When I was ten my teachers decided that there was too much silliness and tomfoolery going on in the playground. Fighting or flirting, I’m not sure which. To introduce some decorum or at least to keep an eye on us, I suppose, they decided that we were to play softball at lunchtime. Girls against the boys.
Everyday I rushed home for lunch. Lunchtime began at twelve o’clock and the play bell rang at twenty past. How I got through dinner with meat, potatoes and veggies as well as pudding, then scooted back to play softball is a mystery to me now. I’d throw my bike into the shed and run to the outfield where my friend Lyndsay was already positioned for fielding. Slowly we’d gravitate towards each other, keeping our distance from the others, so we could chatter about her pony, Pixie, not really keeping an eye on the ball.
There was a day when, absorbed in this chatter, I heard the other girls screaming,
“Maryan, Maryan, the ball, THE BALL, CATCH THE BALL!”
I looked up and saw a softball sailing through the sky. Without a thought I put my cupped hands above my head and home it came.
For the merest nanosecond no-one moved, then girls, teachers and Lyndsay burst out laughing. I had caught it. I was astonished, dumbfounded, amazed and ecstatic.
No-one, least of all the batsman had expected it. He was furious.