David Schearl 8

He smiled diffidently and went to her. ‘You look funny.’

‘Do I?’ she chuckled and helped him to her knee. The comfort of being against her breast outstripped the farthest-flung pain. ‘You don’t like being a milkman?’


‘Nor a milkman’s helper?’


‘What would you like to be?’

‘I don’t know.’

She laughed. How the ear teased for that rippling, sinuous sound. ‘This morning in the butcher-shop I heard a woman say that her son was going to be a great doctor. Hmm! I thought, how blessed your life is! And how old is your son, the butcher asked. Seven, she answered. The butcher nearly missed the bone he was chopping. And here you’re eight and still you haven’t told me. But you won’t have to go along with the wagon any more – Want some milk? The new yeast cookies you like?’ She rubbed her moist brow against his lips. ‘With the raisins inside?’

‘Awrigh’!’ he yielded. ‘But not now.’ The closeness of her body was too rare to be relinquished so soon.