The little girl, Terry, looked up as her mother lent over to serve scrambled eggs onto her plate. Although she was seven-years-old she was a skinny little thing who looked more like a five-year-old. She wore dirty green corduroy play shorts topped by a green sweater. Her clothing was dirty. She sat next to her nine-year-old sister who was clad in identical, equally dirty clothing. They had spent a joyful day playing outside in a wild garden making dens from branches, cut grass and leaves. Both girls sat on newspaper covered chairs, so arranged by their mother to protect the chair seats.
Just as the scrambled egg was about to be served onto her plate Terry made her proclamation;
“Mummy, I don’t like scrambled eggs.”
“Nonsense” responded her mother “you have always loved scrambled eggs. I’ll give you one spoonful. You can taste and remember that you love them.”
“No Mummy, I don’t like scrambled eggs!” Terry was emphatic. She looked at her sister who was about to proclaim that she, also, didn’t like scrambled eggs. Their mother intervened and glared at the older girl mouthing the words.
“No, you don’t.”
The older girl kept quiet.
Their mother rasped to the older girl, “You eat your eggs and show Terry how good they are. I’ll also put some on my plate.”
“As for you,” she glared at Terry, “eat your toast while I go to the kitchen to see if there is anything else for you to eat.”
She returned with a look on finality on her face and announced with a flourish,
“Confumbulum, especially for Terry.”
Terry looked at the pink food, with the consistency of scrambled eggs. She stared while it was being served onto her plate. If her mother hadn’t looked so stern she might have declared another dislike. Instead she accepted the honor of a special food and murmured “Confumbulum” as she ate.