Who knew we would have an actual real-life tale unfolding before us!
Turns out one of my colleagues at work has a young niece, literally fresh from the farm, come down to live with her. Let's call her Orphan Annie for the moment. Brought up on a farmstead deep in the hinterlands where dairy products come fresh from the cows, vegetable dinners are plucked from the ground that very morning and fresh water is carried in buckets from the village well. Electricity is powered by the generator for only six hours a day, the nearest bank is more than a day's walk away and the postman comes once a week to deliver mail to the local school.
And I'm not even exaggerating.
Aw shucks, ya gotta be kidding me. Ya mean I gotta move to the big bad city?!
Of course for a dedicated city dweller like me, I was horrified to learn of all this. Postal address directed to the Paul who lives three stones down from the waterfall behind the schoolyard? No doubt a single day in Annie's isolated farm would probably have me running crazy amuck with a bloody axe.
Like all good stories, a severe lack of schooling opportunity in the country forced lil Orphan Annie to pack up for the nearest city. Or perhaps more like her aunt, my formidable nursing colleague, had her dragged kicking and screaming to the better schools in the inner city.
Paul : OMG It's just like the story Heidi.
Nurse : Who? My niece?
Paul : I have this image of your niece Annie coming down from the mountains with a travelling bag in hand coming to seek her fortune in the city.
Nurse : I wouldn't call it a fortune yet since her school results aren't the best. Annie was always a promising student back in the village but over here I think she is having some trouble adjusting to the new system.
Paul : Small Fish Big Pond syndrome?
Nurse : Something like that.
Paul : Takes a while to get used to something new, I guess.
Nurse : She's flunking biology and chemistry.
Paul : Ouch. Well there's always private tuition.
Nurse : True, but I don't think we can spare that much for extra tuition.
Really how could anyone say no to the heart-rending tale of Lil Orphan Annie? I've always had a soft spot for those wanting to better themselves. And isn't it just about time for a little giving and sharing?
So Pirating Patty and I, foolish dim-witted philanthrophists that we are, offered to give the girl private lessons.