Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Readers should know that I foolishly attempted a bit of an epic bike ride, well epic for my unfit self (I've gone soft since moving up North). I had collapsed on a bench at the side of the cycle track, counting stars and thankful that I was wearing factor 30 sunscreen as the sun was belting it down. I was slowly sliding down the bench into the cool shade of the grass when a bloke supervising around six boys (hard to confirm as they kept moving), all of which were on bikes, then preceded to take over the other side of the bench. I may have groaned out loud but this cannot be proved.
I'm ashamed to say I was still in a condition where moving was not an option so I gritted my teeth, determined to stick it out as they slurped on cartons of fruit juice. A boy hovered near me, sucking away, getting closer and closer until he stopped just in front of me. I looked up. Our eyes connected. He had a naughty look and I knew he was thinking of something to say. Something outlandish.
'We cycled fifty miles today,' he said.
'Fifty? Wow, more than me,' I said, hoping he would go away. He looked sticky.
'Yeah, and there were tigers,' he said.
'Tigers?' I said.
'Yeah, they were hiding in the grass waiting for us to stop so they could eat us,' he said.
'I don't think there are wild tigers around here,' I said.
'Yeah there are. They escaped from a zoo and bred and now they live here,' he said.
'Ok...' I said.
'Sorry,' said the man. 'We're reading the Jungle Book at the moment and he's a bit obsessed with Shere Khan.'
The boy nodded his head. I was impressed they were reading the book together. It's such a great way to get kids' imaginations going by reading stories with them and making up elaborate extra plots when the pages are closed. Screw the X-Box, let's go tiger hunting in Salford. What kid would say no to that?
I didn't see any tigers on the way home though and yes, I'm a bit disappointed.