The Bamboo Flute
"Paul is a dreamer, his head alive with rippling pianos, gentle violins and the smiles of Margaret, the one he loves.
"But in the cold light of day, Margaret snubs him at school, the piano has been sold, his father is battling to keep the farm, and dejected men are trampling the roads ... looking for work, a sandwich, a cup of tea ...
"No-one has time for music or dreams.
"Then Eric the Red comes along. Eric the Red, with his silver flute, his knowing wink and boots held together with wire. Eric the Red, just a step ahead of the law.
"Eric the Red, who knows how to make a flute from a piece of bamboo ..."
There was once music in our lives, but I can fell it slipping away. Men are tramping the dusty roads, asking for work, a sandwich, a cup of tea. My father is bitter and my mother is sad. I have no brothers, no sisters, no after-school friends. The days are long. No one has time for music.
That's why I dream it.
I'm dreaming it now.
I'm dreaming a violin note, threading it through the quarrelling cries of the dawn birds outside my window. When I do this, I do it for Margaret, the one I love. I imagine her watching me, listening, her eyes alight.
From the Angus & Robertson paperback edition, 1992.
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Last modified: November 12, 2001.