When Paul signed on at Centrelink to look for a job they took his details and asked for his postal address. He had given his mother a poste restante address of a post office in the next suburb over but this only lasted a month. So he had to give them Maisie’s Post Office box number. He only discovered that she had no mail delivered to the house when he was clearing out the front yard. There was no letterbox! However there was a sign on the fence that said “No Junk Mail”. Maisie explained that by having a box number no one really knew where you lived and the front garden wasn’t cluttered up with rubbish. Paul had a little smile on his face when she told him that but was wise enough to keep his mouth shut.
Walking up the laneway at the back of the house he could hear Maisie talking to someone in the back yard.
“Clarence, don’t think you can come crawling back in here. I told you last time that I had finished with you, now you have done the dirty on me again”.
Paul couldn’t believe his ears. Surely she didn’t have someone else that used her place to doss down in. He couldn’t figure out whether to go through the back gate or keep out of sight. He was so full of his news that he would get a job start allowance just needing to front up each fortnight to say what jobs he had applied for and by keeping a log book. He fiddled about a bit then took the plunge and opened the gate.
Maisie was at the back door, admonishing the dog. Suddenly it all appeared clear, Clarence was the dog and that name was only mentioned when he had done something wrong. Maisie looked up saw Paul then looked down at the dog again and put her finger to her lips so as to let the dog know he shouldn’t say anything.
Paul sighed in relief. It was business as usual in his new home!
“Well?” said Maisie.
The dog meanwhile was unsure whether he was allowed back in or not, nudged the flyscreen door without success. He then gave up and went to see whether his weekly juicy bone hidden in the garden had been found by the cats or even the goat.
Paul explained to Maisie what had happened and his use of her address for correspondence.
“That’s all right Paul, you are one of the family now”.
It was the first time she had called him by his name. He was so touched that he gave her a hug and said, “It really feels like that too”.
Meanwhile the Galah swinging in its cage above them let out a fearful screech.
At which Maisie retorted, “I don't think she is so stressed any more she is getting some of her feathers back”.
We will leave Maisie for the moment, however she may return from time to time.