Mothers’ instincts are to feed and protect their young. Some go to great lengths.
I was reminded of an instance about 40 years ago when my own mother launched into protective mode.
As Bill related the story it seemed familiar, but the truth is that it had been filed away in the deep recesses of memory – not at the forefront. At least, not for me. For Bill however, the incident had left a deep mark – metaphoric that is.
We were holidaying in the Marlborough Sounds, at Portage. I had two older brothers who did very much their own thing during the summer break so I had persuaded my parents to allow me to take a friend with me – my best friend Sarah, who just happened to be the Vicar’s daughter. What a huge responsibility for my poor mother – Sarah was itching to spread her wings and have loads of fun with the lads!
In those days it was a hotel with very few ‘luxury’ rooms. Most of the rooms were single be rooms in an annex style set-up. My parents’ room was a good distance away and out of sight.
Sarah had set her sights on Bill. He was a few years older than us, extremely good looking and also out for a good time. He and his brother Tom knew my parents – we’d all been holidaying in that part of the Sounds for years. They were always extremely charming to them and loved giving a bit of cheek.
On the night of the incident, both boys had decided to follow us to our rooms. Unbeknownst to us and them, my intrepid mother was on to them. She lay in wait in the shrubbery – nothing was going to happen to the vicar’s daughter on her watch.
Quiet as mice they snuck through the dimly lit trees and across the bridge.
Bill felt the full force of my mother’s handbag on his cheek. Both boys fled.
Like many other stories, it has become family legend.
Bill has definitely forgiven her, and talks endearingly of the incident.