couldn't merely flick the little guy off me nose: that would just be too rude.
So, bein' the 'well brought up lad' I was, I lay down on the soft grass, told 'im to take his time, and closed me eyes.
I must've slipped into a doze, because I was awoken to a sharp stab of pain atop me nose.
I must've been so used to crossin' me eyes by then that I immediately opened them to find that rotten caterpillar still lazin' about atop me freckles. I could've sworn I saw a tad bit o'menace lurkin' on his lips.
I flung him to the side, now knowing better than to stay in the company of that nasty, wee chap!
The bite itched and stung, and I rubbed me snout up and down, side to side, me mouth goin' every which way. I must've looked like a downright lunatic.
'Owever, as I did so, I didn't see the old oak tree's load o' leaves behind me start to blow easterly.
Aye, that was what 'appened; that 'orrid wind changed, and I felt the full force of it, believe you me. Me nose ceased to itch no more, and as I tried to straighten me twisted features, I couldn'a.
Me Ma gave me a large hidin' that Sunday night, before sendin' me to bed without supper.
And so, I'm still stuck like a green-eyed dodo today; freckled nose wrinkled, mouth twisted, eyes crossed... a right fool I was.
A right fool.
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