Paternoster Tales: Chapter 2

Red Wellingtons

The red wellingtons walked across our square early that Monday morning.

Actually, they didn’t walk. They hopped. They skipped. They stopped and stubbornly stamped. And then dragged their toes along the ground before forgetting and pirouetting and running again.

They were attached to the feet of Agatha. Agatha was three and was named after her mother’s great aunt, who was ancient and smelled of lavender. And whose equally ancient butler served dusty tea and stale biscuits to the little girl Every Monday.

Every Monday, young Agatha had to sit and not fidget, in her best dress, pretending to nibble the squishy biscuits while squeezing off crumbly, little bits and hiding them in her pocket.

Every Monday, her mother talked to the aunt for precisely thirty minutes and told her all about their life in London and how expensive everything was. Agatha’s mother hoped that the aunt might die soon. And that she would be generous to her young namesake in her will. While this was perhaps not the best reason for giving a child an austere name like Agatha, it was perhaps not the worst either. The aunt wasn’t blinkered; she understood it all. But she looked forward to their visits and she had made sure that young Agatha and her mother would remember her fondly enough.

Young Agatha liked her aunt – if not her biscuits – and both fitted their name. The aunt was  very old and rather old fashioned and young Agatha – well, she had always been Agatha (never Agie) and it was quaint like her and suited her. On this damp, drizzly, Monday morning, young Agatha also fitted her new red wellingtons.

But hang on a moment – a long moment; one that lasts until tomorrow – I haven’t told you who we are. I’ll do my best to explain in the next chapter.

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