As I mentioned, besides PE, story time on Tuesdays was also the high point in our school week. It was such fun, two enjoyable ‘lessons’ and in two days in a row!
The teacher from Class 1D would take this session. Miss Alvis (the Ms. has not been invented yet) was British and very good at story telling. The children would gather at the front of the classroom, sit crossed legged on the floor and listen to her in rapt silence, broken by giggles and squeals as the story unfolded.
One Tuesday, Miss Alvis took ill and the class fell sullen. Then, a flicker of hope – Miss Alvis had apparently told my teacher (what’s his name?) that Leigh was a good story teller and perhaps he could tell all his friends a story.
Yes, that’s me. Like all budding authors, I thought to gain inspiration, I needed to take long walks in the forests, climb mountains, sit at the Dalai Lama’s feet and…
In Singapore, they uprooted forests to build factories and roads, flattened hills to reclaim land from the sea, and as for the Dalai Lama – already too many authors crowding around his feet – so, I took this shot in a studio – looks real huh?
You must have guessed by now, that I showed the first signs of a love for words even back then. Now, for the story…
So, there I was at six years old, on my very first stage performance. I sat on Miss Alvis’ chair, in front, facing the entire class gathered around my feet. I read out a particularly fun collection that included Puss in Boots, Humpty Dumpty and The Three Bears. Consummate star that I was, I mimicked and acted and spoke with flailing arms and legs. The children laughed, squealed and clapped. What great fun! It was a memorable day for all of us.
Many years later, when I met one of my classmates, Mabel, she recounted that day. I was pleased a million and thanked her. I too remembered how everyone laughed and clapped.
“Do you know why we all laughed so loud?” asked Mabel.
Of course, I knew but I wanted to hear it from her. We show-people have such huge egos that required constant stoking.
“Because you did not wear any underwear and we all saw.”
********** Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2012 **********