Poor Jane

A story in the style of P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins. by Darlene Milner

Mary Poppins as imagined by the illustrator of the book series, Mary Shepard, for the first volume.

As Mary Poppins, Michael and Jane sat on the bus, they wanted to get up and play but the bus driver told them to sit still. Mary sighed and told them she wouldn’t be embarrassed by their behaviour. “Come sit and I’ll tell you a story.”

Mary’s stories were always fun. They never felt like stories. They felt like adventures they were alive in. This story began with the chimney sweep, Bert. “You remember him and his chalk drawing?” The children nodded and scooted closer to their friend.

“Well, ole Bert had just cleaned the chimney at your house, remember? Only after he cleaned up the mess on the fireplace rug, he noticed a noise in the chimney. He had just been in there, so he knew there wasn’t anything there. But there was the noise again.”

Michael interrupted with, “What was it, Mary?”

“Patience is a virtue, Michael. Now hush.” She went on to tell them that Bert crawled back up into the chimney. Suddenly he was calling out. It seemed he was stuck.

“I remember! I went back in to save him!” Jane said.

“Yes, you did. Do you want to tell this story?”

Jane nodded again and started from her point of view. “Well, I got stuck, too! There was a small bird fluttering around Bert’s head. It was saying that it accidentally flew into the flue and couldn’t get out. I felt so sorry for her that I forgot about being stuck in there.”

“Oh, I remember that Jane! I tried to go in to save you but Mary stopped me and sent me to bed.” Michael complained.

“Well, I didn’t know about that because I couldn’t seem to get around Bert to get to the bird. Finally, Bert slid back down and out the front of the fireplace. I was in the chimney alone and I was so afraid. But then the bird started singing to me and I felt better.

“The bird didn’t seem so upset anymore. She lit on my shoulder. I loved that. She started telling me how she got blown by a strong wind that she tried to stay out of. It seemed a magical wind that was directed at Nannies but the bird was the only one that got caught up in it.”

“‘I was trying to get back to my nest of eggs when it happened.’ the bird said shaking her head in sadness.

“I remember curling up with the bird and tried to make her feel better. She was so sweet and sang with such a high trill. We told each other stories and she let me pet her head.” Jane suddenly grew quiet.

“What’s wrong, Jane?” Michael asked. He was engrossed in the story.

“I can’t remember the rest, except I got very hot like someone had lit the fire.”

“That is because you caught the flu and all of this was due to your fever climbing.”

“Did it really happen, then, Mary?” Michael and Jane asked

But as the children knew, Mary would never tell.

Thank you, Linda, for this fun opportunity. Just Jot It January is so fun! And thank you, M. Oniker for the fun prompt.

 

 

Advertisements