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At the Bottom of the Garden

At the Bottom of the Garden

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Published by Thomas Thurman
A short story set in the world of my book "Not Ordinarily Borrowable", ten years later.

(Not particularly unsuitable for children, but not written as a children's story.)
A short story set in the world of my book "Not Ordinarily Borrowable", ten years later.

(Not particularly unsuitable for children, but not written as a children's story.)

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Published by: Thomas Thurman on Nov 02, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/02/2010

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 At the Bottom of the Garden
by
Thomas Thurman
This short story happens ten years after the events in
 Not Ordinarily Borrowable
.
ennifer opened the oven tocheck on the bread, nodded,and closed the door. She lookedup at her neighbour, stood upagain, and smiled, wiping herhands on her apron as shecontinued talking. "But werescued the dragon after all. And then there was the time Iwas trapped in the librarytower. All those recipe booksand nothing to eat!""You seem to have a taste for adventures," saidCarmen. "It's good that you're with Maria, really. You're both the adventurous type.""Everyone seems to think that," said Jennifer, "butwhen you get to know her, Maria's just as happysitting alone with her books as she'd be on some questor other. Not like me. I'd go crazy living a settled life."1
 
Carmen had first met Jennifer and Maria when theyhad moved into their new house, only the week before,but what she knew of them did not seem to match withJennifer's words. "How are you finding life with Simon,then?"Jennifer laughed. "Well, motherhood is an adventureall of its own. I really did think I would go mad for thefirst few months after he was born, with Mariafinishing her thesis and me stuck at home all day. Butyou know, he learned to smile, and he learned to talk,and he's never really stopped. And..." she stopped tothink, and continued. "I suppose for someone likeSimon, there's an adventure every day. I think he getsthat from me. And even if I'm at home looking afterhim, I live the adventures through him.""Do you think you might take him along on somequests when he's a bit older?" asked Carmen, butbefore Jennifer could reply, the door flew open and apudgy dark-haired child of perhaps three burst into thekitchen. His hair was full of grass, his clothes werespotted with mud, and his smile extended well beyondthe end of his face. In one hand he clutched acardboard shield with an indeterminate animal drawnon it in blue crayon."Mummy Jenfer, I met a strange man in the field," hesaid breathlessly. "He wants to get some babies, and apony."2
 
Jennifer's sunshiny expression was replaced by cloudsof concern. "What have I told you about talking tostrangers?"The child's face fell. "I sorry," he said."Show me where you met him," said Jennifer sternly,and excusing herself to Carmen she left with Simon forthe field which ran along the bottom of the garden of both houses. She was back within five minutes."There's nobody there," she said to Carmen, and toSimon she said, "You must play in the house now.""I'm a knight," said Simon proudly, and at the top of his lungs he added, "With a sword!""Oh dear," said Jennifer, and ran her hand through herhair. "You mustn't disturb Mama Maria. She's got tofinish this paper.""I could look after him?" offered Carmen. "If thatwould be OK?"Jennifer smiled again. "Oh, would you? I don't mindhim playing out in the field, but I'd rather someonewas looking after him if there was anyone nasty about.Simon, Carmen is here, she's going to look after you.""Hello, Carmen," said Simon, giving her another of hisroom-filling smiles. "I like horsies."Carmen looked puzzled and then remembered thegreen and white abstract pony design on her shirt. "Ilike horses too, Simon. Knights used to ride them."3

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