THE GAME OF HAPPY FAMILIES.
When I was a little tacker growing up in my farmhouse tree in the 1950s, we played 'Happy Families,' and 'Old Maid,' around the open kitchen fire, eating golden slices of bread,toasted over the glowing logs. As I played, my concentration sometimes wandered and I made up stories revolving around the characters and their lives.
Now, as I enter my second childhood, I once again take the cards from the pack and spin stories around their lives. Not all of the Mr, Mrs, Master and Miss charters have survived my passage from childhood through adulthood and have been lost along the way.
The lives of the characters take a time to deal out so do not expect a full hand to be laid out very quickly!
THE PACK OF CARDS.
Behind the curtains in the village cottages,houses and farmsteads, life stirs slowly. The saucepan of porridge simmers, and comes to the boil. Doors into the new day creak open. The happy families in the game of life shuffle into action. The lives of mothers, fathers, sons and daughters are all laid out. The sun, a golden joker in the blue sky pack, shines down on the village. What has the hand of fate dealt the occupants? Will the rules of the game suit the players? Will hearts be broken? What tricks lie ahead as they play life's game for another day.
MR BUN THE BAKER.
In the two up two down snow-white, white-washed cob walled mid terrace cottage, its slate-flag-stone kitchen floor, silver patterned with trails left by slug and snail, lives Mr Bun the Baker. He stands at the planed pine plank table, its golden-grained flour-flecked surface lit by dappled sunlight filtered through apple tree branches. With sleeves rolled up, he kneads the dough for his personal needs, beads of sweat glistening on on his gleaming forehead as he pommels his daily bread.
Pausing, he licks his lips in anticipation, before shaping the dough into two white baps, in his imagination he smears them with farm churned golden butter delivered weekly on a woven withy basket.
He smiles, as in his mind, appear the two firm breasts of Mrs Field the Farmer's wife, recently almost widowed. Closing his eyes, he cups her breasts in his hands and bending down places trembling moistened lips against the flake-white, pure-white domes of yielding softness. Who says that man cannot live by bread alone, he thinks to himself as he recalls the text from the Sunday service led by Reverend Pew the Parson. And as he presses his lips into the soft yielding flesh, Mrs Bun the Baker's wife enters the kitchen, and is surprised to see a startled Mr Bun the Baker rise up with dough smeared all over his face.
The next card to be dealt - Mr Chalk the Schoolmaster.