On our way home from our short daily stroll, Daughter and I stopped at no. 2 and I accosted the man building a fence next to the pavement. He’s new. So new he’s not moved in, but is ‘improving’ the house, which to my mind was so beautifully shabby I almost cried when it was painted before being put on the market.
Anyway, there he was, fencing, so to speak, and I felt called upon to introduce myself. We chatted a bit, and then I told him he’d better keep watering the little pear tree in its pot in the porch. It’s small – I told him – and in a pot, but bears lots of very decently sized pears. I have suffered badly with pear envy.
Then I went home, thinking I’d not object if he gave me the tree. I’d even take the gnome.
Told the Resident IT Consultant over our afternoon tea, and he started saying something like ‘I had a little pear tree…’ and muttering about the King of Spain. It sounded familiar, but I am not the native to these nursery rhymes.
Then he got up and reached behind him for a book. Trust us to have a book on nursery rhymes! The Oxford Dictionary of, no less. By the Opies, obviously. I was not surprised, but nor would I have known we had it. Certainly not where to find it.
Its index wasn’t as good as Mr Google’s, so pear tree didn’t help. After more mutterings he moved on to nut trees, and soon found it.
So the King of Spain was there. Or at least, his daughter. And there was a pear. Not on the correct tree, but still.