The Knitted Boy
This boy’s story starts with the king, as do the stories of all the other boys and girls, birds and bees, buds and trees. You see this king created the kingdom, with his own hands. He is not one of those a jack of all trades, no, he’s a master of everyone.
The Knitted Boy
By Jules de Jongh
[title sequence-jingle with title]
Nanny Bea: Hello and welcome to my cottage I like to call Dave. I’m Nanny Bea and some of our listening friends have been asking, ‘What is the Bea short for?”. Well that depends on the day, yesterday it was short for Nanny Bea Brave as I abseiled down our church tower. All for a good cause of course. Time for a new roof or was it a bluetooth, or anyway I’m certain it’s something of value I’m sure. Today the Bea stands for Nanny Bea Quick as my neighbour Jules will be here any…
[knock knock knock]…minute now.
Nanny Bea: Hello?
Jules: Hello Nanny Bea, it’s Jules from next door.
Nanny Bea: Hello Jules, it’s Nanny Bea from right here.
Jules: May I join you with a story?
Nanny Bea: Yes of course. Do come in. Oh and I hope you have some tea as well?
Jules: I’ve brought some Strawberry and Mango tea as I couldn’t decide which one would go best with that new Tree you planted.
Nanny Bea: Oh you’re not the only one who’s brought something for it. Dillon has called with an acrostic poem for our Poet Tree
[Poet Tree jingle]
Dillon: Hi Nanny Bea my name’s Dillon and I have got a poem for you named BEARS.
But little frog is scared of bears,
Ellie comes and hugggles froggy
And then froggy croaks happily
Races towards the bears and puts his
Slug on them.
I was six when I wrote this and now I’m seven and I’m not in the infant school anymore, I’m in the juniors. Bye.
Nanny Bea: Thank you Dillon. What a clever chap you are.
Jules: Isn’t he! And you know, poems are a lot like tea, there are so many different varieties.
Nanny Bea: Speaking of, I’ll go pop the kettle on, while you tell our listening friends about your story.
Jules: Today you’ll hear the tale of a boy who never forgets to remember. Are you ready for a story…
Nanny Bea: Yes please!!!
Jules: Okay then, The Knitted Boy, adapted for radio
This is an ancient tale from a not so distant land where everybody speaks but no one really understands, which is a pity because there lived a boy of wisdom beyond his years, if only one would listen they might be able to hear.
The boy’s story starts with the King, as do the stories of all the other boys and girls, birds and bees, buds and trees. You see thisKing created the kingdom, with his own hands. He is not one of those a jack of all trades, no, he’s a master of everyone. Why he even bothers to invite mere commoners to work with him, I haven’t a clue. And how he finds the time! To dress each flower, write a song for every bird. That said, his kingdom is nothing short of glorious, absolutely divine and do those commoners take good care of it, of course not. Oh, the mess they make. It’s like they have no idea how special this kingdom is. At least the King doesn’t allow them to spoil the castle grounds, noooo inside the castle walls is perfection. I mean you can eat all the marshmallows you want and never rot a tooth. You can have all the puppies you can hold and they never piddle on your carpet. That’s what paradise looks like.
But this is not where our boy lives.Our boy of wisdom beyond his years lives outside the castle walls with all the other commoners. I say commoners but the King would not be impressed. He’d adopt them all as royalty if he had his way. I guess it’s his prerogative as he did craft them in the first place. He molds the mother and father from clay and knits their children, from yarn I suppose. It’s actually rather sweet, while he’s knitting, he whispers life into each one saying, ‘You are my precious child.’ The tricky thing is so many of them forget.
But not this boy. Our boy of wisdom beyond his years was given to a mother and father who doted on him, constantly reminding him of who he really was. They had waited a decade for his arrival, at one time thinking he’d never come so when he did, there were fireworks and cake and dancing and more cake. You can never have enough cake. On the day he was Christened his parents took him to the registry office and presented him to the most official Officer of the office, ‘What name do you bestow upon this most glorious being, the light of your life, your hope for a better tomorrow?’ the officer should’ve said and maybe he would’ve if he hadn’t been on his feet all day with only a crusty cheese roll and a lack of imagination to keep him going. What he actually said was, ‘Name!’ The boy’s mother looked flustered and said, ‘He is the adored, the absol…’ The Officer cut her off. ‘Fine, Theodore it is, next!’ and blunk he stamped his official officer book with the name Theodore. This could’ve been very upsetting for his mother and father but as that name was said out loud the little boy seemed to recognise it, like he remembered. ‘Look my dearest, it’s as though he knows his name and he is the adored, Theodore.’
Soon Theodore grew into Theo but he never forgot who he was. One day he got off the bus and was walking towards the school, well almost running actually. He had a way of getting distracted and would often arrive late, the teacher was losing her patience. So as he scuttled half walking, half running along the pavement he caught sight of a little bird who’d fallen from her nest so he found a nearby twig, gently placed it under the bird and scooped it up and into the tree. ‘There you are. Now you can have another go at that flying business.’ Theo whispered. ‘Thank you,’ he thought he heard it cheap.
Theo made it to school with seconds to spare but not many seats. He ended up sitting at the back of the class. Miss McGiven let them sit wherever they liked so long as they didn’t cause mischief. She would walk all around so the front wasn’t just the front and the back wasn’t just the back. A clever woman this Miss McGiven, she didn’t need eyes in the back of her head she just turned her head around. But she couldn’t turn the door around so in this classroom the last in was the last out. When the bell rang for break, the class rushed out the door. Theo rushed as best he could with a crowd of other rushers in front of him but he couldn’t help noticing that one boy, the new one, now what is his naaaame?? What was his naa?.Oh Nay-than! Of course, Nathan the boy from the other side of the kingdom. Theo stopped, ‘Hey Nathan, how ‘bout a game of tetherball?’ Nathan said yes. Nathan had no idea what tetherball was but he liked the thought.
The day was almost over and Theo made his way to the bus. It was raining now so even those who usually walked piled in. Fortunately Theo was the first of the pile and found the last of the seats. The remaining passengers had to stand. One was an elderly gentleman with 2 bags of shopping, 1 mangled umbrella and no sign of a smile. Theo stood up, ‘Would you like a seat, I’m off any minute now?’ The gentleman sat and nodded. Theo took that as a thank you and hung on to the bar while the bus lunged at every stop, once, twice, three times and he was home.
The very next day to Theo’s surprise he was offered an audience with the King. Now the king of this kingdom does make a point of meeting with all of his subjects but they know not when. Once Theo’s day came he wore his best smile and prepared his best speech. So far he had ‘hello’, he was still working on the rest when the King spoke up, ‘The Adored,’ the King called him. ‘You are my precious child and I am so pleased with you. When I had fallen you lifted me up, when I was lonely you stood beside me and when I was weary you let me rest.’
Theo was thrilled then confused, ‘As much as I’d like to have your approval oh mighty king of kings, all knowing, all seeing, all being King… when did I lift you up and stand beside you and let you rest?’ The King scooped Theo into the palm of his hand (spoilers, the King is huge), so yeah, the King scooped Theo up, looked right into the very middle bit of his being and said, ‘The Adored, each time you did this for another, you did this for me. All of creation is a part of me.’ Theo smiled his best smile and bowed his best bow. The all knowing, all seeing, all being king smiled back and he gave Theo a gift. From that day forward Theo wasn’t just the boy with wisdom beyond his years, he was the boy with the keys to all the kingdom, including the castle walls.
The end [book close]
Nanny Bea: Thank you Jules for that beautiful story. You know, I’ve knitted a scarf, I’ve knitted some mittens, I’ve even knitted a football jersey. Go Wolverhampton Wanderers! but I’ve never knitted a boy. Something for me to try and show you next week if you will come back again with more Tales and Tea?
Jules: Of course, I’ll be here next week.
Thomas: go to www.nannybea.com
Jules: Go there to find out more including how to be on the show like Dillon.
[Be on the Show jingle]
Announcer man: This has been a Toad in the Hole production for NannyBea.com