THE VERY NAUGHTY BOY
â€œYou,â€ screeched the fishwife, â€œare a very naughty boy!â€
The very naughty boy hung his head and smiled secretly to himself. The very naughty boy was, indeed, a very naughty boy.
â€œNow you go on to your room and wait until your father gets home! He'll have something to say about it, that's for sure! Pulling legs off insects like that! What did you think you were doing? You're a very naughty boy, and if I've said it once I'll say it a thousand times! Talk about naughty! Talk about boys! Talk about very naughty boys!â€
The object of her anger crept towards the door, and opened it. Then he cast one big-eyed look at his mother, and she noted the moisture in that eye, the total expression of regret and sorrow, and if she hadn't been a fishwife her heart might have melted, but she was one and there was no way she was going to let him get around her, moist eye or no moist eye. He was, to coin her own phrase, a very naughty boy.
â€œHe'll get his belt to you!â€ she screeched, more to preserve her own state of agitated anger than because she thought her man would do any such thing.
Then his trousers will fall down and we'll all have something to laugh at, thought the very naughty boy as he slunk out of the room and made for his bedroom.
I only pulled the legs and wings off a fly, he told himself, what were flies put here for if it wasn't for me to pull the legs and wings off them and watch them trying to walk with no legs...?
He slunk into his room and shut the door behind him.
I'll show 'em! he muttered to himself as he sat on the edge of his bed. Threatening me with belts and stuff, and calling me names! I'll show 'em who can be a very naughty boy! I'll make 'em regret ever saying that, I will! A very naughty boy! Well, we'll see who can be one of those!
His room was a playground of delights. He had his worm farm against one wall, much larger than any normal worm farm should be, and a little bit too smelly for its own good. There was a pile of clay that he'd dug out of the garden earlier that day, and it was still moist. There were a few old batteries, none of them any good and at least one of them leaking. There were lots of other things too, some of them broken and some of them not. And one wall was black, painted matt black by him, much to the fury of both of his parents, who'd finished it in a nice pastel pink only the week before.
A very naughty boy indeed, he moaned. I know what I'll do all right! I'll make a bang that will be the end of all bangs! I'll make stuff they never thought I could make! I'll teach 'em!
And he set about to do the teaching of them.
He opened up his worm farm, appreciating its earthy aroma, and put all the worms in a jar for future reference before spreading the rest of it on a table next to the black wall.. Then he took a handful of clay and gently started working it into the shape of a figure.
I'll get even with 'em if it's the last thing I do, he grated between clenched teeth. They're going to regret ever calling me names like they did!
He went right up to the black wall with his hands full of all kinds of things, including the old batteries, and stood there, a small figure in his shorts and a t-shirt, and held his assortment of odds and ends aloft. Then:
Let there be light! he commanded, and in a flashing instant, like a nuclear bomb or two constellations colliding, there was light.
His bedroom rocked, there was a thunderous racket in and around his world, and he took a step backwards in amazement.
A very naughty boy indeed! This would be teaching them!
Then he heard the fishwife downstairs, standing, no doubt, where she thought her voice would sound most threatening.
â€œNow what do you think you're doing?â€ she screeched, â€œTell me, you very naughty boy, and tell me now, young God! What in the name of everything that's holy are you doing?â€
The very naughty boy smiled to himself and put his clay figure down.
There you are, Adam, he whispered. Run wild, run free â€“ and be a man!
Â© Peter Rogerson 13.04.12