If you build it, they will come.
‘Sit down, please Sophie, it’s not going home time yet,’ said Miss Adams.
I looked at the big clock above the alphabet board and tried to work out how long I had to wait. I didn’t want to wait because I had something very important to ask my Granddad.
I looked at the clock again. It didn’t seem to have moved since I last looked. Why was it going so slowly? A day in school is sooo long.
‘Why are you so fidgety today?’ asked my best friend, Anita who was sitting next to me at the paint table.
‘My Granddad’s collecting me from school today and I have something very important to ask him.’
‘I don’t want to say, it’s a secret.’
‘Oh, but surely you can tell…/
‘Anita and Sophie, will you two please stop talking and get on with your painting.’
‘Yes, Miss,’ we chorused.
‘Right, it’s nearly going home time, so can we please tidy up. Put the paints away and peg up your paintings so that they will be dry when you come to school tomorrow,’ called out Miss Adams.
I hurried to get our table cleared and everything put away. Anita laughed at me, ‘you aren’t usually in such a hurry. It must be something very important you want to ask your Granddad.’
I like it when Mummy is working and Granddad collects me from school. We walk home through the woods and he tells me about all the animals, birds and flowers we see. He says he likes it too as the walk is good for his room attics. He laughs when I say he doesn’t have any attics in his house. When we get to his house, Grandma gives me a drink and sometimes a piece of cake if she has been baking. Then we sit at the kitchen table and tell each other what we have been doing that day.
‘Yes, it is. I’ll tell you about it tomorrow, Anita’ I said as I pulled my coat off my peg and tried to put it on quickly. We lined up, ready to leave, I was nearly at the front of the line.
Miss Adams opened the gate and said, ‘goodbye, see you tomorrow children.’
‘Goodbye Miss Adams,’ we answered and galloped up the slope to where the parents, grandparents and childminders were waiting for us. I saw my Granddad and started to run towards him, ready to jump up into his arms so he would catch me and give me a hug but then I remembered that I was getting old now so I slowed down and walked across to him and put my hand in his big scratchy one and said, ‘hello Gandad.’
He laughed and bent down to give me a kiss and a hug, ‘are you getting too old for a hug now, my little one?’
I squirmed out of his arms and said, ‘I’m a big school girl now Gandad.’
‘OK,’ he said, ‘but you’ll always be my little one.’ He has always called me that. Mummy and Daddy call me Sophie but Granddad says he has that special name for me. I like that.
‘Yes, my little one.’
‘Can I ask you a question?’
‘’Course you can.’
‘We only have a little garden at home but you have a big one so could we dig a pond in your garden?’
‘Where did this idea come from?’
‘We’ve been learning about all the creatures that live in ponds in nature study in school.’
‘We’ll have to ask Grandma but if she says yes, then we can.’
I jumped up and gave him a hug. This time, I didn’t care who was watching. ‘Oh thank you Gandad.’
‘OK, but don’t forget we have to see if Grandma says yes first, my little one.’
Mummy says I can wrap Granddad around my little finger. I don’t see how that is possible, so I don’t what she means.
The construction was going well. Granddad had marked out two overlapping circles on the lawn with a piece of string tied to a dibber to make a figure of eight shape. Daddy and Granddad had skimmed off the turf and dug out the holes, one was shallow and the other was deep for the fish to shelter in during the winter when water would freeze at the surface.
‘What are you going to do with all the earth you have dug out Gandad?’
‘I’m going to dig a new hole to put it in of course, my little one’ he said. Granddad is silly sometimes. You would have to put the earth you dig out of the new hole somewhere, wouldn’t you?
Each of the holes had a shelf around so that we could pots on them with water plants in. The next Saturday Daddy took me to a garden centre where we got a big piece of rubber to put in the holes to hold the water. The we filled the pond up with water from Granddad’s hose. It took a long time. It was still filling when Daddy took me home.
Granddad collected me from school again the next day, even though Mummy wasn’t working, because I wanted to see all the creatures in the new pond. I was very disappointed as there were no creatures, it was just full of clear water, like a swimming pool.
‘Where are all the creatures Granddad, I can’t see any?’
‘This is a good time to learn patience, my little one. There won’t be many creatures until next spring and then it will start to fill up.’
‘Oh, ok. I’ll just have to wait then. But where will they come from?’ I believed my Granddad because he always tells me the truth.
‘I don’t know but what I do know is that we have built it so they will come.’
© Richard Kefford Eorðdraca
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