I was so proud at the grand old age of 7, when in Junior School, I was selected to be a ‘Mummy’ at lunchtime. It was an honour and my best friend David was selected as the ‘Daddy’. Our responsibilities were, with a table of 8, when we had all finished our lunch, we were tasked with collecting the empty plates and cutlery and returning them to the serving hatch.
We were then expected to collect the pudding, and the custard or sauce to go with it. The dishes were already on the table with the spoons. David collected the treacle sponge and I picked up the large jug of steaming hot custard. When we proudly arrived back at our table of ‘children’, David and I realised that we didn’t have a knife to cut the treacle sponge, so excited by the prospect of another errand, I rushed back to the serving hatch.
I was presented with a knife, by the dinner ladies, who were all standing around chatting. Hurrying back to my table, I didn’t notice that someone pushed their chair out and not having attended the Health and Safety meeting about how to carry a knife safely. I tripped over chair leg, embarrassed I jumped up and continued my journey to my ‘family’. Passing over the knife to ‘Daddy’ David, I picked up the jug of custard, ready to dollop a portion into each dish. Strangely everyone around me started to squeal and shout in horror, with no idea why I had got this odd reaction, I looked around me puzzled. When I looked back down at the jug, the custard appeared to be changing colour from yellow to red.
At this point, the Headmaster, Mr Connor, took my hand gently and told me to follow him.
When we arrived in the office, the secretary quickly gave me a bunch of tissues to hold against my head. Still in complete ignorance, I sat there, wondering what had happened, until I took my hand away from my head and saw the crimson-soaked paper in my hand.
Yes, I had stabbed myself in my forehead with the knife and was bleeding profusely. I had a ride in the Headmaster’s car to the hospital, albeit with lots of towels around me and the secretary panicking like crazy.
Seven stiches later and being the centre of attention with the Headmaster and the secretary all afternoon. The only thing I remember fully, was being allowed to watch the television, Blue Peter, my favourite, when I got home, and having my tea on a tray in the front room. A special treat.
I still have the scar, 60 years later and the memory.
449 words – Sandy Bryson
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