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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
A Day in the Park

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 quiet.

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," Adam said.

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.

When they 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. 

She'd been 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.

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