Or stories anyway. There were a lot in our family.
My childhood was always a place of imagination, play and stories. While my dad would read books to us, The Witches by Roald Dahl a particular favourite of mine (I can still remember how much I laughed when the chef cut the tip of the mouse-boy’s tail).
But my mom; she is the one who would make up stories. As I’ve already written about in a previous post, there were the stories of bogey monsters, of turning into werewolves and howling at the moon, but there was another story. One about ‘The Olden Days’. That weird, obscure time from before I even existed. I could barely get my head around such a thing!
I’d ask what it was like back in the olden days and she would tell me, in detail how our family lived before I was born.
Back in the olden days when everyone had coal fires lots of people worked down the mines. Including children. In fact, my whole family worked in the mines, my older brother and sister, my mom and dad. Then one awful day there was a cave in and unable to get out my family had to eat rats (rats seem to feature in many of my childhood memories) and then they had to dig themselves out with spoons. It was very difficult and took them an awfully long time which is why they had to eat the rats, otherwise they’d starve!
I pretty much pictured them living in The Black Country Museum (a living museum with Victorian houses, a canal, and Victorian style shops and school houses)
It was a miracle that they all got out of that cave in to live to tell the tale. The whole family was in on it, each of them adding a small detail and backing each other up.
I should be lucky that none of us needed to work down the mine anymore, and I got to go to school. I believed this story wholeheartedly, until one niggling doubt took root…where was my brother’s best friend in all of this? (He’d stayed at ours for a week one holiday and I felt he should be in these stories as he was practically family now.)
Not one to miss a beat, my mother told me that my brother’s friend was the pit pony–which in my mind made complete and utter sense and all doubts went away. Of course Aaron was the pit pony!