Jacobs Well, Queensland
Before we left for church, our father double checked, that we knew the signals quite correct, so we assured him that we understood, we told him that we all got him.
He said it might save our lives, he’d learned the signals to survive, in the jungles of war, but I am quite sure, that had he tried to use such there, then his own side would have shot him.
He claimed that he’d been a colonel, his stories all infernal, straight from ‘Boys Own Journals’, skills from fantasy time, when he had been a spy behind enemy lines.
Although he could not speak the language, it was there that he would languish, to the enemy’s frustration, he gathered vital information, while with top officials he would dine.
He didn’t need to speak nor understand, his bearing being of such command, just flash blank papers with a grunt, was enough to throw the enemy off the hunt.
Way back then, of course, he was much taller, but a battle wound made him smaller, he must have been so near to dead, about six inches off his head that left him quite the runt.
Back home to atone, he’d found the one true church, this ended our father’s endless search, however, research found them not quite correct, so they needed him to fix their defects.
For us his children, blessed be we, all our faults, he could see, for others too, that’s for sure, all who came to our door. For us and them, of our sins, it took one so perfect to detect.
Arriving at the church, smiling to make our faces hurt, our father herded us like sheep, ushered in by his chagrin. All hail now to the Almighty!
All must be made aware, that our father was there. He the one, secrets to unlock, while time ran out on the clock, with days numbered, numbers be, a countdown to eternity.
After services at the school hall, our father made his way to the front, so that three hundred might see and more, and so three hundred there, who could not ignore.
His eyes so serious and his lips a’pout, for with such secret business, there must be absolutely no doubt, that our father had received the call, for he knew all.
Lifting his arms, one and two, over accentuated signals for all to see, ‘Gather unto me, left side, right side, all I entreat!’ thus far only visual, of his army days residual.
But of his children, for which this was meant, he could see, not one at all, none of us had answered to his call. Our exits were made stealthy and gradual,
for we had been in, we heard the chuckles, we saw the grins, embarrassment set in, so we moved towards the door. We his children, one and all, we had left the hall.
Although there were many there then, to inform us, tell us, mock us, that our father was once more dancing before all the brethren,
we chose to ignore it, knew nothing at all of it. Somehow, our fathers mighty efforts had become derailed, seemed to have failed, to get our attention.
Our father then, not to be undone, decided on a whistle then, for each one. One for each, and we were many, high pitch, low pitch, twitter bird, whilst dancing absurd.
He stood so straight and with such class, as if a broomstick were lodged fair up his arse, whistling strong, whistling loud, so none could claim that they had not heard.
Arms flung into the air, whilst feet were planted firmly down, to turn the torso but not the hips, it’s not well known, but there was a trick, just swivel on that phantom stick.
Left arm a’wave, right arm a’wave, then both hands sustain, for a purpose to retain, a novelty sized head a’bobbing, to this dignity robbing, in order to call us all in quick.
But we all stood and watched, then said, ‘His plans must be botched, our father’s game must be ended.’ so we all pretended, just as we intended, that we were all deaf and blind.
The whistles became ecstatic, the dancing more erratic, as he started making little jumps in the air, which caught the brethren unaware, but still no children could he find.
Going home in the car, we would have to answer to our dancing star, as to why we had not come to the whistles, his manner all a’bristle, unacceptable to answer: ‘We are not dogs!’
For one full year, he brought us such cheer, yet never once would we appear, for we remained ignorant of the facts, as blind as bats, as deaf as logs.
Once home again, out came the strap, brought down by this happy chap, in order for expedience, to teach us all obedience, and to knock out our defiance.
For all his hard work, it did not work, and now the years have passed and so has he, but I can’t help but wonder, were he here to see, what he might think of me, as I pay homage here now to the Whistle Dance.
Bio: David says of this piece, that in life some characters are more cartoon-like than any fictional character one may care to dream up.