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Sunday, June 01, 2003

A funny thing happened on my way to school...
By Rhiannon Butlin

“Where have you been?” my teacher cried.

I tried to get a word in but my teacher was giving another one of her lectures. Finally, when I had a chance to speak I said, “A funny thing happened to me on my way to school.”

Well, it was a normal manic Monday morning. My dad was barging around the house shouting “I’VE LOST MY TIE, I’VE LOST MY TIE, DOES ANYONE CARE?”

And I was trying to get my mum to pay attention. I’d lost a sock and couldn’t find my shoes. My brother who had been listening all the time said, “Hand out the money and I’ll be on your case.” I replied,” Sorry private eye, you’re not going to get a penny out of me.” At last, my mum shouted out, “QUIET!” Everyone stopped in their tracks and stared at mum. She muttered a bit and then said, “Alright. Rhiannon you’ll have to wear odd socks and you can wear your trainers just for today. Richard, I just saw your tie hanging on the sofa.”

Finally, we all got out the door. My mum had dropped off my little brother at nursery and now we were getting near the bridge. As we neared the bridge, I clumsily tripped over a stone and fell into the river. While my mum was screaming and trying to pull my out of the river, my sister ran off and found a fallen branch. Mum grabbed it and held it over the river so I could climb out. It was then that we realised that attached to my leg was an old rusty box. Surrounding it was a long heavy chain that had become entangled on my leg. My mum gasped. What could it be, everyone thought. The box was ancient-looking. It was filthy dirty but I could still see the deep engraving of a parrot on its lid. My sister said, “Open it, open it”. It was clear that this would be difficult. Mum said, “We’ll take you home to dry off and then we’ll see if we can open this mysterious box”.

I was getting pretty cold by now so I agreed that it would be a good idea. We rushed home. I left soggy footprints across the pavement as I went.

Mum found dad’s Swiss army knife and chiselled away at the lock. Then the Swiss army snapped. I couldn’t keep it in any longer. I started biting at the lock with my teeth but my mum stopped me. Then my little sister eagerly ran to her bedroom and came down with a sharp butcher’s knife. “That’s where the butcher’s knife went!” cried my mum. I ran up to her and said, “Hand it over”. My sister threw it down on the floor and nearly chopped of my toes, but I didn’t care. This was the moment of truth. We pried open the box.

It opened with a CREAKKK. It was filled with dust and smelled disgusting. I saw something shiny. I stuck my hand in gingerly not really knowing what to expect. Inside I carefully pulled out an antique pocket watch hanging on a gold chain.

And that is why I was late for school. I saw a glint in my teacher’s eye. Then she said, “Now you have that pocket watch, you have no excuse for ever being late again for school”. Everyone laughed, except me.