But we all had our back to it. Mummy was herding us towards the car. We were late for church and she hated to be late. We needed to make a good impression. We were new in town.
We were late because Mummy had spent an awful long time getting dressed. She couldn’t make up her mind. She was always like this. Mummy always wanted to make a good impression. We two girls had been dressed for hours and we had had to sit for hours doing nothing. Angus had mussed up his best clothes and was in big trouble with Mummy. She sat him beside her in the front seat and made him undo his tie and put it on again properly. He had to take off his coat and brush it. S he took out her hanky and wiped his hair into place with her spit when she was driving. Mummy had a new outfit which was causing her trouble and she was not in a good mood. She had new patent leather court shoes which weren’t good for driving. Her new suit was heavily lined and she didn’t think it showed off her figure properly. When you touched it all of her skirt moved. Her jacket didn’t fit her properly. She didn’t know if she had the right broach for the jacket. She worried her new suit would crease in the car.
We were given a big lecture on how to behave all the way to church. We had to kneel and pray without looking at each other. No giggling. We had to sing properly. If we didn’t know the hymn don’t sing anything. Mouth the words. We had to make a good impression. We were new in town.
Thankfully the service was over quickly but of course Mummy had to stay talking to people after church. We had to stand quietly and wait patiently. We had to keep our gloves on and hold our prayer books like we had been told to do. Angus had it easy. An old man talked to Angus like he knew him. No one spoke to us. We had to stand and wait and say nothing. Finally I could tell mummy was ready to leave because she started brushing her hand down her front as if she was brushing dust off her. She always did this. I walked up to her and put my hand in hers. Thankfully she took the opportunity to say she should be heading home to the lady she was talking to. I think the lady was relieved.
Angus made me sit in the front on the way home. Mummy still found fault with me. I should have spoken nicely to the lady she was talking to. I said I didn’t know her name. Doesn’t matter said Mummy. You should always want to make a good impression. After all we were new in town.
We knew this so well by now we almost said it out loud with her.
But when we got home the gate was open and Angus’s pet rabbit had escaped. The gate had not shut even though I thought I heard the latch take. We looked everywhere but we never found it. Angus said he wished he had shot it when he had the chance. Mummy said not to worry about it.
It would find a new home. She said like us it was new in town. We said we knew. She didn’t have to keep telling us.
Uncle Clarrie made the same comment when he heard what happened. He thought he was comforting us. No one cared about the rabbit though. Least of all Angus.
Uncle Clarrie thought he was being funny making a joke about being new in town. We didn’t think it was funny. He kept on about it though still thinking it was funny.
We had heard it all before. We were new in town. We were sick of hearing it.