Ida May stories #2 Wagging School

Dear Ida May,

I know you think I never did anything wrong in my whole life BUT! one day I pretended to go to school and I didn’t.

Instead some of us had an adventure.

It is all because we lived a long way from school and had to get a bus. First my mum had to drive us to the bus stop in a horse and cart. The cart was called a ‘gig’. That’s is said with a ‘g’ the same as in ‘girl’ and an ‘i’ the same as in ‘ink’ but not like ‘i’ as in Ida May. Have you got all that or do I have to ring you on the phone and say it?

This is what our gig looked like.

So mum would drive us and then she would leave us at the bus stop and then go home. Well the bus would come down Plantation Road to the front of the Heggie’s place and turn around so we would see it coming from a fair way away.

Now there were three families who got the bus here. There was us, and then the Heggie kids, Jimmy and his sister , and the McLeans. When Mrs McLean drove her little girl she would stay in the car until the bus came.

But one day, (and there were other days but I haven’t told anyone before) when Mrs McLean didn’t come because she was driving all the way into town, Jimmy and his sister and me and my brother decided to wag school. So we all ran into the long grass in the paddock and lay down out of sight and the bus came and turned around and waited for us because the driver though we might just be late. And all the kids on the bus got out and started running around until the bus driver honked the horn and they all got back in the bus and he drove off.

So then we all walked down to the Heggie’s swamp, very quietly because we didn’t want Jimmie’s mum or dad to see us. Soon we saw Mr and Mrs Heggie drive off in the car to town and we were on our own. So we got the little boat that was on the edge of the swamp and rowed out to a little island and mucked around all day.

We lit a fire and toasted our sandwiches and when we thought it might be the end of the day, and Jim’s parents hadn’t come back from town Jim and his sister went home to their house and we decided to tell our parents that the bus was early.

So we started walking home, just a little bit up into the scrub and there we waited for Mum to come with the horse and gig.

And we told her the bus was early and that we started walking so that she wouldn’t have to drive so far to get us. And she believed us and said we were very thoughtful children.

Another bit of the story is that sometimes if mum was very busy at home and our big sister was there she would drive the horse and we would tie the horse up at the bus stop – under a tree – and one day when we got to there from school there was a snake curled up under the horse. It was asleep and we were a bit frightened and didn’t know what to do but Jimmie’s sister did and she quietly untied the horse and walked it away carefully and the snake just slithered off into the paddock and we jumped in the gig and went home.

The photo below is where the bus stop was and your Uncle David went back to have a look and you can see the name of the road. It is Heggies Road. And road that is pointing back behind where the photograph is taken from Is called Plantation Road and the bus would come down that road.



All the area on the left of the map used to be covered in bush but it has been bulldozed now. And that is a bad thing.

And in the white box I should have written walked and not waked and I can’t be bothered correcting it because it is harder on a map than on the writing part.



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