I’m not sure who the ‘everybody’ was but the lady from the NHSA didn’t seem too bothered by it when my mother took me in and made me tell her about our adventures.
I was quite happy to relay one or two of our more dangerous escapades and, at her request, even draw a picture of the most hair-raising one with the special soft crayons she had called Cray-Pas (a small packet of which I was allowed to keep). Of course, there was no river at all near my suburban Adelaide home; there was a storm drain and there was a creek up at Brown Hill but nothing that resembled the raging torrent that almost swept Tim and me I didn’t really like much but were quite cheap and so were what I bought with my six-cents-a-week pocket money.
I was disappointed my father hadn’t looked after these more carefully because this collection, if pristine and not a damp mass of papier-mâché, would have fetched plenty on e Bay.
But that was my father: he’d already burned my first-edition albums because ‘they were old’.
My grandfather’s fierce eyes looked at me now and then in the rear-view mirror but he said nothing.
Irony: incongruity between the actual result of a sequence of events and the expected results. Well take the short story “Lady with a Dog” written by Anton Chekhov as an example.
But strangely can’t get enough of them, “ It seemed to him that he had been so schooled by bitter experience that he might call them what he liked, and yet he could not get on for two days together without the lower race”. He doesn’t feel comfortable around men so he focuses his energies on the ladies, “In the society of men he was bored and not himself, with them he was cold and uncommunicative; but when he was in the company of women he felt free, and knew what to say to them and how to behave; and he was at ease with them even when he was silent”.
He tells women what they want to hear so he can get them to bed, “ In his appearance, in his character, in his whole nature, there was something attractive and elusive which allured women and disposed then in his favour; he knew that, and some force seemed to draw him, too, to them.” This keeps life simple for him.
With no bait or line or hook we caught very few fish but we did manage to get some tadpoles in a jar we found. We lost track of time and when it started to rain we took shelter under a bridge.
Meanwhile, our parents were frantic and had called the police. ‘You had your heart set on a puppy and your mother and I gave you a copy of instead. Old Yeller was a ‘yellow’ labrador that contracted rabies, just like Tim Johnson.