TREES GROW OVER
* * * * *
Books/Michaellee James on Smashwords
Grow Over Fences
Copyright © 2017 by Michaellee
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ISBN - [TBA]
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Grow Over Fences and
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experience is an honest teacher. We only fail
we are not willing to learn.”
positive attitude is the fuel to an eagle’s flight”
Praise for Trees
Grow Over Fences
is a very appealing book and it holds the attention from the very
opening to the last paragraph. Philip is particularly well drawn, and
in fact all the characters stand out in this way. And they all come
to life because the story is simply told. I like this book and I was
glad to hear Pegasus was bringing it out soon.”— Michael
author of 30+ books, including Green
Days By the River
evocative story that inspires individuals of all ages and from all
walks of life.” — Dr
MB.BS, FRCS, FRCS CTH/Parent
the power education practitioners hold over children in the classroom
and reinforces the need for children to dream which can be a catalyst
towards success. If forcibly establishes the powerful effect of
parents belief in their children” —
(Headteacher, Inner City of London, England.)
walked into his new classroom, swinging his shoulders. He pushed the
polished wooden desk to one side, slumped into an empty chair and sat
like a drooping teddy bear, scowling his face in an awkward protest
over the head teacher’s seizure of his kite. He curled his index
finger, swept the perspiration from his forehead and brushed his hand
against his blue cotton shirt.
paused for a moment in dismay as my eyes followed the young child
across the room, the class register and pen in my hand. Philip rocked
his shoulders like a see-saw, slammed
arms across his chest and sprawled his legs, his feet extending
beyond the front of his desk.
continued to call the children’s names… ‘Philip Monroe,’ I
said in a soothing tone.
opened his eyes and stared at me as if to say, you
already see that I am here.
decided to allow Philip some time to calm down, but Philip refused to
open the book in front of him. He sat, batting his eyelids and
pouting at his classmates, who were not able to ignore him.
gradually connected with this seemingly difficult, stubborn little
boy. I was eager to find out more about him and to let him know that
I disapproved of the way he conducted himself during the lesson.
I want to see you for a few minutes during the morning break,’ I
could see he was not happy about missing part of his playtime. He
pushed his lips even further forward, sucked his teeth, and flapping
his eyelids once more, he turned his head in the opposite direction.
was not long after the school bell rang, marking the start of morning
playtime. The children stood single-file at the rear of the
classroom, which led to a platform that joined a flight of stairs
descending into the playground. Philip, eager to start an argument,
sprang from his seat.
with his feet apart, he raised one leg and firmly planted it on the
floor. The muscles in his upper arms bulged below his brown skin as
he clinched his hands in two tight fists that hung at the side of his
thighs. He stiffened his lips, and flexing his upper shoulders, he
looked towards his classmates.
you all staring at?’ he bellowed. ‘Mind your own business!’
Philip’s outburst, his nervous classmates glanced towards him and
then in my direction, as if to ask for my response.
down this moment, Philip!’ I commanded.
turned around, threw both his hands into the air, flung himself on
his chair and sat with his shoulders touching the back of the chair,
his bottom hanging off the edge of the seat. I could tell that Philip
was far from being settled when he leaned forward, scratched his
ankle, tossed his hands into the air and clasped both palms on the
crown of his head. I pretended to ignore him, hoping he would calm
I began placing the children’s maths books on their desks in
preparation for the next lesson. Having done so, I ambled towards the
seem to be forgetting the school rules, Philip! I am not at all
impressed with your behaviour!’ I stated in a manner that left him
in no doubt that I was unhappy. In response, he replied, ‘I don’t
Philip!’ I said even more firmly. ‘This is a new school year, a
new class, a new teacher. No nonsense, Philip! No nonsense!’
sat still, shoulders slouched as he focused his glance on the floor.
His dark, curly hair slid forward and covered his forehead, leaving
his eyes barely visible under the thick lens of round metal-framed
spectacles. Intending to ease into a conversation that would be less
reprimanding, I began, ‘I would like to know why you feel that it
is okay to conduct yourself in this manner.’
a chair from a nearby desk, I sat directly opposite him.
did you refuse to open the book?’
remained silent. He seemed to be struggling to tell me something,
something I felt I already knew. The little, ten-year-old boy slowly
turned his gaze towards me and stared into my face, half-hoping that
I already knew and half-daring me to find out.
to the challenge, I leaned forward, whispering.
cannot read. I know you cannot read.’
wriggled his bottom on the chair like
a swimming duck, rolling
his eyes across the ceiling.
don’t want me to know that you cannot read,’ I continued, ‘but
that is okay. That’s okay, Philip.’
bowed his head and fidgeted with the leg of his wrinkled baggy
trousers. Then he turned his wrist and slowly moved his hands towards
the sides of his face and extended his fingers over his forehead to
conceal his eyes.
teardrop made a dark blue spot as it landed on his shirt. He placed
his two index fingers beneath the lens of his glasses and rolled them
over his eyelids. Overwhelmed, he could no longer contain his
emotions and burst into a fit of sobbing. I felt a hard lump pressing
against my throat; a watery cloud seeped across my eyes as I
struggled to keep my eyelids from blinking. I could not cry along
with Philip. Professional ethics would not let me do so. I was, after
all, his teacher.
at that moment, I could no longer ignore my memories of pain,
embarrassment, brokenness and the sense of failure I felt when, like
Philip, I could not read at the age of fourteen.
placed my hands on Philip’s shoulders as I tried to keep my voice
from cracking. I swallowed to get rid of the
lump that stifled my vocal chords.
cry, Philip,’ I whispered.
his head, he stared into my eyes. As I studied his face, he had
evolved into a wonderful little boy, a little boy bent on creating an
invisible shield to hide his pain and insecurities—but also a
little boy who wanted to be able to read.
are wonderful and intelligent, Philip. You’re a champion!’ I told
told him the same thing my father used to tell me. As he turned his
head towards me, it seemed he wanted me to confirm what I had just
are a wonderful and intelligent boy!’ I repeated. I told him that
he was full of possibilities, and there were so many things he could
do that he had not already done. I assured him that being able to
read was just one of those things.
nodded his head, slightly twitching his pink lips to form a discreet
do not need to hide behind your tough attitude,’ I continued, ‘You
could choose to overcome your situation by settling down, by working
hard to change.’
he pretended it did not matter, I felt he had put up his ‘invisible
his remaining months at primary school, I formed a bond with Philip.
Every morning, he came to school early, stood outside the classroom
door and popped his head through the doorway.
you want help, Miss?’ he asked.
Philip, thank you for asking,’ I would reply.
remembered how, unlike my other classmates at primary school, I was
never asked to do a task. I had wanted so much for my teacher to ask
me to help, because it would have gone a long way towards making me
feel I could do something useful.
sensed that Philip was somehow seeking the validation that I never
had. It was the confirmation I longed to see on the faces of my
teachers—even if it was not expressed in words. But perhaps my
agonising sense of failure and low level of self- esteem did not
allow me to do so.
as I looked at the boy, going about his little classroom jobs, I was
amused by how he performed the tasks with the seriousness of a paid
employee, wanting making a statement for promotion. He was so eager
to make a good impression. I could not help but notice that he was
also aware that he had to leave when it was time for me to attend the
morning staff meetings. He knew exactly when he needed to join the
other children on the school yard.
of the school term had passed, and it was the beginning of a new
week. The staff meeting had just ended, followed by the loud sound of
the school bell. I walked briskly towards the courtyard. As I
approached the doorway leading to the playground, I could see Philip
walking alongside the line that his classmates were forming.
behind each other,’ he politely instructed.
was certain I was beginning to see a boy who was gradually settling
down. I recall one occasion when I took the class to their regular
Wednesday morning visit to the school library down the hall. Philip
chose four books and walked towards the large cushions that lay
the blue-carpeted floor. Holding all four books close to his chest,
he knelt and sat on a green spongy cushion.
the four books in his hands, he held one before his face, looked at
the cover and placed the other three books beside him. His chest and
tummy shuddered as he shifted again and stretched his feet out,
pointing the tips of his dusty unlaced trainers towards the ceiling.
lifted the book with one hand, and after examining the back cover, he
opened it and began to turn the pages. It was a book that I knew
Philip would have difficulty reading. Nonetheless, he slowly turned
the pages, though he could not read the words.
was turning the pages! Philip began to turn the pages!
observed him with a sense of joy. I knew that Philip’s journey
towards becoming a reader had begun, as now he was choosing the books
he wanted to read. He was opening them for himself. Although I knew
he was not able to read all the words on the pages, it was sufficient
to know that he wanted to be able to read. He was positive. He had a
change in attitude, and from my own experiences at school—that
action marked the start of a positive, upward journey.
on that day, I sat in the staffroom during my lunch break, reflecting
on my childhood. I remembered the exact moment when I, myself,
decided to ‘start turning the pages’.
the ensuing months, I spent a lot of time helping Philip. I tried
every single approach to reading I knew. It was like starting from
the valley and hiking up to the side of a steep mountain. I
understood Philip’s journey, because I started from that same
‘valley,’ and there was a welcoming sense of accomplishment when,
towards the end of the academic year, Philip started confidently
sounding out letters to read simple words.
time did not wait on Philip. Like always, the seconds, minutes, days,
months and years travelled on. Finally, the last day of his time at
primary school arrived. I looked over at Philip, sitting on one of
the shiny benches in the Assembly Hall.
did not see his mother among the parents who were seated close to the
stage. I did not expect to see her, though. She had to be at work,
and I knew that it broke her heart to be away. She could not afford
to forego any of her wages, which is something she confided to me
during the previous evening.
as I looked at Philip, he seemed so much more confident, so much more
responsible. For a moment, I was overcome by a wave of sadness
because he was about to leave. I was concerned that he was going to
enter secondary school with a level of achievement that was way below
national expectations for a child at the end of the primary school
I felt reassured when I considered that Philip was gradually
awakening the dormant abilities that slept within him. I was consoled
by the thought that, although there would be difficult moments at
school, his growing confidence would see him through, and it did not
matter how incremental his achievements were along the way, he had
the ability to succeed.
thoughts returned to the present as I scanned the pale,
cream-coloured walls that enclosed the Assembly Hall. The entire
place seemed to be transformed into an art gallery, with the writings
and a kaleidoscopic exhibit of coloured paintings
and drawings that showcased the talents and skills of the leaving
the ‘Leavers’ ceremony began; applause echoed through the school
and the children sang their final song that they rehearsed for many
weeks. Then the ecstatic sound of the piano fell quiet. The
Headmaster stood up, surveyed the room and delivered his closing
along the side of the Hall, I made my way towards the class. My
attention was focused on Philip. Our eyes
knitted and he stood, waiting for me to reach him. He smiled as I
approached—and this time it was not a twitch of the lips as it was
on the day we spoke in the classroom. I returned his smile, and
positioning myself beside him, I held his hand and knelt low enough
to look directly into his face, into a pair of watery eyes that
peered back at me through his spectacles.
your best, Philip, I whispered. Your best will always be enough. Your
best must be that you learn to read very well, because you can do it,
Philip. Do you hear me Philip Monroe! You can do it!’
nodded in confirmation that he understood what I was saying.
Assembly Hall was empty by then, save for the classroom assistants,
Ben and Elizabeth, who stacked the long lightly-varnished benches to
one side of the hall. Then they dismantled the much-admired displays
that had graced the wall a few minutes earlier.
released Philip’s hand, watching as he walked towards the exit
door. He stopped, turned around and waved ‘good-bye.’ Once more,
mixed feelings resonated within me, but Philip was moving on, and
unlike the time when I attended school, he was entitled to a chance
at secondary school.
towards the end of the Hall, Philip disappeared from the doorway. I
walked towards the window overlooking the western side of the yard
and watched him go past the fence, towards the school gate. The yard
was enclosed, with iron bars that stood vertically, spaced four
inches apart. It was a fence that was meant to make the children feel
safe and protected. As he went beyond the fence, the lump returned to
my throat. He was no longer in my charge.
put your mind on that child,’ concerned villagers and well-meaning
medical professionals would whisper in my mother’s ear as she
carried a baby in a woven straw basket. Born prematurely in the
absence of today’s medical advancements, this tiny frame of a child
was often seriously ill and was not expected to survive infancy.
immune system was very weak, and because of my fragile state, my
parents kept me away from school as a means of minimizing the risks
of contracting infections that could be
or fatal to me. As a result, I never played much with other children,
and I was not sent to nursery school like my siblings.
was extremely shy and nervous, but my mother and father’s presence
gave me a sense of strength and security. This strong attachment to
my parents was even more noticeable when I started primary school. I
felt like there was a big empty space inside me whenever they were
not around. It was particularly true of my mother, whom we
affectionately called ‘Mummy.’
I always liked having my mother within sight. I remember watching her
one morning as she walked to our vegetable garden across the road.
Upon reaching the gardens, she bent the branches of the swaying pea
trees, broke off clusters of pea pods and threw them into a basket.
Satisfied with her harvest, she stooped, picked up the filled basket,
rested it at the side of her waist and wandered across the road and
into our front yard.
mother’s dark, wavy hair dangled over her shoulders as she sat on a
short wooden bench that kept the entrance door from the porch to the
sitting room ajar. She dipped one hand into the basket of green peas
that she placed in front of her and separated the peas from their
over the porch bannister, I spotted Lydia and Joseph, my elder sister
and brother, in the front yard. Joseph knelt and picked up some
pebbles, playfully flicking them at the trunk of the plum tree that
stood at the bank of the concrete drain that stretched alongside the
stopped digging into the dirt with a piece of guava stick and looked
up at Joseph.
going to tell Daddy you pelting stones!’
thought of going downstairs to join them, but I held one leg up with
my hand instead and hopped to the place where my mother was sitting,
parking myself on the stained wooden floor beside her.
I sat on my heels, pressed my index finger towards my thumb and
tweezed a small piece of green leaf from her warm wet neck. Then
reaching sideways, I dipped my hand into the basket, took a handful
of peas and placed them on my skirt. From time to time, my mother
threw handfuls of green shiny pods into a round, white enamel bowl.
a while, no pods dropped into the container. Wanting to see what was
keeping her from filling the bowl, I looked up. She was sitting
still, cupping pea pods in one hand while the other hand hung loosely
over the basket. It seemed she was deep in thought.
is she thinking about?
leaned her head towards one shoulder as she gave a modest smile,
while I returned a hearty grin.
spent a lot of sleepless nights with you,’ she said. ‘I
came home from work one day and I saw your father leaning over your
bed. His fists were on the mattress as he was gazing into your face
and crying. Your daddy was crying so much that the upper part of his
shirt was soaking wet.’
stopped talking and swallowed—so hard that her windpipe rolled
beneath her pink skin. She did not tell me why my daddy was crying.
She said nothing more.
was the third of ten siblings, and we lived in a small village called
Indian Trail, which was in the Central part of Trinidad. If you ever
visited our village, you would have seen our house, built on a
slightly-raised piece of land overlooking a wide dirt track that led
to the place where my mother’s parents lived.
might have thought of our house as a humble home, with its walls
constructed from the trunk of the bamboo plant and the roof made of
interwoven leaves that formed a thick covering. It is likely that you
also noticed the light-brownish windows with their triangular
bamboo-woven patterns, hanging loosely on their hinges, requiring
that they be opened and shut with care. Perhaps you even might have
figured out why the light, flowered curtains had large outstanding
would have walked upon the narrow village road and most likely
admired the landscape that rose into hilly areas, tapered off into
plains and sometimes dipped steeply to form deep hollows. You might
also remember that, directly in front of our house where the
landscape dipped, there was a dirt track. Looking over the road from
our house, you could not have missed the brink of the slope, with
patches of tall bamboo plants, half-blocking the splendour of the
fiery red blossoms that set the hilly landscape alight.
would have seen the side of our house, where the branches of a
soaring tamarind and mango tree over-arched to provide a welcome
shade from the heat of the furious mid-day sun. It was there that we
played doll house, mimicking the lifestyle of the village. Under
those trees, we sometimes ate our ripe, juicy mangoes that had just
been blown off the trees by the gentle breeze, or sometimes forceful
was from under the shade that I
often admired the bees and butterflies as they hovered around the
scented petals of the bright yellow sunflowers and lady slipper
flowers. I was always eager to join my cousins when they ran after
the butterflies and grasshoppers, but somehow the swift creatures
always escaped me.
now wish that we had taken pictures of our house, because you will no
longer see our first home. When my parents built a two-bedroom house
made of bricks and mortar, we left our little dwelling. Our new house
was built right next to the place where our old one stood. Though the
new one only had two bedrooms, there was still much more space, as
the sitting room was large, and so was the kitchen.
front stair gave entry to the porch and another stair came from the
outer wall of the kitchen and grounded at the back of the house. At
times, I liked to sit on the steps and look at the white fluffy
flower that covered the top of the sugar cane plant.
was in our wooden and concrete house that all of us, except for
Ansil, my youngest sibling, spent most of our formative years.
Extending the two-bedroom house to make more bedrooms was hardly an
option. Therefore, the large lounge became part of our sleeping area,
and at night we would often hear Nanny say, ‘Close all yuh mouth
remember one night when Nanny started her usual storytelling. She
told us a story about some children who were taken away by some
(superstitious folklore character). Joseph also told us a story, but
he got crossed when Lydia told him, ‘Ah think you make up that
softly, Nanny asked Joseph to ‘bring a cup of water from the
kitchen for me, please.’ I thought that Nanny only wanted to stop
an argument between Joseph and Lydia though. I remember how Joseph
became very embarrassed when everyone realised that he was too scared
to go to the kitchen.
loved the scary folklore the best, especially tales of jumbie
There was much humour whenever any one of us became too scared to
leave the story listening group, even to fetch a drink of water from
the kitchen. It was even a little scarier when the wind blew out the
flame from the Flambeau and left the room in darkness until Nanny,
our great-grandmother, found the matches and lit the wick again.
cared for us during the necessary and frequent absences of our
parents—absences that I never failed to notice. I hated the absence
of my parents, but I appreciated and embraced Nanny’s smiles of
love and approval. Whenever my mother was working, it became normal
for my siblings and me to fall asleep next to each other without
seeing either of our parents for the whole day. I remember how I
would sob often at nights before I fell asleep.
us was always my parents’ priority, and they worked hard to provide
for us. Even so, there were rare occasions when six crackers and a
cup of tea or a bowl of thick parched flour porridge were our supper.
But one of the things we all remember about our father was that he
hardly ever returned home without a bag of goodies for us in his
hand. However small, there would always be something for us in the
bag, even if it meant bringing back a part of the lunch he had taken
to work that day.
as we slept, we would smell my father’s cooking. He would awaken us
to eat with him—even if he knew we were not hungry or if he was not
satisfied with the quality or quantity of our supper. This was
because my mother could not prepare our supper due to her work
schedule on some occasions. I believe my father just wanted to see us
awake before he left for work, which was always at five o’clock
Shorty, the village shopkeeper, knew my father well. He kept a book
with the regular food supplies my father often bought. Every two
weeks, the shopkeeper would prepare the items from the grocery list.
My father also had an account that we could use to order supplies
when my parents were not at home. My father would pay off his
accounts at the end of the month when he received his salary.
the road from our house was our vegetable garden, which our parents
loved tending. My mother would tell us to go get some root crops such
as cassava, eddoes, and dasheen or green bananas. We had a small
poultry and pig farm, and we took turns scrubbing and feeding the
my father or Joseph raked the stale grass that was always mixed with
the pigs’ filth, throwing shovels full of smelly waste over the
walls of the pen. This made for a slushy pile just between the pig
pen and our much-loved plum tree. I valued that pile of mush and
to be a great
escape for me whenever I did not want to go to school, which was
often, if not all the time.
we grew up, we were used to borrowing each other’s clothes and
shoes. Our having to ask one sibling to return home on time because
his or her shoes were needed so that another sibling could go out was
a common occurrence. I remember one day when I borrowed Lydia’s
shoes to go to a fun fair with Joseph. Both Lydia and I could not go
at the same time, because there was only one wholesome pair of shoes.
promised Lydia that he would walk me back home halfway through the
funfair so that she would get a chance to attend also. However,
Joseph and I conveniently forgot that Lydia was waiting for her
shoes. When we got home, Lydia was still dressed and sitting
barefooted on the front steps.
was cross, very cross. To be truthful, I felt badly and I thought
that Joseph did also, but that did not stop us from getting into
trouble with my parents. They were quite disappointed that we did
such a thing to Lydia, and so were we.
though, I felt certain that the disparity between the erosion of the
heel of the shoes on our feet and our gait was telling that the shoes
belonged to someone else. All through the fun fair, I tried to
remember to keep my steps steady so I did not end up with a twisted
also remember that my younger brother, Anthon, used to crumble
newspaper and stuff it at the front of Joseph’s shoes so that his
heels would not slip out from the back of the shoes as he walked.
However, we never felt that we were disadvantaged.
mother always told us that we
were her ‘riches.’ We felt complete and content among ourselves
within the family. This contentment did not lie in the physical
things that we had, but in the love that knitted us together.
mother and father always stressed the importance of us caring for
empty your gut and fill it with straw,’ she frequently said,
meaning ‘don’t replace our true selves with something that was
superficial and flimsy.’ She explained that the express meant
‘blood was thicker than water’ and ‘the welfare of each sibling
must take a central place in each of our lives.’
mother was a strong believer that charity began at home. She always
used the words, ‘Inside of our house, we discipline you with love
so that you would have no cause to be disciplined by the law—they
will not do it with love.’
were not allowed to use our then-humble status as an explanation or
excuse for complacency. My parents’ philosophy was especially true
in light of the fact that within our society, education was one of
the central pathways to upward social mobility. Our parents
encouraged us to tap into our own strength and innate abilities in
pursuit of our dreams, and in doing so, to remember to embrace and
support each other as siblings.
clearly recall when, at the age of five, my father took me to the
town of Couva during the summer holidays.
In preparation for the trip, my mother washed my blue and white
polka-dot dress the day before. While taking the dress off the
washing line, she knelt, whispering in my ear.
wearing this dress tomorrow! Daddy like to see yuh in this dress. I
will use Lydia’s two pieces of blue ribbons on your hair.’
could feel my tongue peeping through the space left by the missing
teeth of my lower gum as I hopped and chuckled with excitement. I
liked Lydia’s blue nylon ribbons, and I was happy that I was going
to wear them. Lydia always looked very pretty when she wore those
it was time to get dressed in the morning, my mother parted my hair
and tied each side with the blue ribbons, leaving my brownish curly
hair so that is was brushing lightly on each side of my cheeks.
Joseph entered the sitting room with his hand neatly fitted inside
the front of one side of my pair of black shoes, with my white socks
resting on his shoulder.
have to learn how to put your shoes on. Every time yuh put them on,
left to right— ah going to show you again. The buckles have to be
at the outer side of yuh foot,’ he said. Joseph and Lydia always
showed me how to do things right.
was sitting with her feet crossed and twisting her toes with her
sense sulking!’ Mummy said to Lydia. ‘Yuh left your shoes on de
step. Yuh know that Hero would chew them!’
did not like to see Lydia looking sad. I was very fond of Lydia, so I
was sorry that she did not have another pair of footwear so that she
could come with us. Joseph and I also had only one pair of shoes, and
I was glad that he was a thoughtful brother who always helped me take
care of mine.
was excited about going to Couva. My father got dressed in a white
shirt and black trousers, with a pen clipped to his shirt pocket—just
like he did when he was going to work.
on the short grass beside the road, waiting for a taxi to take us to
Couva, Daddy sighed as I squinted up at him.
is Saturday morning,” he said, looking down at me. ‘Plenty people
going to shop in Couva; we might have to wait long for a car.’
just as he finished speaking, Mr Selwyn hooted his horn as he pulled
up in front of us. My father breathed a sigh of relief as we got into
the car and headed off on our drive to Couva.
we passed our neighbour’s house, the branches of Mr Joey’s cherry
tree brushed the top of the car. Mr Selwyn was trying to drive past a
black and white cow that was tied with a long nylon rope to the
bamboo patch on the other side of the road. It looked like the same
cow I saw Mrs Franklyn taking up the day before.
down the road, Mrs Franklyn stood under a galvanize donkey shed in
front of her shop, waving her hand, but Mr Selwyn did not stop to
pick her up. I was not sure why he just kept on driving—even though
there was still one empty seat. I felt that it could have been that
Mr Selwyn was still upset with Rupert, Mrs Franklyn’s son.
few days earlier, Rupert was pelting a mango tree and broke the
windscreen on Mr Eddie’s car. I heard Mr Eddie telling my father
and Mr Selwyn that Mrs Franklyn said that she was not going to pay to
fix the car because the car should not have been parked under the
also said that no one could say for sure that it was the stone that
Rupert pelted that broke the windscreen. She said that it could just
as well have been a falling mango, but people were always blaming
Rupert. Mr Eddie said that he had to take the car to the garage, and
the result was that instead of having three taxis in the village,
there were only two. Mr Selwyn told Mr Eddie that he should tell Mr
Franklyn instead of his wife.