He is about nine years old. They have crossed the railway lines, steam engines belching smoke and fire. Sooty dragons passing. The castle is under siege and they must protect it. They scale the volcanic mass, ancient lava spell-fixed, frozen beneath them, its jagged forms gifting hand and toe holds. The upward journey is easy. It is the descent which traps them. Ignomy as the fire brigade are called to get them down and later, his mother’s strap across the back of his legs to teach a lesson. It stings.
He learns. To be more careful next time, avoid being caught…there’s things to be doing in this city, scaffolding to climb, bonfire gangs and gaps in the gazelle fences giving a free pass to the zoo. A boy has things to be about .
~for Andrew x