• Prachi Daga

Tomfoolery


What does an old man on a bright sunny morning with a scratched and weather-worn leather journal do? He recollects the anecdotes from good ol’ days of driving his daughter’s suitors away. Mr. Hardy was not any different.


Now, as he flipped the pages of his journal a family picture torn at the end slipped onto his lap. There was his late wife holding Noah, him, his smiling daughter, and a hand of a certain rascal across her shoulder.


He looked at the baby in the picture and turned to the boy of nine from across him, with his tutor and acknowledged how his daughter’s poor taste in men gifted her with the most precious boy. But the nincompoop beside his little fellow was a man who got on his nerves more than her ex-husband had.


For instance right that moment, instead of focusing on teaching he was busy eyeing his daughter bake, her daily batch of cakes.


A few patient seconds passed after his daughter stepped out and didn’t return, he tapped his walking stick impatiently: indicating the session had completed (and the tutor may leave).


After the teacher had left he beckoned Noah, who picked his homework up and settled next to his grandpa. It took a glance at his sheet for a plan to hatch in the old man’s mind and so he offered his assistance which the grandson gladly took. Only after he was satisfied with his handy work, did he accompany his grandson to the garden.


The mother having gone through her most of her chores settled down to read Noah’s sentences for her: it was a mother’s day “creative” work from school after all. But the first sentence left her touching her hair consciously wondering whether her whites were visible.


1. My mother has- shiny, silver- hair.


And the next made her sniff herself instinctively.


2. She smells- sweet and pungent-


It escalated further with the third.


3. Her songs are- shrill, piercing- and different.

‘Four, her cakes are both- col… No, they are not!’ She grabbed the other sheet that had all the words and sentences the tutor had roughly sketched out for her boy.

The words were: Shiny, brown; sweet and perfumed; smooth and perfect; warm and creamy.


It only took a few moments for her to realize what had happened.


‘Dad,’ her father walked into the house leisurely, his act in play, ‘my cakes are not both cold and greasy!’


‘What do you mean?’


‘Noah’s describe your mother with multiple adjective schoolwork is what I mean!’


‘Well… this tutor of yours is no good. I had told you to hire Martha instead.’ He shrugged nonchalantly.


‘So the tutor’s not good enough then?’


‘That’s right.’


‘And you had absolutely nothing to do with it?’ Her eyes narrowed dangerously.


The grandpa coolly raised his palms pledging innocence.


‘Not in the slightest,’ he responded.


Her eyes closed in on his ink-stained fingertips and she sighed at his tomfoolery. Somethings do never change, she thought.

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