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Can Your Granddad do Magic?

Once upon a time there was a most wonderful, marvellous, magical granddad.

Eighty years my senior, he lived with us on the farm. Known as Pop (short for Popeye) from his spinach cutting days.

My most wonderful, marvellous, magical granddad showed me how to grow strawberries and taught me poker before I was school age. He told remarkable stories about his life, skating on the Thames, two wars and his sons farming the land that became Heathrow Airport. When I had a swing for my birthday he had the first go, stretching high to kick pears from the tree. On Wednesdays we walked to the sweet shop for the Sporting Life and his ‘smokes’. He sent me in the back room, full of treasures, plastic toys and knick-knacks. I could choose something while he chatted to the owner.

Later I found out he popped into the betting shop next door.

I had my eye on a cowboy suit for ages; waistcoat, chaps and a fringed hat, but it was too expensive.

I realised he was magical at Christmas when I was four. The presents all opened, Pop went to light the fire. He called me into the dining room.

"Look," he pointed. "I can’t light the fire because Father Christmas has left something behind. Help me get it out."

We tugged at the present stuck in the chimney. Out came a brightly wrapped box with my name on it; inside, the cowboy suit along with a shiny gun and holster.

Story by:

Lesley Whayman

lesleylion@tiscali.co.uk

submitted at 8:43am

15 March 2009