Once upon a time in Dublin there was a little boy called Saul who set up shop at the edge of the playground. He called his shop the ‘White Goose Café because he wanted to pretend to make food and drinks for the other children at break time. I don’t know why he picked that name when there were no white geese at his school. Some of the other children had made little play shops dotted around the playground too so break time was a busy time of pretend shopping and pretend eating at pretend cafés. Saul specialised in little cups of mud, which sort of looked like hot chocolate.
One day a little girl called Lucy came up to Saul’s cafe and asked for a nice hot cup of mud but when she noticed it had little pebbles in it she said she didn’t like it, she was sensitive to stones you see.
Saul took the cup back from her and with a cheeky little grin, he flung the mud into the girl’s face. Saul and his two friends who were standing there laughed at Lucy when they saw how funny she looked with mud all over her face and in her hair. Lucy burst into tears and called Saul some naughty names before she ran off crying to her friends.
The next day Lucy’s friend Mabel walked past Saul’s little White Goose Café on the way to Johnny’s Pram Emporium at the other side of the playground. She asked Saul whether he would like to do a swap, if she gave him a bunch of flowers, would he swap it for a cup of hot chocolate? Saul frowned at Mabel. “I don’t want your stupid ugly flowers!” He grabbed the little bunch she was offering and stamped on them. Mabel stuck her tongue out at Saul and walked off. As she turned Saul picked up a handful of mud and threw it at Mabel’s back where it landed and made a big brown blob. Saul and his buddies sniggered and another group of children who were standing near turned to see what they were laughing at. They also laughed when they saw the big ball of mud stuck to Mabel’s back. Mabel put her hands on her hips and tapped her foot. ‘Just you wait till I get Johnny!’ she shouted.
A few minutes later Mabel returned with Johnny who had rolled up his sleeves. Johnny was Mabel’s big brother, he was bigger than Saul and he had a little trail of his friends following him as well as Lucy and her friends. Gradually a little crowd of children from the playground started to gather around Johnny and Saul, noticing the bad vibes sparking off between the two. A number of the kids raised their fists into the air and shouted ‘FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT!’
Johnny reached down and punched Saul on the nose, Saul roared loudly and then punched back with all his might, his little fist landing directly where it really hurts the most for a boy. Johnny fell to the ground and Saul’s friends laughed and jeered. Saul gave Johnny another little kick in the back while he was lying there before he sauntered off with his buddies. Eventually, a bit battered and bruised, Johnny picked himself up and dusted himself off. He made his way back to his corner of the playground where Mabel, Lucy and all their chums were gathered.
All the kids muttered together and tied to decide whether to back Johnny and be punched like that or back Saul and do the laughing at others when they got mud thrown at them, you never know when it could be you getting the mud so it was perhaps a good idea to stand behind Saul all the time. It was quite a hard choice for the children in the end. Saul was happy though because ALL of the kids in the play ground were at least talking about him and his café, even if they called him a Silly Goose.
The moral of the story? I don’t know why Saul likes to fling mud about, maybe when he goes home from school his mummy and daddy don’t hug him and tell him that they love him. I feel a bit sorry for Saul because the more he throws mud, the fewer friends he will have. I hope one day he stops and says sorry before that point but sadly there will always be a bunch of kids standing behind him because they are just too chicken.