Tuesday, September 30, 2008
“There is a garden in every childhood, an enchanted place where colors are brighter, the air softer, and the morning more fragrant than ever again.”
When my brother and I were little I remember a big commotion in our house. My mother had one day put her hand idly in the biscuit box, intending to fetch for herself a chocolate snack, but her searching fingers instead touched a torn piece of paper and some scattered crumbs.
The message, scrawled, unsettling and anonymous, was this: "Ta for the biccies. Yum yum." There were no biscuits- or biccies, as we fondly called them- left inside the box. The strange culprit had even expressed gratitude, conveyed with brevity in the succinct word 'ta.'
The next few hours were filled with interrogation of such gravity that I recall it to this day.
Who wrote the note? we were asked over and over, it being most unlike either of us to perform such a practical joke.
If it was not my brother's work, and it was not mine, then, we were warned, it must have been an intruder and the police would have to be called. That, as hoped, terrified both my brother and I but, in its own way made the matter far worse, such that admitting to the act was no longer an option.
Unfortunately, undermining the seriousness of the matter and perhaps, conversely, because of it, I laughed each time the question was posed to me. My mirth, quite out of order, was like a brilliantly lit flame of guilt rising above my head. But I had not committed the biscuit-crime and it was a wholly innocent head.
I suspected my brother, but he denied it, denied it steadfastly for hours until the fellow broke down and confessed all, finally exonerating me.
The police were never called- of course- and remained only a vague threat- but their very mention was enough to cause trepidation in the youngest heart.
I recollect no reason why my brother saw fit to eat all the biscuits that afternoon and leave a nonsensical note in their stead; but his was a deed that was surely written with indelible ink.
Posted by Phyllis Hunt McGowan at 1:36 PM