Mama put her
nine sons to bed and sat on a chair. She put her legs up and sipped her
tea. "Taking care of nine wee lads is tiring, but I love them all. I
love Adam, Alec, Brad, Cal, Chad, Dion, Ewan, Fred and Gary."
Before she went
to bed, she put all their toys in a box. Nine lads make a mess with
their toys. Mama had to gather all the blocks and cars and soldiers and
sort them out. She folded their clothes and rolled their socks and
polished their shoes. When she finished that she went into the kitchen
and washed and dried the dishes.
In the morning
Mama made nine boiled eggs, nine sausages and poured nine cups of milk.
When she handed them each a piece of toast, she said, "Lads, today you
are going to the park with your papa. He wants to take you for a picnic
and let you go for a ride on a horse."
The lads clapped
their hands and jumped for joy.
Mama shook her
head. "But first, lads, you have to finish your breakfast, wash your
hands and face and brush your teeth."
After they left,
Mama smiled and sat in the chair to read a book and enjoy the peace and
Papa told the
boys to hold each others hands and they walked to the park. He pushed
them on the swings and ran around in the grass. "There's Jock. He's the
man with the horse."
The nine lads
ran to the horse and looked up at it. "It's a very big horse, Papa,"
Jock winked his
eye. "You can all get on at the same time and I'll take you for a walk
around the park."
Papa lifted Adam
and put him at the front. He wrapped his arms around the horse's neck.
Behind him sat Alec and then Brad, Cal, Chad, Dion, Ewan, Fred and wee
Gary. "Hold on tight. Gary, don't you fall off," Papa said.
Jock took the
horse by the reins and walked around the park. Some of the lads were
afraid and didn't want to ride any more. Some of them thought it was
great fun and laughed and giggled. And some weren't sure if they liked
riding a horse or not.
finished, Papa took them off the horse. Gavin was hanging onto the
horse's tail so he wouldn't fall. Papa put him on the grass. After all
the lads sat on the grass with Gavin, Papa led them to the shade of an
old oak tree. It's branches spread out and the leaves protected them
from the sun's warm rays. He opened the picnic basket and they feasted
on sausage rolls, Cornish pasties, meat pies, vanilla cakes and
chocolate biscuits. When they were done eating, Papa had them throw the
rubbish into the bin and they headed home, hand in hand.
Chad slammed the
door open and woke Mama up.
sleeping in her chair. "There's my wee lad," she said, opening her arms
for a big hug. "Did you have fun with Papa?"
"We had a lot of
fun on the horse," Dion said.
"I ate two
sausage rolls, Mama," said Fred.
"I had three
biscuits, Mama, and got chocolate on my hands," Brad said.
Mama put the
lads into the bath and washed them until they were clean. They dressed
in their pajamas and then went to bed. All night long the lads dreamed
about their day in the park with their papa.