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Only then do I realise

I've grown a tail

quite a pretty one, really

light brown, with soft fur

and a few dark spots

I stand up

walk away from the edge

at the top of the skyscraper

and try out my tail

if I relax it hangs down

to just behind my knees

if I get excited

it rises up behind my back

I can wag it quite easily

it sticks out the back

of my bikini pants

in quite an attractive way

I put on a mink coat

and catch the elevator

down to the ground floor

I'm going to surprise

the kids at school

with my tail

so I wiggle it up

behind my mink coat

where they won't

be able to see it

till I'm ready

then I'm in assembly

trying to control a rabble

the kids have gone mad

and won't do what I say

they run around shouting

and some leave the room

without permission

I'll have to do something

to gain their attention

how dumb

I'd forgotten the tail

I say, 'Hey kids, look at this!'

and turn my back to them

out pops the tail

I swish it round

the kids are amazed

and interested

'Cool, Ms Tozer,'

says that Milford boy

he strokes it gently

while Andrew Phoebe comes up

and measures it

and shakes his head

in admiration

then a sound

like a twanging rubber band

fills the air

round black beetles

fly across the room

farting smoke messages

like fluffy Morse Code

it's quite easy to read

something like...

'Don't forget Alice's birthday.'

I think,

Who's Alice?

There's no one of that name

in my school

then a dim memory

stirs within me

I have a vague impression

of a very tall girl

stuffing cake in her mouth

and a caterpillar

smoking something

and all sorts of weird creatures

an egg that talks too much

two fat boys

pretending to be knights

knocking themselves off horses

with match stick javelins

and a king or queen

who's red or white

dreaming or waking

it's all very vague

it puts me in quite a dreamy

mood

I'm a little girl muself now

in a white cotton dress

with heaps of frills

sitting in the back of a boat

being rowed down a river

by a funny looking man

all dressed in black

two other girls are seated

in the boat

and the funny man

is talking on and on

I trail a finger in the water

and hum to myself

Waltzing Matilda

till we climb out

near a haystack

and drink lemonade

and eat some cake

and listen to more

of the long

long

story

 

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