For Chrissakes, Beryl!  They’re not our kind; he’s a bloody truck driver!


Well, Claire has chosen to spend her life with his son; live with it already.  Beyond meeting them at the engagement party and the wedding, we need never see them again.  Here, give me a hand, I can’t reach.  She turned her back to him and he drew the tongue of the zipper up to the nape of her neck, fastened the little pearl button into its loop.  He lifted his drink from it’s damp footprint on the mahogany surface of the bedside table and walked over to the open French doors, out onto the patio where he stood staring out over the rolling lawns.

A sooty black cat sneered at him from a deckchair, swishing her tail with disapproval at the interruption of her nap.  From next door came the smell of woodfire and the telltale clank of the Weber’s lid being removed in preparation for a braai.

He thought back to the day she was born; his jubilation upon returning from the hospital to his practice.  He’d gone into his partner’s office with a bottle of Dimple and two of his best cigars.  It’s a beautiful girl, Walt, what say we start her portfolio with some Anglo shares?


And if that mockingbird don’t sing,

Daddy’s gonna buy you a diamond ring …

She was putting his baby grandson to bed, the words of the rhyme drifted down out of the bedroom window, as it had at Christmas when she herself was a child.  He smiled wryly as he brushed the ice from the latch on the gate to let the dogs out for their last run.  Yes, Daddy had indeed bought her a diamond ring.  He’d also bought her a sports car, a university education and several trips to wherever she wanted to go.  He’d bought her everything her heart desired and more.

From the day she was born, he’d tried his best to protect her.  She grew into a wonderful young woman and he was proud when she graduated and joined his law firm.  It was exactly what he had planned for her.  And then she spoiled it all by taking up with that good-for-nothing drifter.  Bloody opportunist, three months and then she was pregnant and off they went and got married without his permission.  It had given him great satisfaction to arrange the car accident.

She’d soon get over the grief.  And then he’d introduce her to that nice young lawyer who’d just joined his golf club.  Yes, Daddy always knows best and what’s right for his little girl.

Hush, little baby, don’t say a word,
Papa’s gonna buy you a mockingbird.

©Cindy Taylor 2009


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