“Corgi, would you like some cake with your tea?” I’d ask. Actually, Corgi wasn’t really a Corgi at all. He was a scruffy little mongrel that some bright spark in the family decided looked like a Corgi. I have no doubt it was the same bright spark that thought we should call an even uglier, white, wirey haired hound that we inherited along the way, Gandanga, which is the Shona word for rebel or, more loosely translated at the time, terrorist!
When I wasn’t swimming, riding my bike or making life miserable for my older sisters, then Corgi, Gandanga, my nameless, one eyed teddy bear and I had tea parties under the great, big shady trees in the garden at our home in Hillcrest, Bulawayo. Over tea we usually had very deep, intellectual conversations about why school was very bad for children, when next Mom would take us to Haddon & Sly for pie, chips and gravy (‘Us’ would be me and Teddy since Haddon & Sly had a nasty rule that didn’t allow dogs into the restaurant). Sometimes we’d place bets on how many times grandpa, who was visiting from South Africa, would send our gardener, Wireless, to the shops to buy him whatever it was that Wireless bought grandpa at the shops.
Quite often at our tea parties we’d read poetry. I had to do all the reading of course. Fortunately it wasn’t fancy, heavy stuff like Poe or Kipling. It was simple poems like The Owl and the Pussycat, A Bird, Three Little Trees and Old Dog. We didn’t read Old Dog all that often because it would make Corgi, who was getting on in years, (and me) cry.
So, I know you’re just dying to know where I’m going with this. Well, The Daily Post’s weekly writing challenge theme for this week is A Few of My Favourite Things. The one thing I still own that survived numerous moves from one house to another and across borders, which brings back many happy memories, is a book my mother gave me when I was barely old enough to read – A Child’s Book of Poems. I don’t attach a great deal of value to material possessions and although it is falling to pieces and some of the pages are missing, my book of children’s poems is one of the most sentimentally precious things I own.