Daily Archives: January 20, 2015



I had seen him as the bus pulled up. He was standing, impatient to get off, a wrapped bag of chips in his hand, smiling already in anticipation. He always relished a bag of chips. As soon as the door swished open, he jumped off the step, and onto the side of the road.

Normally he would have crossed the road behind the bus, but he was in a hurry, so he skipped around the front.

Seeing me across the road, as I stood outside outside our house waiting for him, he called “Hello mum, I’ve got chips!”

He didn’t hear me as, terrified, I warned him to wait at the other side, because a car was approaching from behind the bus.

I registered the sudden shocked shout of the bus driver, as at the same time, in slow motion, I saw my son running straight in front of the car; heard the car’s brakes screeching as the driver tried to avoid colliding into human flesh; saw the car hitting my son, and him flying up into the air, flipping over, and falling downwards, head first.

Something happened inside my brain at that moment. I saw him land, and ran to his lifeless body. I sat in front of the now stationary car, his head on my lap, seeping blood onto my jeans, while at the same time they absorbed water from the rain-soaked tarmac, and unearthly sounds escaped from deep within me.

I was still there when the emergency services arrive to take him away from me. The rain poured down upon me and I watched the disappearing tail lights of the vehicle which had come to carry my son onto the past forever. As it disappeared around the corner, arms wrapped around me in an effort to comfort and guide me into the house. I slipped out of those arms and curled up in the mud.

There was a coffin, and a hole in the ground, and people wanted to put the coffin in the hole. It was raining still, and the place inside me that my son had filled with fun and excitement was screaming out in anguish and dispair. There was no future. My bady rocked backwards and forwards, and the only word I could emit was “Paul”.

“Paul Paul Paul.”

And then, suddenly I was in the present, and none of that had happened yet. My son was heading towards the ground, and suddenly, miraculously, he twisted upwards, to land on his stomach, with his head off the ground.

The car had stopped, and only his feet were under the bonnet. I ran to him, and, gingerly, he got up. Chips and wrapping littered the road. As I wrapped my arms tightly around him, the shocked driver got out of the car, the bus driver joined us, and all the usual things were said: “He appeared so suddenly. “Are you ok, lad?” “I couldn’t stop!” “I shouted to warn him.”

His dad had heard the car as it braked, and he was there too.

My son was struggling in my arms; I was holding him too tightly. Even after he freed himself I was unable to let go of his shoulder.

Everyone wanted to know how he had managed to twist himself around, deftly cheating Death out of his young victim.

My son shrugged and said “Don’t know, I just did,”

He looked longingly at the mess of uneaten supper all over the road, and suddenly the terrible loss dawned upon him.

His face dropped. “I was really looking forward to those chips,” he said.

© Jane Paterson Basil


Embed from Getty Images
This is the story of Nicky
And her knickers so shamelessly nicked
By a nasty knicker nicker
Who finally got nicked

Nicky was tired of her knickers
Which were tatty and shabby and grey
When she got her first weeks wages
She threw her old knickers away

Yes, Nicky bought new knickers
In red and green and blue
Because she’d got her wages
And wanted something new

Nicky wore her knickers
in the normal knickery way
And as one would hope, she wore
A different pair each day

At the end of every evening
Getting ready for the night
Her knickers went in the laundry bin
Tucked down out of sight.

But when she did her washing
And hung it out to dry
She realised a horrible thing
Which made her want to cry

Someone had nicked her knickers
She could see that her knickers were gone.
There was nothing left of those knickers
She’d so recently sat upon.

Now Nicky lived with a family
And two of them were young men
Nicolas was the older brother
And the younger one was Ben.

She couldn’t believe that either one
Would commit such a heinous act
As to nick her pretty knickers
So slyly behind her back.

Time went by as it always does
And her knickers were never returned
And poor little Nicky was saddened
By a lesson so harshly learned.

Life was never the same for Nicky
She decided she had to be strict
And stick with tatty grey knickers
To ensure that they wouldn’t get nicked

Now many years have passed and gone
And now she’s old and grey
And although it made her unhappy
She’s stuck to her rule to this day

But it’s funny how things can alter
When hope is all but gone
Soon for the first time in fifty-five years
Nicky will put her bright knickers back on.

Her brother he lives in a flat in a block
And Old Nicolas lives below
And her brother came to say to her
“There’s something I think you should know.”

“A knicker nicker’s been nicking girls knicks
Right off the washing line
And the police came along and arrested Nick
After all of this time

“And they found two bin bags of knickers.
He had kept hidden in his flat
And I bet that your knickers are with them.
What do you think of that?”

And now she knew for certain
Old Nick was the naughty nicker
Nick had knocked her knickers off
And Nick was the clothesline picker

He’d nicked those natty knickers
And kept them all those years.
Now knickerless, Nicolas has been nicked
For stealing things that belong on girls rears.

Now Nicky’s at the cop-shop
Identifying her rainbow pants
And as they hand them back to her
She’s trilling out her thanks.

Tomorrow she’ll have a secretive smile
Because no-one will ever know
That her brightly coloured knickers
Are fifty-five years old.

© Jane Paterson Basil