[2] John (Jack) Wales: young memories of Earith

Young memories of Earith – farm animals and rats in the piano.

My earliest recollection seems to be going to view the house, I mentioned in the previous chapter, with my elder sister.

Then I flash on to where we are in our new home and I am helping, or at least trying to help at that early age, my father to clean the horses and feed some little lambs with a babies bottle.

Young John's toy horse and cart.
Young John’s toy horse and cart.

Then I flash on once more to when I am learning to ice skate with my father and uncle, and again to where I am riding one of our young ponies.
Then I have started school with my friend from next door, sitting at little desks in little arm chairs, playing with Plasticine and sand, writing simple words and working out easy sums.

Then I remember when several pigs amounting to about ten, escaped from the bottom yard and found their way into the Drawing Room of the house.
Likewise a number of fowls did the same thing and even two rats who were hunted out of the yard by some ferrets took refuge under the house.
On finding this out, we put the ferrets under the house as well, and the rats therefore took refuge again, this time in the house and in no less a place than the piano!

Rat's head poking out of the piano.On hearing the piano playing on its own accord, we called the dog in, and opened the top of the piano. Then after a few kicks and a few notes being played, the two rats came forth and were immediately seized upon by the waiting dog!

[Written by John Wales while in the 3rd form at Huntingdon Grammar School]

By John (Jack) Wales

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