A story about a story, by Joanne Verikios
How much do you remember about your primary school days? I attended the same school for seven years and remember the names of most of my contemporaries and all my teachers. I still see the thorny, purple bougainvillea creeper under the headmaster's window; smell the cool, shady area underneath the school where we played games like "beam" (where you bounced a tennis ball off a beam); feel the heat rising from the asphalt quadrangle where we would assemble for parade, flag raising and marching into class to the tune of The Colonel Bogey; recall the scrubbed floor boards and the scarred wooden desks with holes for inkwells; relive our progression from slates and slate pencils (which we would sharpen by rubbing them on a kerb) to exercise books with lines that got narrower every year, to reflect the improvement of our fine motor skills, and real graphite pencils; and grimace with disgust at the crates of cute little, gold-topped bottles of government-supplied, compulsory sun-warmed milk that I never drank.
From a very early age I have been able to tune in to what horses and ponies were thinking and what they were likely to do next.