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The Little Labourer

Since I’m still in a good mood, I’ll relate to you a nice moving story that will tug your heartstrings.

Since getting my Amazon Kindle eBook reader, I’ve rediscovered the delights of burying one’s head in a good book and I’m chewing through books like Sammy eats his tucker.

A favourite author is Bill Bryson who writes humorous travel books and I’m re-reading the one on his travels in Australia called ‘Down Under’ here and ‘In a Sunburned Country’ in the USA.

He tells a story about his friend, Catherine, who lives here in Oz, and in the 1950s, a friend of Catherine’s moved with her young family into a house next door to a vacant lot.

One day, a construction crew turned up to build a house on the lot.  Catherine’s friend had a four-year-old daughter who naturally took an interest in all the activity going on next door. She hung around on the margins and eventually the construction workers adopted her as a kind of mascot. They chatted to her and gave her little jobs to do and at the end of the week presented her with a little pay packet containing a shiny new half crown.  She took this home to her mother, who made all the appropriate cooing’s of admiration and suggested that they take it to the bank the next morning to deposit it in her account.

When they went to the bank, the teller was equally impressed and asked the little girl how she had come by her own pay packet.  "I’ve been building a house this week," she replied proudly.   "Goodness!" said the teller. "And will you be building a house next week, too?"   "I will if we ever get the fucking bricks," answered the little girl.

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  1. April 3, 2011 at 3:15 pm

    Bill Bryson is from my own home state of Iowa. We went to the same university, though I attended many years AFTER he did. 😉

    It is sort of comforting that construction workers are known for their foul language the world over.

    And both settled in the same country.

  2. April 4, 2011 at 12:14 am

    Aussie construction workers have better tans than American ones.

    And better nicknames for their crew…

    That from a former expert.

  3. Laura
    April 5, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Hahaha, can totally relate to that at the moment, a slight slip of the tongue and they don’t forget…. even when you don’t think they are listening it will come up weeks later 😉
    Very difficult not to laugh though!

    Yes, they have sharp ears that’s for sure. Whenever you are available for a visit, let us know.

  4. April 7, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Haha. I’ve heard that one before.

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. It has been a long while since I have posted anything. I am going to try and retrain myself. If you aren’t too busy when you come to Shanghai, I would love to meet you.

  5. April 15, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Bill Bryson’s stuff is great. Great story too, thanks for sharing!

    Trouble is Bill is such a wimp when it comes to creepy crawlies that he would turn anyone off coming here after reading his book on Oz.

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