I have a friend called Bert. He likes:
• Grubbing around in the playground
• Sliding on the kitchen floor on his knees
• Trying to pick up stuff that he probably shouldn’t be trying to pick up.
My friend Bert doesn’t like:
• Washing his hands
• Washing his face
• Washing his feet
This was all very well when his parents were around – they seemed to have quite a relaxed attitude to these things. But when they went away for a Special Birthday and Bert’s aunt came to stay, well. That was a different matter.
She was there for four days but Bert said later it felt like four million years.
Aunt Mildew likes:
• Things that smell nice
Aunt Mildrew doesn’t like:
• Dirty Bert
By the time the four days were up, Bert was a different boy. His teeth sparkled like diamonds. His hair shone like gold. His face was just a face, unsmeared by mud and with no pen on it.
Even his feet were so clean and fragrant that butterflies alighted on his toes, mistaking them for flowers.
But Bert did not look happy. It took me a long time to recognise him. When I did, I threw some mud at him.
Then he smiled.