The year six teachers have given Tallulah’s class an assignment which has been in progress since the beginning of term.
Each child has been given a flour baby, and has been expected to care for them for the week.
A flour baby, for those of you who have not read the book, is a small parcel of flour which is allocated to a child, whereupon the child is supposed to learn to care for another being, smaller than itself, in preparation for parenthood – or not becoming a psychopath, whichever comes first.
There have, as you can imagine, been varying degrees of success with regard to the care and nurture of said flour babies. Some have had short and tragic lives which have involved quite a lot of reconstructive surgery. Others are now the owners of palatial three storey mansions with lifts and servants.
Such is life.
Tallulah’s flour baby is called Elton. His full name is Elton Sherlock John I believe. His show name is Lickapilly Pimlico.
When he first arrived he was nothing but a small rectangle of flour wrapped in cellophane – but since he has been spending time with us, nurtured in the bosom of the family – or Tallulah’s top pocket, he has actually grown a face.
Which is nice.
A face which looks surprisingly like Elton John’s face – slightly bald with granny specs.
Elton is not terribly advanced. His language skills are very poor. Mostly he just communicates in sounds that are a cross between a goose honk and Donald Duck’s voice. Tallulah has taught him to say ‘hello’, but in the main he prefers to honk at people, usually when some outrage is being perpetrated upon his person.
Which seems fair.
The only real misfortune Elton has had in the past few days is on the sad occasion when Tallulah dropped his house on him, and if someone dropped your house on you, you would probably honk a bit too.
He was somewhat dazed, but recovered remarkably quickly. It takes a lot to knock Elton down.
He’s a fighter.
And a honker,
But thankfully not yet a lover.
Elton quite likes his house, when it’s not squashing him like the Wicked Witch of the West. It is a converted shoe box, which in flour baby terms is rather like having a loft apartment in an ex warehouse in the meat packing district. His furnishings are getting more luxurious as the days go by, depending on what crafting materials are to hand. I note that his bed has so many blankets on it I am reminded of the Princess and the Pea, which also seems fitting for Elton.
Despite my initial researvations Elton is an excellent house guest. He is very low maintenance and you hardly hear a honk out of him. He eats little and doesn’t make much mess. He keeps very regular hours for a rock legend, and I have seen little evidence of his life of excess, apart from the copious blankets.
I feel he is a little lonely. He hasn’t yet met that special someone…