One day, FOTH (father of the house) decided he would play a joke on The Princess. I had chopped chicken for dinner and came across this bit of goodness-knows-what. Before I could discard it, FOTH picked it up and called for The Princess,
“Look what Mum found in the chicken. A chicken tooth.”
The Princess: No way Dad, you’re joking.
FOTH: No, seriously, it is. They are very rare you know.
The Princess: I don’t believe you.
FOTH: Go and ask Jim. He’ll tell you.
Jim is one of our neighbours and has a wicked sense of humour. He is forever telling the children jokes, engaging them with his magic tricks and giving them lateral thinking exercises. His magic, disappearing, elbow, coin trick is the best I have seen.
Off trots The Princess at 6pm, pyjama-clad and carefully holding, in the palm of her hand… the Chicken Tooth. Jim, of course, has no warning of what is unfolding but the FOTH has unquestionable confidence in Jim’s ability to keep the story going.
Meanwhile, I turn to my husband and give him the ‘evil chicken’ stare. I know this is not going to end well.
The Princess returns, flustered from running excitedly across the street. I feel terrible but say nothing under strict instructions from FOTH.
FOTH: So, what did Jim say?
The Princess: (breathless) OMG, he said that it’s really rare and might be worth some money.
FOTH: Really? Hmmm. Wow.
The Princess: Oh, and he wants to know where you got the chicken because he wants to go there. Chicken Teeth are rare you know Dad.
FOTH: I told you.
The Princess: Where DID you get that chicken from?
FOTH tells The Princess about the organic chicken sold at the butcher near the local supermarket and off she trots again across the road. This time she returns even more animated. It turns out that Jim’s wife has chimed in, asking if Jim can take her to the butcher right this minute. The Princess is sure she’s got something special now. I can’t bear it any more. I know I have to say something. I go to speak then,
“I’m going to sell this on Ebay, Mum can you take a photo for me?” and there she is, sitting at the computer trying to find out if there is anything else like what she has. Oh for the love of….
Me: Princess, Dad is joking. It’s not a chicken tooth. It’s just a gristly bit in the meat honey. Look, here are some more.
The Princess: Awwwwwwwww. You’re bums. You’re all bums.
At least she said that with a smile.