Will Gatti & Daniel Finn


My house left me

My house left me

The house just got up and walked

It was such a strange sight. Of course no one saw it but me. But it still happened. Scout’s honour. Last Tuesday, I was walking back down through the village with some milk and six fresh eggs when I saw my house sort of lift up its skirts and stand. There it was with two stumpy legs and two stumpy feet. No kidding. Have you seen a hedgehog when it wants to go for its evening run, the way it lifts itself  up and you see its little skinny legs, and then it’s going like the clappers. (I don’t know who the clappers are but they go fast) That was my house at 8 o’clock in the morning. Except it only had two legs, not four, so it was a miracle it didn’t tip over and fall flat on its front door.

It ran and I ran after it. I ran all day until the light began to fade. My feet were sore and my legs were sore and my throat was sore because I kept calling for the house to stop and so I sat down at the edge of the field I had been running across. That was it, I thought. House gone.

When I woke up, there was my house right in front of me: cheery red front door, a leggy rose stalking up to my study window, and the light on in the sitting room as if I was in there. I wasn’t in there; I was out here.

‘Ok,’ I said to myself. ‘If house wants to be here and not in the village, that’s alright. I’ll have breakfast without the milk and fresh eggs which I must have dropped, though I don’t remember where or when.

I walked up to the front door. But before I had taken four steps, house did exactly what it had done the day before. It heaved itself upright and ran off.

It hopped over a  hedge, which was unfair because houses shouldn’t hop and my legs are too short to hop over anything bigger than policeman’s helmet. The hedge was exceedingly prickly but I scrambled through and saw house disappearing into the distance.

‘Oh no you don’t,’ I said.

But it did. So, once again, I ran after it. Mile after mile I chased my house, until eventually we came to the coast. It stopped in the car park, and faced the beach, shifting its weight from one foot to the other as if it were trying to make up its mind what it wanted to do. Then it settled down next to an old camper van with surfboards stacked on the roof.  I didn’t even bother to try the front door in case it suddenly upped and ran off again. Instead, I kipped on a bench.

I woke early, stiff as a board. The house had gone. I thought it was so mean to make me run all the way across Devon without letting me once come inside. I mean it was my house. But still, what can you do? The car park was empty, even the ancient camper van had disappeared.  I really wanted a cup of tea and a piece of toast but nowhere was open so I went down to the beach.

And there was house! It was  right at the sea’s edge of the sea debating whether to have a paddle.  ‘Don’t go in!’ I shouted. ‘Houses can’t swim.’ The sea was flat as a pond, not a wrinkle and the sky tin bucket grey. The truth was I didn’t want to go in a for a swim because the water looked too cold.

Of course, House didn’t bother to answer me. It was looking out to sea where, on the horizon, was an extraordinary sight. loads and loads of little house shapes,  like the pieces you get in Monopoly. An armada of Monopoly pieces? Not, possible. Perhaps it was an invasion!

The Monopoly pieces grew larger and larger until I could see they weren’t little plastic house shaped things; they were actual houses, like mine. There were hundreds of them, all moving in towards the shore.

And as they moved closer my house hitched itself up and paddled out to meet them.

‘What are you doing?’ I called. ‘Please don’t go, house.’

House didn’t answer but then why would it. I have never known any house to utter a single word.

I gave up. Why bother, I thought, I shall live in a tent.

And that’s what I did.