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The Day Before Yesterday: 79 - Throwing a German Measle

...Rod scampered home as fast as he could, banging the door after him. "What ever is the matter?" I said. He looked so worried. "Christine Burden is going to throw a German Measle at me," he replied...

Gladys Schofield recalls the days when her son Rodney was a small boy.

To read earlier chapters of Gladys's autobiography please click on http://www.openwriting.com/archives/the_day_before_yesterday/

Alan was a schoolboy now and enjoyed this new adventure in his life. He found a lot more friends to play with, each eager to see where the other one lived. As I passed the door of one of these neighbours one day, she said, "Your little boy, Alan, has lovely manners". Taken by surprise I said "Why, what did he say?" "It was not what he said but what he did" she replied. "All the children including mine, ran straight into the house yesterday. Only Alan stopped and wiped his shoes on the mat.''

She was certainly impressed but I didn't know what to say so just smiled and said nothing.

Rod was rather lonely when Alan was at school. He was still small for his age but could run like a deer. He was not shy at all and being a born comic, would keep everyone around entertained with the way he talked and acted. He was pleased one day as he heard Ethel say that Christine was at home as she had German Measles.

Thinking he had a play mate, he was over there before we missed him but Christine heard him climbing her stairs as she lay in bed. She knew he wasn't supposed to be there, so shouted "Is that you Rod?"

"Yes," said he.

"Go away," she then said "or I'll throw a German Measle at you.''

On hearing this threat, Rod scampered home as fast as he could, banging the door after him. "What ever is the matter?" I said. He looked so worried. "Christine Burden is going to throw a German Measle at me," he replied.

Another day the nosy small boy was visiting a neighbour's who had taken the place of the sweet old couple, who shared the lovely sponge cake with us. His curiosity got the better of him as she was about to tip the contents of a jug down the sink. "What are you throwing away?" asked Rod.

"My milk has gone sour" was her reply, "we can't drink it.''

"I like sour milk," said Rod, so she gave him a drink. This came up in conversation some time later when she said, "Your Rod likes sour milk doesn't he?"

"No" said I "he does not.''

"But he told me he did and I let him have a drink," she replied.

The crafty young horror had never said a word about this nor had he suffered any harmful effects.

We lost a few more neighbours with the ending of the war. The quaint little old man in his eighties was about to return to Birmingham with his wife. We would miss them. He loved the children and would be at his best organising a cricket match in front of the houses. Not that he was much use himself as his little legs didn't seem to belong to his body anymore and seemed to want to move in a different direction to the rest of him each time he toddled after a ball, but he had lots of enthusiasm and they always had a great time.

His wife would be twenty years younger and trotted at a nimble gait attending to her house work or doing her shopping. I never saw her slow down at all. They were two characters from another world.

The ones who had come away from the bombing from London didn't even stay until the end of the war but returned as soon as there was a lull and things were quiet for a while. Not knowing something more deadly was about to start with the buzz bombs and the rockets.

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