Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt

A Tall Tale About Granny... and a Pillow

September 30, 2020 R.A. Spratt Season 1 Episode 32
Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt
A Tall Tale About Granny... and a Pillow
Bedtime Stories with R.A. Spratt
A Tall Tale About Granny... and a Pillow
Sep 30, 2020 Season 1 Episode 32
R.A. Spratt

When Mum is driving Tammy and cousin Perry to the Park she tells them a story about Granny that is very hard to believe. It involves a pillow, elite fence climbing skills and secrets from Granny's dark past.

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Show Notes Transcript

When Mum is driving Tammy and cousin Perry to the Park she tells them a story about Granny that is very hard to believe. It involves a pillow, elite fence climbing skills and secrets from Granny's dark past.

Support the show (

Hello and welcome to Bedtime Stories with me, R.A. Spratt

Today's story is...

A Tall Tale about Granny… and a pillow


Mum and Tammy were taking cousin Perry to the park. They didn’t see much of him because Perry lived in Tokyo. So when Perry came to visit they liked to take him to the best and most awesome places they knew. That meant the park down by the river. The park down by the river was better than a regular park because for a start, it was really big. Always a good think. It had lots of play equipment and it wasn’t the standard boring play equipment that all parks have. Yes, it had swings but at the river park the swing had much longer chains than usual, soyou could swing much higher and you could jump off at the top of the swing and really feel like you were going to die for a split second before you landed on the grass. And there were great big flying foxes that went dangerously fast. Rock climbing walls. And a water park with bubbling fountains that sprayed up randomly when ou least expected it and totally got you drenched. Tammy loved goint somewhere where you had to bring a spare change of clothes just in case you got wet. Because if there was ever any chance of getting wet, then she would get wet. She ws drawn to water like magnets are drawn to refrigerators. There was an invisible attracting force that could not be resisted.

The park was a bit of a drive from Granny and Grampy’s house. That’s where Perry was staying. So Mum and Tammy picked him up and made their way through the city traffic to the river. There was lots to look at along the way. The angry city motorists. The weedy uncared for streets. Not at all like their home town. The weird random shops for products they had never thought of buying. 

‘You see that place over there,’ said Mum. ‘That’s where they make fire extinguishers.’

‘How do you know that?’ asked Tammy suspiciously.

‘Have I ever told you the story of the time the next door neighbours but ash from their barbecue in their compost bin?’

‘No,’ said Tammy.

‘Well they put ash in their compost bin,’ said Mum. ‘They thought it had gone out. But it hadn’t. It smouldered all night. Then the next morning. When they went to church. Their compost bin caught fire and it started spreading.’

‘Really?’ said Tammy.

‘It’s true you can ask Daddy,’ said Mum. ‘He was the one who spotted it. He came rushing into the house to get me. Because he couldn’t figure out how to work the hose himself.’

‘What did you do?’ aked cousin Perry.

‘Well I was in the bath at the time,’ said Mum. ‘So I got out of the bath and put some clothes on. If I was going to fight a fire I figured I should have some clothes on.’

‘Yes,’ agreed Perry.

‘Then I got the hose and I took it down to the fence,’ said Mum. ‘But it didn’t reach far enough. And what with the getting dressed and everything the fire had spread quite a bit into all the undergrowth of the garden at this stage. There wasn’t really time to fafe about before their shed caught fire. So I went back into the house, grabbed the fire extinquisher, jumped over the fence into the neighbours yard and put it out. It was very dramatic. I was a hero.’

So that’ show I know that’s where they make fire extinguishers. Because I had to come here to get the extinguisher refilled. They laughed at me, because they knew I’d had a fire. They didn’t believe it was the neighbours and that I’d been a hero. But I knew.

The park down by the river had only recently become a park. It had been an industrial area. That’s why there were so many mechanics shops and factories nearby. They turned off the main street and were driving parallel to the river now. There was only one more thing to get past before they arrived at the park. It was a big complex of buildings with lots of fences. Three very high fences in fact with coiled wire along the top of each fence. It was a very different looking type of place. Not like a business or a school or anything the children saw normally.

‘What is that place?’ asked Perry.

‘That?’ said Mum. ‘That’s a prison.’

‘Yeah right,’ said Tammy. Mum liked to tell such outrageous… well we won’t call them lies… Mum preferred to think of them as ‘stories’. But she told them so often it could be hard to tell when she was telling the truth.

‘It is,’ said Mum. ‘I’m actually telling the truth.’

‘I don’t believe you,’ declared Tammy.

This shocked cousin Perry. He was a good boy. He didn’t know not believing your own parent was an option. But of course, he had a nice normal mother who didn’t fabricate outrageous fictions at the drop of a hat.

‘It is,’ Mum assured them, ‘Look there’s the sign. Goldlake Correctional Facility.’

‘Huh?’ said Tammy.

‘Correctional Facility is a nice way of saying jail,’ said Mum.

Tammy glowered. She still didn’t entirely believe Mum.

‘That’s what the fences are for,’ explained Mum. ‘To make it hard to escape. Look, you see that coiled wire along the top. That’s not barbed wire, that’s razor wire.’

‘What’s razor wire,’ asked Perry.

‘It’s wire,’ said Mum. ‘With razors.’

‘Duh,’ said Tammy.

‘The idea is you’ll cut yourself if you tried to climb over it,’ explained Mum.

‘Oh no,’ said Perry. He was staring at the prison with even greater fascination now. So was Tammy but she was trying to play it cool and make it look like she wasn’t. So she kept her head pointed forward and was just staring out of the corner of her eye.

‘Yes,’ agreed Mum. ‘That’s the prison granny escaped from.’

‘What what what?’ said cousin Perry.

‘Here we go,’ said Tammy, rolling her eyes.

‘She used a pillow,’ said Mum.

‘You’re lying auntie Rachel, you’re lying,’ accused Perry. Now it might seem harsh for such a good little boy to say something so harsh to his aunt, but you have to understand that Granny was pretty much the last person you would ever expect to go to jail, let alone escape from jail using a pillow. She was a 72 year old former primary school teacher whose hobbies included learning French, doing jigsaw puzzles and ringing church bells.

‘It’s true,’ protested Mum. ‘Granny doesn’t like to talk about it, because she doesn’t want the police to find her.’

‘Mum,’ said Tammy.

‘That’s why she changed her name,’ said Mum.

‘You’re being ridiculous’ said Tammy.

‘It’s true,’ said Mum. ‘Granny’s name is not Granny.’

‘We know that,’ said Tammy. ‘It’s Belinda.’

‘No,’ said Mum. ‘It’s not Belinda either. It’s Wendy.’

Tammy laughed. ‘You’re just being ridiculous.’

‘You check her drivers license,’ said Mum. ‘When we get home. You go to her purse and take out her drivers license and have a look. Her real name is Wendy. She just gets everyone to call her Belinda because she’s on the run.’

Tammy and Percy fell silent. Mum was being unnervingly convincing.

‘Why did she go to jail?’ asked Tammy.

‘Murder,’ said Mum.

‘Oh please,’ said said Tammy. 

‘She got in an argument with a lady in the queue at Lindcraft,’ said Mum. ‘One thing led to anther. They got in a fight. And Granny attacked her with an unpicking pin. Sadly the woman had a wafer thin scull and Granny was put away.’

‘I don’t believe it,’ said Perry.

‘I know,’ agreed Mum. ‘It is so very hard to believe. She has gone out of her way to live a good life ever since. She has sincerely repented. But every once in a while. If you wrong her, perhaps by eating the last chocolate biscuit in the cupboard without asking permission you will see a flash of anger in her eye.’

Perry was alarmed at this. He had seen a flash of anger in Granny’s eye just the previous day when he had been drawing on the dining table and got crayon on her best table cloth.

‘That’s the murderous rage bubbling just below the surface,’ explained Mum.

‘Then how did she get out of jail?’ asked Tammy.

‘She used a pillow,’ said Mum.

‘Oh come on,’ said Tammy.

‘It’s true,’ said Mum. ‘She snuck out, during diner. It was shepherds pie so she knew everyone would be concentrating on eating their food. She took a pillow with her and she scaled the first fence. Granny has always been good at climbing fences. If you ever accidentally hit a cricket ball into the neighbour’s yard you should always ask her to fetch it for you. She’ll be over the fence quick as a wink and back before you know it.

Perry was deeply confused now. He dearly loved his granny. But she was not a skinny woman. Even thought he had a vivid imagination and could picture dinosaurs and monsters and superheroes as if they were right there in the room with him, he had a really hard time imagining granny scrambling over a fence.

‘So she whipped to the top of the first fence and when she got there, she came face to face with all the razor wire,’ said Mum. ‘Razor wire is nasty stuff. It would be like trying to crawl over a cutlery drawer full of kitchen knives, which is why Granny brought the pillow.’

‘so she could have a nap?’ asked Perry.

‘That’s what Mum would do,’ said Tammy.

‘True,’ agreed Mum. She really did like to nap. ‘But Granny brought the pillow to lie over the razor wire, then she climbed over the top of the pillow and didn’t get a single scratch on her.’

Perry gasped.

‘I know,’ agreed Mum. ‘Granny has more to her than meets the eye. She pretends to be a nice lovely Granny. But she has hidden depths. She scrambled over those three fences faster than an elite athlete competing on The Greatest Ninja TV program.’

When the guards realised what was going on, they tried to shoot her with their sniper rifles, but she just dived into the nearest sewerage manhole and disappeared into the pooy depths of the plumbing system.

‘Gross!’ said Perry.

‘She has never smelled the same since,’ concluded Mum.

‘You don’t honestly expect us to believe any of that do you?’ asked Tammy.

Mum shrugged, ‘Would I lie to you?’

‘Yes, you do it all the time,’ said Tammy.

‘If you don’t believe me,’ said Mum. ‘When we get home you just take a look at Granny’s drivers license.’

‘But if she’s an escaped convict how did she meet Grampy?’ asked Perry.

‘Well think about it,’ said Mum. ‘if you had just escaped from jail. What would you do to hide?’

‘I don’t know,’ said Tammy.

‘You’d go out of your way to be very bery boring,’ said Mum. ‘And the best way to do that would be to marry the most boring man in the entire country.’

‘Grampy isn’t boring!’ protested Perry.

Mum just raised her eyebrows. ‘Do you know what Grampy did before he retired?’ she asked.

Grampy had retired long before Tammy or Perry had been born so it had never occurred to them that he had had a job. They had just sort of assumed he’d spent his whole life sleeping on the sofa and snoring loudly.

‘He was an insurance executive,’ said Mum.

Neither Tammy nor Perry really knew what that was, but it did sound very boring.

‘When Granny met Grampy and he explained to her the standard operating procedure for filing an insurance claim, she knew she’d met her perfect man. She married Grampy, changed her name and kenw no one would ever guess that she ws the one who escaped from prison using a pillow.’

‘That isn’t true,’ said Tammy.

‘It might be true,’ said Mum.

‘But it isn’t true,’ said Tammy.

‘But isn’t it nice to think it’s true,’ said Mum.

‘Not particularly,’ said Tammy.

‘There’s no point letting reality bog down your imagination when there are so many other possibilities,’ said Mum.

Tammy just rolled her eyes. At that moment pulled into the carpark next to the playground, so she leapt out of the car and ran off to enjoy the park. Perry did too. But unlike Tammy. He was unused to adults who told outrageous fabrications. So when he got back to Granny’s house he asked Granny a question.

‘Granny, may I see your driver license?’ asked Perry.

‘Of course,’ said Granny, she loved all her grandchildren but especially the ones she didn’t’ see very often because they didn’t get as much opportunity to get on her nerves. She took out her drivers license and showed it to him.

Poor Perry’s eyes practically gaped clean out of his head. It said right there in black and white and plastic ‘Wendy Belinda Pratchett’.

‘Your real name is Wendy?’ asked Perry.

‘Yes,’ said Granny, not really paying attention, certainly not guessing what was going through her grandson’s mind.

‘Granny is it true that you escaped from prison using a pillow because you are a naughty murderer?’ asked Perry. 

It took Granny some time to get to the bottom of just what Mum had told Perry and what he had actually believed. But by the time Granny rang Mum to accuse her of poisoning the minds of her grandchildren, Mum was already most of the way home to their country town on the freeway. 

‘Your phone’s ringing,’ said Tammy.

‘Is it?’ asked Mum.

‘It’s Granny,’ said Tammy, looking at Mum’s phone.

‘That’s nice,’ said Mum. ‘But I shouldn’t answer it when I’m driving. That would be dangerous.’

‘You could use hands free,’ said Tammy.

‘Hmm,’ said Mum. ‘There’s no rush. I’ve got a fair idea what she’s going to say.’

‘Do you think Perry dobbed you in?’ asked Tammy. ‘Are you frightened what Granny is going to say?’

‘Well,’ said Mum. ‘It would be silly not to be frightened. She is an escaped prisoner.’

‘You’re the worst,’ said Tammy.

‘And by worst you mean best,’ said Mum.

‘I mean worst,’ said Tammy.

‘I know what you mean,’ said Mum. ‘I love you too.’

‘Urgh!’ said Tammy in disgust.

They drove on in silence. For a couple of minutes, before Mum thought up another story to tell.


The end

Thank you for listening. To support this podcast just buy a book by me, R.A. Spratt. There are plenty to choose from across the Nanny Piggins, Friday Barnes and Peski Kids series. You can order them through your local bookstore. Or go to my website and click on the Book Depository banner. They have all my titles and free international shipping. Check them out. Until next time. Goodbye.