Monday, October 25, 2010

Four Poppins on an Autumn Afternoon

Something rarely seen in Cloverdale. Four Poppins were seen walking from the train station to the shops on the High Street. The Poppins usually don’t take the train, or travel by car. In fact, for years the locals have wondered how they get from place to place.

The Poppins are friendly to talk to but remain secretive about their family and their family business ventures. What I do know is that most female Poppins find excellent employment in child care. They prefer short contracts in troubled homes and schools that need their ‘magical’ touch. Once they’ve done what they can do (work miracles according to anyone that has ever employed a Poppins) they move along, leaving the easier work to others not ‘classically’ trained, as they like to put it.

The four Poppins you see above walking on the High Street are in training (notice their similar dress - hat, coat, scarf and shoes). Once again, a part of their classical education.

I bumped into them again an hour or so later at the Kicking Donkey. They were enjoying a glass of wine before returning to the Station for the 4:10 to Tamworth on Tide.
“Enjoying a break from your training?” I stood beside their table, interrupting a conversation on the quality of the wine.
“Our training never ends,” the eldest said before taking another sip from her glass. “Experiencing the world is part of a good education. It helps us relate to the children placed in our care.”

I hoped they would tolerate another question or two. I cleared my throat, “I saw you coming from the train station about an hour ago. It’s rare to see a Poppins on a train."

“I love the train,” the youngest spoke. Her bright green eyes sparkled when she spoke.

“We know you do,” the eldest said in a tone intended to remind the youngest not to state the obvious. “We must be leaving ladies. We have families waiting. Gather your things.”

The four stood and promptly left the Pub. The smell of lilac lingered behind like a pleasant afterthought. I returned to my seat to finish my sandwich and Diet Coke.
"One day," I thought to myself, "I'll unlock the code to the Poppins."

I looked at the clock. It was getting late. The Autumn sun was sending long shadows across the High Street. I still had a few errands to run before dark. Off in the distance I heard the 4:10's whistle as it approached the station. I left a tip at the table and moved out into the late afternoon.

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