It was the Saturday morning of the school fete.
Elvira Madden, the kindergarten teacher, was enjoying a well-deserved Devonshire tea at the stall in the undercover area normally occupied by the canteen lines. This morning she’d helped judge an art contest for the primary years, wrangled several lost children who wouldn’t be her students until next year and then applied antiseptic and bandaids to a Year One boy who’d been showing off on the monkey bars to his little brothers. The scones, made by a grandmother who’d won prizes, were delicious due to the grandmother’s skill and her use of an edible recipe and not the prize winning one.
She was in a happy state of jam, cream, scones and tea when she became aware that someone had come up to her table. At five year old height was the happy, round face of her student Joe Grimolochin and beside him was his tall, handsome, olive-skinned father. Elvira was immediately convinced that she must have cream on the end of her nose. “Good morning Miss Madden,” Tybalt Grimolochin’s voice had bypassed her brain and attacked her knees, “Joe and I were wondering if you would like to come and watch the sack races with us.”
Elvira was about to reply when a cry went up from another table of, “My mouse, my mouse!” She turned in time to catch a streak moving along the ground, heading for cover in the grass beyond the concrete. It swerved to avoid the people at her table but Tybalt Grimolochin was a sudden blur as he lunged forward and scooped the streak off the ground with his hands. He brought his hands up level to his face and Elvira caught a glimpse of a small brown animal just as its owner dashed up to him.
“Please, may I have my mouse back?” She was a brown haired Year Five girl in a denim jacket with big pockets.
“Of course,” he carefully lowered the mouse to her level and placed it in her waiting hands, “but perhaps you should not have brought her with you today.”
“Thank you. She was fine in my pocket until my brother tried to shove his DS in there too.” She looked at the mouse quivering in her hands. “She’s so scared, poor thing.”
Tybalt Grimolochin nodded in agreement. “Yes, I’m afraid I have that effect on mice.”
“Why?” She looked up in interest.
“Because I’m really a cat.”
She giggled, “But that’s silly,” and went back to her mother, smiling.