Last week of the holidays and the kids came to stay. It’s so entertaining having them here. Haven’t laughed out loud so much for awhile. OK. About a week. Here’s a couple of snippets.
We sat to lunch with all the kids round the table and Wheriko starting telling us that Milan might have got an electric shock. They had headed down the paddock to check on the hens when Milan leapt back as if he had been bitten.
“Was it a sting?” we inquired. “Nah. It was an electric shock, he assured us. At first I felt it in my head but it ran all through my body and out my fingers which all turned red, he demonstrated spreading his arms wide, and then I thought somebody had punched me in the back”. “It was me, Lagi said quietly, I punched him”. All eyes turned to Lagi briefly before back to Milan.
“It was that bad. Milan emphasised with eyes wide and slowly nodding. But then I thought maybe it was an electric fence shock”. “It was me” Lagi quietly said again as he buttered his scone. “Then…Milan continued, I knew I would be OK”. He told this story several times, each time emphasising different aspects as the rest quietly munched on their scones listening intently and probably making a mental note not to touch fences or gates. Nobody commented on Lagi saying it was him who punched Milan in the back. They were there and knew he didn’t. The adults at the table however were struggling to keep straight faces. It was hilarious.
“Do you know why birds don’t get electric shocks?” Gilbert asked. “Yes, Wheriko quickly shouted, because we have our feet on the earth?” “Yes! Gilbert nodded. “So why did Milan get one then cause he was on the gate?” she asked. “No Milan corrected. I had one foot on the ground. I did. And the gate was steel and had a prong in the ground. Some gates have prongs in the ground to keep rats out”. What? “They do,” Milan, a revered fountain of knowledge knew about that from the history channel. He saw a documentary about it once. “Milan said it might be the Tubicabarrah that’s been worrying our hens”. Wheriko added suddenly remembering why they had been heading down there in first place. Milan had seen that on the history channel too
“Yes, the Tubicabarrah- I saw it on history channel. Its a bloodthirsty, night roaming animal. They attack mostly farm animals. Rips across the body, he demonstrated, opening up the chest to rip the heart out, as he mimicked throwing the heart to one side, so the thing can’t survive and then opens up the rest of the body to get the good stuff out.
The rest of the children continued eating their scones looking a little concerned now at the thought of a chest ripping, blood thirsty night roaming animal wandering around in the evenings. I was waiting for the question , what’s the ‘good stuff’? but they were transfixed by the descriptions as he went on. “Is this real Milan?” I asked. “Yep he assured us. I saw it on the history channel. It’s definitely true”
After lunch the weather was gorgeous and the air was filled with the sound of birds and insects and children’s laughter as they built huts, jumped on the tramp and just generally ran around. Suddenly screams rent the air stopping both Monie and Tara in their tracks as they deciphered whose child it was and how bad it could be, when Milan flew in the door in full cry holding his hand in front of him. The screams were so bad I expected a serious cut, but there was no blood or a break, it was a sting.
Milan was screaming so loud Tara told him to go to the next room, while the three of us tried to remember if it was bee or wasp that leaves its sting behind. “Bee is baking soda and wasp is vinegar.” Monie recited. “Sting in is wasp, no sting in is bee no, can’t remember. Google it.” “Sit still Milan, Tara commanded. I have to pull the sting out to stop the Poisin going through your body.” Milan had his head tipped back and was wailing as loud as possible. In fact as loud as if a Tubacarrah had maybe tried to rip his heart out! “Milan, I ordered, shut your mouth”. He pulled his chin up and though still quivering, the noise thankfully eased.
I filled a cotton swab with vinegar before blotting a little baking soda on it to make sure I covered both bases. “Now sit there for half an hour, as still as you can” Tara ordered calmly going back to her meeting report. And there he sat. Holding his hand aloft and feeling miserable.
“Do you know Milan, once when I was little I got a bee sting in my foot behind the tank stand and when I sat down to pull it out, I put my hand back behind me to support myself and got a bee sting on my hand.” Tara and I were laughing as I turned this way and that trying to lower my poor old body onto the floor and pulled my foot up as far as I could to show him exactly how it happened. Milan was soon giggling with us. “What happened Nanny T?” He asked leaning forward. “I went into Nana Maureen and cried, I said. And I had to stay off school for about three days. Beause I was allergic my leg swelled up to my knee and my hand swelled up to my elbow. Milan’s eyes were wide as he surveyed his own hand worryingly. Yours will be OK I smiled. Just maybe itchy tomorrow.”