Chronicles of Gusty Gully
Tom Beynon was Tom the Milks son, Tom the Loaf’s grandson and the dearly departed, Tom the Crop’s great grandson. No one called him just Tom. They called him Tom Junior in school, even though he was fourteen. Tom was sick of it and decided that it was time to find a name of his own.
One Saturday morning, as Tom was walking passed the home for waifs and strays, he read a notice posted on a door, set in an old stone wall.
Required! Someone to deliver eggs! Apply within, he read. And without thinking, that is exactly what he did.
Tom held his breath as he lifted the latch and pushed the door open. He had always wondered what was on the other side of the wall, and now he knew. It was like entering another world, another time and there wasn’t another house like it in the entire village of Gusty Gully.
Taking a deep breath, Tom scanned the garden which sloped down to a pond where a large old summerhouse stood. It was peaceful, despite the chorus of birds and the clucking and cooing of hens. He giggled to see their bottoms up in the air as they drank, like puppets, from the pond. How he wished that he could live in a world like this one and he crossed his fingers behind his back and prayed that the job hadn’t gone.
‘Why, you’re Tom the Milk’s son, aren’t you?’ said a friendly lady walking down the path towards him. Tom straightened up and nodded his head. If that’s what it took to get the job, he thought, he would own up to being anyone’s son, even Ed the Bed’s.
‘Have you come about the job?’ she asked, wiping her hands in a piece of cloth. Tom nodded and smiled at the hens that followed her.
‘I guess they are the ones that lay the eggs,’ said Tom biting his lip awkwardly. The woman shook her head and waved to a man who was digging the garden.
‘This is my husband,’ she said and a kind and unassuming man looked up at them. Tom waved to the man and noticed the large Victorian greenhouse behind him. It was like stepping back in time, he thought.
So, because he was Tom the Milk’s son, Tom was given the job.
‘But how will I deliver the eggs?’ Tom frowned. ‘I hadn’t thought about that.’
The kind and unassuming man who was also very clever told Tom that a bicycle would be provided and that there would be a carrier for eggs.
‘You can start next Saturday,’ said the lady and that is exactly what Tom the Milk’s son did.
The following week, the kind and unassuming man gave Tom an old fashioned bicycle, with a large woven basket attached to the handlebars. He lifted the lid and showed Tom the eggs, and a list of all the places he had to go. When the lid was closed, Tom had the greatest shock ever. The kind and unassuming man had made a sign and stuck it to the basket. On it was painted a nest of eggs and the words, Tom the Egg.
Tom could hardly speak. Not only had he got himself a job and a company bike, but he, Tom the Milk’s son, had got a name for himself. Now everyone in Gusty Gully would know him as Tom the Egg!
And that was just the beginning.