One Christmas, whilst attending St Saviour’s School for Troubled Children, we were tasked with creating a festive scene in a biscuit tin. No wonder we were troubled. I approached this project very seriously, devising a detailed schedule which if adhered to would ensure success. It was as follows:
- My mother had to be persuaded to buy a tin of biscuits.
- The contents of which had to be eaten (by me).
- A scene of international artistic worth had to be created.
These plans were scuppered almost immediately. My mum “conveniently” had an empty tin saved for an occasion such as this. Stages 1 and 2 were now redundant, so I skipped straight to Stage 3. I spent many hours (minutes), possibly with my tongue poked out, constructing a tableaux of such finesse and passion that my teacher’s heart would surely weep and my class mates would coo with jealous admiration and give me their chocolate mini rolls. The finished work of art consisted of my favourite alpine chalet music box with cotton wool stuck to the roof, more cotton wool shoved around it, a sprinkling of glitter and various plastic animals dotted around at jaunty intervals. I was very pleased with my work and off I strode to school, carefully carrying my masterpiece, the glimmer of a confident but modest smile on my lips.
This glimmer did not have a chance to grow. When I saw the other contributions my confidence waned. In fact it evaporated completely. Their offerings were shocking. Full advent scenes with mangers complete with gurgling baby Jesus, a full compliment of visitors complete with gifts and the heavenly host in full angelic glory. It crossed my mind that some parental help had been involved. Although to be honest I am unsure if any assistance in that department would have benefited me much. Whilst gazing in disbelief at these Sistine facsimiles and wondering if I could demand a drugs test, I was mortified to hear some of the other children laughing. I turned to see that a small group had gathered around my Huntley and Palmers, pointing and laughing. “How stupid is that? A zebra has nothing to do with Christmas!” they cruelly chortled. My head hung in shame, my face reddened and another bubble was burst on the way to adulthood.
Luckily I have many bubbles in my armoury.
A few weeks ago I found, abandoned in the bargain bin, a herd of Christmas zebra. Surely after all these years the world would have caught up with my forward thinking? It seems not. So I rescued this one, I am ashamed to say I left the rest to their fate. I am not one to hold a grudge, but to all you giggling spiteful little urchins, this one is for you; a beautiful, glistening, stripey, Christmas Zebra!
Happy Christmas and a Wonderful 2018 to you all. Whether you are stripey or speckled or just plain brown, I wish you love and kindness and lots of laughter. Just not at the Christmas Zebra. xxx