The Story of Roland

The Story of Roland

This is an excerpt...


Once upon a time, there was a boy who didn’t like his name. He didn’t just not like his name: he didn’t like his name or his feet or dogs!

In reverse order.

The dogs were the worst, because unlike his name and his feet you could never forget them for long.

Even if he managed to get through a day without seeing one in the distance, they came nearer and nearer at night; nearer and nearer and always grinning.

But the grin wasn’t a nice grin at all, not one bit nice at all. The grin was all teeth, yellow teeth and a big yawning hole of a mouth.

When the bad dream got to the mouth bit, Rowland’s mouth would open wide in a shriek and his mother would come into his room in her pink-friendly-teddy- furry dressing gown and tell him not to be silly and that dogs were friendly, FRIENDLY! … and she didn’t know why he made such a fuss.

His mother said he would grow out of it: the bad dreams and the fear.

He kept waiting to grow out of it but nothing happened.  The bad dreams kept coming, regular as the clock ticking downstairs in the hall.

Day after day went by and weeks later his feet were still too big, huge at the end of his too thin legs. They, the feet would never quite do what he wanted them to. Sometimes he tripped up over a wrinkle in the carpet.  His father would sigh and look at his mother. His mother would shrug her shoulders over the frying pan and say,

“He’ll grow out of it…”

He kept waiting to grow out of it.