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The Laughing Tin

 

When we finished breakfast, the sun was up and it was a warm morning. I sat on the river bank near Runnymede. I thought about King John, who signed the Magna Carta at Runnymede, in II5. What a great moment in English history! I imagined the scene!

George came over and said, 'When you finish resting and dreaming, please help me wash the dishes and other things.'

I cleaned the frying pan with some grass and with George's wet shirt.

Later on, we went to Magna Carta Island. We saw the stone where the Magna Carta was signed. In this area, King Henry VIII met with his sweetheart, I Anne Boleyn. I am certain that King Henry VIII met Anne Boleyn in several other places, too.

We continued slowly up the river, and stopped for lunch near Monkey Island. We had cold meat for lunch.

'Where's the mustard?' I asked.

'The mustard?' Harris said.

We had forgotten to bring the mustard. At that moment, we all wanted mustard more than anything in the world.

'How boring life is without mustard!' said George.

We ate our cold meat in silence. We thought about the happy days of childhood when there was lots of mustard on the table. The adult world can be a cruel place.

All three of us loved tinned fruit. George brought out a tin of pineapple.I This was perfect to make us forget the mustard. We felt that life was smiling at us again.

'Look at the picture on the tin!' said Harris.

'Ah, I can't wait!' I said.

'I'm dreaming about the sweet juice,' George said.

Harris got a spoon ready.

Then we looked for the tin-opener. We took everything out of the two hampers. We took everything out of the bag. We looked in every corner of the boat. There was no tin-opener.

Harris tried to open the tin with a little knife, and he cut himself. George tried to open it with a pair of scissors. The scissors flew up and almost cut his eye. I tried to open it with a piece of metal. I did something wrong, because I fell into the river. The tin flew away and broke a teacup.

Then we all got angry. I started hitting the tin with a piece of wood. Harris hit the tin, and so did George. We changed its shape. We made it square. We made it round. Then we made it flat. But, we still couldn't open it.

The tin looked at us and seemed to be laughing. It was ugly and it frightened us. I threw it in the river! Then we rowed away and didn't stop until we reached Maidenhead.

It was evening and a strong wind started blowing. The wind was behind us and we put up the sail quickly. The wind blew and the boat flew up the river.


I was steering I the boat, and George and Harris were enjoying the trip. Sailing is exciting. It's almost like flying. You feel that you are part of nature. We were alone and we flew along the river. Far in the distance, we saw a small fishing boat. There were three fishermen in it.

The sun was going down, and there was a red light on the water. The river seemed magic. It was like a dream. We felt that we were sailing into a strange land.

We did not sail into a strange land. We sailed straight into the fishing boat with the three old fishermen! At first, we didn't know what was happening. But, when we heard the bad words that came from the other boat, we knew we were near people. We also knew that those people were not happy.



The three old fishermen fell off their seats. There were fish all over them. They slowly tried to get up. As they did this, they cursed us. They didn't curse us with common curses. They used long, special curses. They also cursed our parents, families, friends, neighbours, pets and jobs. These curses were for the present and the future.

Harris stood up and said, 'Be thankful for a bit of excitement in your lives! Your lives must be so boring, just sitting and fishing all day. My friends and I are very unhappy to hear men of your age use such bad words.' The three old men did not agree with Harris.

'I'll steer the boat now, J,' said George. 'An intelligent man like you must do better things. Leave the steering to me, before we all drown.'


CHAPTER EIGHT


Date: 2015-02-03; view: 173


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