Dancing Gnomes

I just remembered today a thing my Dad used to do when I was little.

He always liked playing daft tricks, not mean ones, just ones to make me laugh. When I was small he got some garden gnomes and out them in the front garden where I could see them from my bedroom window. I really liked those gnomes, and they were my responsibility; I had to move them to somewhere safe when the lawn needed cutting, for example, which was how I helped in the garden.

But the thing he did which I really liked was making them move. It all started when I found a fairy circle one morning in the grass (a circle of toadstools). Once I had the idea that the fairies came and danced in the garden Dad decided that of course the gnomes would join in – so each night he would wait until I was asleep then go into the garden and move them. When I woke up in the morning I saw they had moved and was told it was because they had been dancing all night. I worked out he was making it up fairly quickly, but it was still a great game we played for quite a long time.

Actually the meanest thing he did was when he was working on the flower bed in the back garden. I was helping of course. We found some lovely juicy worms, and I expect I squawked a bit. So to make sure I didn’t feel scared of them he showed me how you picked them up very carefully and how they tickled. Then he told me to go and give them to Mum because she would like to see them too.

Off I ran to the kitchen and put them right into her hand. Well, the shrieking that happened! Apparently my mother wasn’t such a fan of worms after all. And there was Dad standing in the doorway laughing fit to burst. Poor Mum. But it was funny. And I certainly don’t mind worms (although spiders are a different story).

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