Sunday 25th September 2011
The wheels on the bus go round and round
“POOR people. Is it wrong for them to sing in the bus?”
“Not wrong, but not customary,” Jenny smiled.
“When I have Money, I give it to the man who is driving. And I will sing. Yes?”
“Ulla, if you want to sing, sing!”
“Ye-es!” Emily agreed, excitedly. “And you must sing The Wheels on the Bus.”
“What is the song, please?”
“It’s easy-peasy. I’ll start and you join in.”
And so the singing began, quietly at first, with Emily whispering the opening lines about the wheels going round and round all day long, which we repeated together, before singing about the people on the bus going chatter-chatter-chatter and the engine going vroom-vroom-vroom and somebody called a conductor asking for ‘any more fares’ and children laughing, sheep going baa, dogs barking, owls hooting, lions roaring… by which time Jenny had joined in, the volume had increased significantly, other passengers were looking at us and two older women started singing too.
Emily stood, gripping the rail of the seat in front of her. An elderly gentleman started a verse about an old man on the bus saying it’s good to be alive, which others took up with louder voices, while Tom stared out of the window, more determined than ever to show that he was not a travelling companion of ours.
The bus reached the centre of the town and most passengers prepared to disembark outside a large shop which would appear to sell footwear, but didn’t.
“Was that cat-a-walling your doing?” the driver asked Jenny as we prepared to alight.
“Yes. Me and my daughter and our friend.”
“Well, don’t do it again. Not on my bus anyway. That sort of nonsense can cause accidents. And it’s against the rules.”
For once Jenny had nothing to say. Tom, just behind me, muttered something about a bar stud. Emily looked at the driver with fierce eyes. He made the mistake of staring back at her, to which she responded by sticking out her tongue.
The poorer you are, the more rules there are, I have since discovered.