Through a Child's eyes
Monday is the day that the banana boat comes in at the little dock, so I'm gettin' up really early today.
Our Billy has already gone out fishing with Jed O'reily.
They've gone to the closed down dock to catch some flatties. He always gets a couple does our Billy.
He can fish better than he can rob bananas, so me and Mick Macgillicudy are going to the little dock. I can carry loads of green bananas.
I've made this little carry stick which goes 'round me shoulders.
Mick Macgillicudy can carry mountains of 'em though. I like goin' to the little dock with Mick. You can't eat them though until they go yellow.
If you eat them when they're green you get right gripes. My dad says they're powerful enough to give a twenty stone docker the s***s.
Mick reckons he's found a new hole in the fence around the docks, he says seen the Kelly girls cuttin' through it with those big shears that their dad got off the docks. He reckons they stay in the docks all night when they get in. That must be cold for them this time of year.
Anyway, as long as the dock cops haven't found it yet, who cares?
'I'm up mum.'
'Banging one foot on the floor doesn't mean that you're up, Jack Dooley.'
'Have you lit the fire mum?'
'It's been blazing for half an hour, get yourself down these stairs NOW!'
'There's ice on the inside of me window mum.'
'More reason to get down here then. Hurry up or your porridge will be cold.'
Porridge...Jimmy Jackson has kellogs cornflakes every day for 'is brekky, with fresh milk as well.
We have to put loads of sugar on our porridge just to make the milk tastes nice.
My dad drinks sterry milk straight from the bottle, yuck!
'Ok, I'm coming now mum, I'm up, I'm up.'
'Are you sure you know where this hole is Mick? We've been looking for ages'
'Shut up squirt and just follow me. I know where it is.'
'Yeah but we've been looking for ages'.
'I told you, we'll find it in a minute.'
'Yeah but we've been looking for ages.'
'Shut up squirt.'
'Do you know those chains that we climb down, the ones with the big rings on the end?'
'Yeah, what about them?'
'Well, my dad says that that's where they used to chain the slaves up after they got them off the boats.'
'You mean that the ring on the end used to go around their necks?'
'It's true, my dad says so!'
'Where's this hole Mick?'
'Shut up squirt.'
I hope there's lots of bust cases today. Mr Jolly gives us sixpence for a good bunch, and I can carry seven bunches with my new carry stick.
That means two bunches for me mum and four for Jollies.
That's two bob for me!
Oh yeah, and a bunch for me Nan.
I hope Mick finds this hole in the fence, the one that the Kelly girls cut with their dads' shears.
Once we're in it'll be easy, over the waste ground where the bombs fell and sneak behind the dockers' canteen. Then it's past the big dock and over to the little dock where the banana boat is tied up.
They haven't got them big new cranes in the little dock so all the crates are pulled out of the boat with pulleys and rope.
Lots of crates fall and split open. The dockers take loads of green bananas home on Mondays.
My dad's on the big dock, so it's up to me to get the bananas on Mondays.
Our Billy would be too scared to climb down the slave chains to the wooden quay anyway, and I can climb back up with seven bunches!
Got to watch out for the big spiders though.
'Over here, found it.'
'Go on then, you first.'
'See you at the banana shed.'
I hope Mick's all right, that copper nearly got us that time. And I dropped two great big bunches, he nearly got a hand to my collar. I hope Mick got away too. I hope he doesn't give my name in.
'Lo' Mr Jolly.'
'Easy on that door lad! the devil after you or what?'
'Err, no Mr Jolly, want any bananas?'
'Been down to the little dock 'ave we?'
'Just some brokies Mr Jolly.'
'Ere' let's 'ave a look then.'
'These are good one these are Mr Jolly, nice and green.'
'Fourpence a bunch Jack Dooley, and not a penny more.'
'But they're worth six Mr Jolly.'
'They might be, if I wasn't already stocked up.'
'Your mate Mick, he came in ten minutes ago, with this lot here.'
'Wish he had got collared the.....'
'What was that Jack?'
'Nothing Mr Jolly, fourpence you say?'
'You've got five bunches there lad, that's one and eight.'
'No, just three, there's one for me mum, and one for me Nan.'
'That's just a shillin' then Jack, less fourpence for the mantles.'
'Your mum knows too well just how much they are Jack Dooley, and you can tell her I said that.'
'Nothing, Mr Jolly. Okay, that's eighpence you owe me then Mr Jolly.
'Goodbye Mr Dooley, nice doin' business with you.'
'Bye Mr Jolly.'
'MIND THAT DOOR!'
'Sorry Mr Jolly, me leg...'
'Don't tell me....it got stuck!'
Last Mondays bananas will be ready tonight. Me mum will take them out and put this bunch in the pantry to yellow for next week.
All that climbin' and runnin' has made me hungry.
It's fry up tonight. Mum'll have the cabbage on the boil now so I'd better get home quick.
Can't wait for me tea. The spuds taste better the day after they've been roasted.
Me mum'll bake tonight, banana and custard pie, with jam at the bottom. We have banana and custard pie every Monday.
My bananas, 'cause Monday is the day that the banana boat comes in at the little dock.
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