Saturday 25 June 2016

A Tall Story by Sharon Bennett

Has it happened before? Yes, actually. When I was five, playing outside, with my brother. He broke my new doll, so I took his football, squatted real low and threw it up high. That ball never did come down. I know what you’re thinking - it must have landed somewhere, gone over the fence into next door’s sandpit, or got stuck up a tree? But I’m afraid you’re wrong. It vanished into thin air.  
The next time? That would be when the games teacher said I was too tall for ballet, that I had to play basketball instead.  Not a good idea, I said, far too risky, and told her about my brother’s ball. She laughed at me, so I chucked her match whistle into the sky, you know, just to demonstrate. And that was the last we saw of it. Maybe it got sucked into a hole. I mean, gym whistles are only tiny. Or perhaps it  slipped through a gap in the clouds. Or even landed on one and stayed put. There must be quite a collection of items up in the blue. I’m surprised none of the stuff comes down with the rain.
For example, if a pancake ever lands on your head, when you’re out shopping, it might be the one I tossed and lost during the cookery lesson that time, before the pan caught fire. Or if it ever rains white lilies, with the odd bit of greenery, at no extra charge, you can blame my sister. I know the bride normally does the bouquet throwing, but we were discussing technique. After our other chat, moments before, when she explained how I would have to  stand at the back for all the photographs. Too tall you see.
Anyway Mrs Jackson, you can see where I’m coming from, what with my height and history and everything.  I’m only thinking of you and your family. What would happen, say, if I held your baby above my head?  Did a little throw, you know, to make her giggle. We might never see her again.   
You’re saying you need a babysitter for this Saturday night?  Well, I’m just wondering,  are you sure you don’t want to ask somebody else?  

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