Monday, November 29, 2010

Playing Truant!

suggested the illustration.


'While I'm away' said Mother,
'Make sure you practise your scales!
Practice makes perfect, my darling;
An adage that never fails!
Make sure you practise that little waltze
That Father likes so well!
When he comes home from work tonight
He will be able to tell
If you haven't been industrious!
I'll be away an hour!
Now, don't be a baby, Petunia!
No need to look so sour!'
I practised my scales, and the little waltze
For just a moment or two;
Then a smell drifted up from the kitchen,
As smells are inclined to do!
It was Emily making a pudding!
I could sense the aroma of spice!
There were plums, there were dates, there was brandy!
And they tell me brandy is nice!
My fingers fell still on the keyboard,
For a moment I fought temptation!
Well-brought-up little girls like me
Must always remember their station!
Emily was 'below stairs',
Not the rightful place for me.
All I ever saw of Emily
Was when she brought up the tea!
I pushed open the door to the kitchen;
Inside it was warm and cosy
With Emily humming a little tune;
With her cheeks all bright and rosy.
'Come in, love' she said, in a friendly way;
'I'm sure you're lonely upstairs!'
She didn't seem to mind a bit
That I'd caught her unawares!
I put on one of her aprons,
Though it dragged down on the floor,
And I had such fun that afternoon;
I was happy as never before!
I mixed, I stirred, I sifted!
I even licked the spoon!
But, oh dear, the front door opened!
 It was Mother, home too soon!



He stood there in his ragged clothes
Wearing a tangled beard,
Swarthy, unkempt and derelict,
A wild man to be feared.
'Why have you let this wretch inside?'
Mother cried out in dismay.
'He has no right to come in here!
Vagabond! Go away!'
The children watched with staring eyes
As the stranger stood his ground.
With an odd expression he stood and gazed,
Without uttering a sound.
'Begone!' cried Mother, 'You have no right
To force your way in here!
You've frightened the children and scared the maid!
Now! Do I make myself clear?'
The more he stood, the more he gazed,
The more the Mother faltered.
'Who are you?' she said in a softer voice,
The timbre of it altered.
For, suddenly she recalled a boy, 
A brother just sixteen,
Who had left her side many moons ago,
And had nevermore been seen.
They had heard he had died on the battlefield,
In some far-distant place.
They had also heard that he broke the law,
And had ended in disgrace.
They had mourned a while and wept a while
But that was so long ago.
How could this poor wretch standing here
Be someone she used to know?
But then she saw the expression
In his deep and sunken eyes,
And she knew that, indeed, it was Ivan,
And that all they had heard was lies.
'Set another seat at the table'
She said weeping joyful tears,
For brother Ivan is home again,
After many, many years.'


Timoteo said...

I enjoyed this one. (And did he say, "The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated?")

Reflections said...

Both lovely writes... like the thoughts that Ivan has returned after so many years, lends to hope.

Maude Lynn said...

Both of these are just fabulous!

Anonymous said...


Lyn said...

This "practise" really hit the right notes for me..I can identify totally.
And the Visitor..many years can't erase love! Both lovely...

signed...bkm said...

Two wonderful tales both of them heartwarming and filled with the season....amazed at the stories you write that can touch the heart so....blessings and thanks for posting...bkm

Short poems said...

Tow lovely verses, enjoyed them very much :)

Anonymous said...

Such an enjoyable post !! super :)

Amateur Economist said...

Really nice I throughly enjoyed it :)
Do visit my blog when free :