Saturday, 12 May 2007


Tiger, Shark and Squirrel start tennis lessons today. This does not go well. I tell the young man who is coaching to split up the triplet sisters.

'Split them up!' I say when I deliver a Tiger, hot-bothered and hungry, straight from her 8.50am violin lesson. 'Don't forget to split them up!' I say, as I deliver a grumpy Squirrel who resents leaving her bed anytime before 10am without a very good reason indeed. 'Now be sure to split them up!' I cry, as I push towards him a cross Shark who suspects a thief in the night has come to steal away her tiara.

Now what more can I do? I gave sufficient warnings, and he only has himself to blame.

The first ruckus starts in the queue. This is a queue to swing a racquet wildly in the air when the coach throws a ball. Tiger thinks Squirrel is taking up more space than a Squirrel needs to take up. Tiger starts pushing Squirrel, who pushes back. Tiger pushes harder. Squirrel gets pushed into Amy, who is cute and has ringlets and who does not deserve to be fed to a cross Squirrel at 9.40am on a Saturday morning. Fortunately Amy is made of stronger stuff than she looks and delivers a sharp poke back. The pushing continues until everyone gets told off and then gets told to go and fetch all the balls that have been thrown about the court.

The next ruckus is between Shark and Tiger. They are meant to throw the balls to each other. Oh dear. There is a difference of opinion between Shark and Tiger. Shark throws the ball so that Tiger cannot possibly reach it. Tiger runs off to fetch it, brings it back, and aims it directly at Shark's head. Shark ducks, the ball skims past the coach who should know better, and Shark runs off to pick up her weapon. Back she comes with it and bounces it high in the air so that Tiger cannot possibly catch it. When Tiger does find it, she picks it up, turns her back to Shark and throws the ball in the opposite direction. When the coach intervenes neither will look at each other, Tiger crosses her arms and starts to stomp about the court like she's at a Nuremberg rally.

Ruckus number three starts when there's a slight confusion over the racquets, despite Dig carefully marking each one with coloured wire. More pushing. Some grabbing of tennis racqets. Some wailing. Some more of the coach intervening telling everyone to calm down. He's probably starting to remember now.

Ruckus number four starts when Tiger accuses Squirrel and Shark of having more balls thrown at them than she has had. The coach throws an extra ball at Tiger who misses it and accuses Squirrel and Shark of always hitting the ball when she always misses it. This is clearly not true. They all miss it. The coach looks like he's despairing a bit now. Perhaps he'll remember for next time.

Ruckus number five starts at the end of the tennis session. Squirrel has collected five balls by using her racquet as a tray and is proudly taking them to the coach to put into his bucket. Shark and Tiger think this is a good idea and go and take them from her tray. Squirrel goes beserk at this assualt and starts to lunge at the balls in Shark's hands. The coach probably is thinking now he'll assign them to different courts next time.

Ruckus number six starts when it's time to say thank you and goodbye. Shark looks relieved and Squirrel looks cross. Tiger doesn't want it to end and foot drags her way slowly across the court, scowling all the time and loudly encouraged by the coach who looks a bit desperate for a cup of tea.

Perhaps he'll remember next week.

1 comment:

HelenHaricot said...

rofl! should remember next time.