Collection 1

March 8, 2015

When Gran’pa was a tramp

George lay awake in bed for a long time. He was thinking about the story Gran'ma had told him and his elder sister Ann. The evening had been exciting. Gran'ma had told them about the days when 'Abdu'l-Baha had visited England. He had felt proud when Gran'ma told them that Gran'pa had met 'Abdu'l-Baha. But his mouth was left gaping wide open with wonder when they were told that at that time Gran'pa was a tramp.

'Gran'pa a tramp?!' He still couldn't believe it.

He turned and whispered, "Ann . . . do you think Gran'pa was really a tramp!'

Half asleep, she mumbled, "Oh, go to sleep George and Gran'ma doesn't tell tall tales like you do."

Gran'pa would call him 'little tramp' whenever he returned home from school shuffling along the dirt path bent under the weight of his school bag and covered from head to toe in dust.

George tried to picture Gran'pa as a tramp. An old hat much too small resting on a clump of overgrown hair. An unwashed face lost in a dense growth of beard. An over- sized coat multi-coloured by the numerous patches on it. Discoloured trousers held-up by a piece of string, baggy at the knees and short at the ankles. Oversized boots stiff with age, which had lost their identity beneath successive layers of mud. The picture was complete and the tramp began to walk with a shuffling gait, the shoulders bent under an unseen weight.