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A Different Memory

There’s a war memorial in a park near where we live. There’s a paved area surrounded by a beautiful little garden and some park benches. There’s a plaque with the names of soldiers who served and those who died and there’s a series of statues.

In the centre of the paved area there are two statues of soldiers. They look young and brave, but they’re leaning against each other as though they need the support. Sitting on one of the benches are two more statues, these ones of an elderly lady and a young boy. They are looking towards the soldiers, the child pointing at them and the old woman leaning down to talk to him.

We’ve driven past the memorial countless times over the last couple of years, but it clearly hasn’t registered with Big Brother before now. A few days ago we were driving past it and he said, “There are statues over there.”

There was a moment’s pause. Then, “And there are two more statues sitting down! Why are those statues there?”

“Well…” I began, flipping through conversation ideas in my head. Do I start with the word ‘memorial’? Or do I start with the war? Or soldiers? Do I talk about how his grandfathers were both soldiers? Or say the statues are there as a celebration of bravery?

I didn’t even have a chance to speak. In the seven and a half seconds I’d been thinking, Big Brother had figured it out.

“Oh,” he said, his eyes wide and his expression serious.

“The White Witch was here.”

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