In Mrs O’Paws’ house, there are cobwebs in the corners, dirty shirts on the floor and cupboards that are bare.
One day at lunchtime when Mrs O’Paws was just starting to eat her Marmite and chocolate spread on toast, the phone rang. It was Mrs Potty.
‘Where are you?’ Mrs Potty said.
‘I’m here,’ said Mrs O’Paws.
‘No,’ said Mrs Potty, ‘I mean why aren’t you here?’
‘I am here,’ said Mrs O’Paws starting to feel confused.
‘You can’t be, I’m here and you’re definitely not.’
Mrs O’Paws had a think then said, ‘Well, if I’m not there, where are you?’
‘In the restaurant where we’re supposed to be having lunch,’ Mrs Potty said.
Mrs O’Paws laughed, ‘We’re not having lunch till Thursday, silly.’
‘It is Thursday.’
‘Is it? Oh dear, I’m sorry, I forgot,’ said Mrs O’Paws.
The next morning Mrs O’Paws and Mr O’Paws were having breakfast in the kitchen. They were having dry corn flakes and black tea because Mrs O’Paws had forgotten to get any milk.
Mr O’Paws was reading his newspaper. He looked at Mrs O’Paws.
‘It’s a lovely morning, isn’t it?’ he said.
Mrs O’Paws burst into tears and ran upstairs to the bathroom. She stood behind the door sniffling. Mr O’Paws followed the noise.
‘What’s the matter, dear?’ he said.
‘Nothing. Everything. I don’t know.’
Mr O’Paws thought it would be sensible for Mrs O’Paws to visit the doctor. When she arrived at the surgery she tried to open the door by pushing the one that said pull.
‘Oh dear,’ said Mrs O’Paws.
She told the doctor about all the things that been happening. He said, ‘It’s your age. Take these pills. Goodbye.’
Mrs O’Paws took one pill but then couldn’t remember where she had put the bottle and soon forgot what the doctor had said anyway.
One morning the postman came early. He brought a letter for Mrs O’Paws. Mrs O’Paws loved to receive a letter but she needed her glasses to read it. She looked on the table, under the table, on the floor, down the back of the chair, next to her bed, on top of the microwave, in the dog’s bed. She looked everywhere but Mrs O’Paws couldn’t find her glasses.
When Mr O’Paws got home from work that evening, he was hungry and he decided to make himself a sandwich He opened the fridge and took out the cheese box but there wasn’t any cheese there. Instead he found Mrs O’Paws’s glasses.
‘I must have put them there by mistake,’ she said, ‘but what have I done with the cheese?’
They looked everywhere but they couldn’t find the cheese.
‘Oh dear, I’d better go to the supermarket tomorrow,’ Mrs O’Paws said.
The next day Mrs O’Paws got up early to go to the supermarket. The supermarket was very big with lots of aisles and lots of different sorts of food.
Mrs O’Paws couldn’t remember what she wanted but she thought tins would be useful. She put in her trolley tins of baked beans, broad beans, green beans, kidney beans, white beans, has beans and a bar of chocolate. All the tins had given Mrs O’Paws an idea.
She started to empty her trolley. She put the tins on the floor next to each other. When she had almost made a circle of tins, she put another layer on top and then another layer until she couldn’t reach any higher. Then she sat in the middle of her tin tower and ate her bar of chocolate.
The supermarket manager was very understanding and sent for Mr O’Paws to come and take her home. Mr O’Paws said sorry to the supermarket manager who said, ‘That’s all right. We get a lot of ladies of a certain age in here.’
Mr O’Paws thought it would be sensible for Mrs O’Paws to go and see Mr Therapy but Mrs O’Paws laughed.
‘I don’t need to see Mr Therapy, ‘she said. ‘I feel much better now I know what to do.’
So if you’re ever in Happy Family Land and you see someone building a tower of tins, you’ll know who it is, won’t you?