Not all Elephants Live in The Zoo!

“What did you used to do in the holidays, Dad? There‘s nothing to do round home. I bet it wasn‘t like now, when you were a boy!!”
“You’re talking rubbish, Jason; I found lots to do. Of course, I didn‘t have a computer or a TV in my bedroom, like you have. I got out into the fresh air and went exploring roundabout the area “.
“I can’t do that by myself, you said so!”
“Alone, yes. But if you go with a group, it’s much more interesting and safe. I mean, take yesterday for instance, I went and saw a real life elephant sheltering from the midday sun under a tree, just a few miles from where you’re sitting. And I didn‘t hop on a plane anywhere!”
“Well, you did leave the house after breakfast”
“If you were enough awake to see me then, surely you also saw that I wasn’t carrying a case or holdall when I left.”
“You said to Mum you were going with the social club on an outing”.
“Yes, and I said last week that you could come with me. But no, you said you had other things to do, rather than go on boring outings with grownups”
“Well, I had to stay home because Mum was threatening to clean and tidy my room while we were away for the day. Everybody knows you can’t find anything after she’s been giving the bedrooms a ‘sorting‘, as she calls it”.
“Well, you missed seeing the elephant and quite few other things as well. I was on a steam train, for example. You’ve not been on a big powerful steam train, all you’ve done is read about ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ and his friends.”
“One of his friends is much bigger than him.”
“Yes, but you still don’t know how big these engines actually are, or how they sound in real life and what it smells like when you travel in one of their carriages.”
“Who wants to travel in a smelly old carriage?”
“Oh they’re not smelly like that; much more like when you travel in someone else’s car, the smell is just different from our car. And steam trains smell different from modern day diesels or tube trains on the underground. Quite different”
“I’ve been on those. They are all right. I thought people always went on those nowadays”.
“Nowadays yes, but when I was your age I went on many long journeys with my parents on steam trains. One journey to Scotland took us a long time. We had sandwiches for our breakfast, lunch, tea and supper on the train for one journey and on another we even had beds to sleep in!
“You slept on the train?”
“Well no, not all the time. It was too shuggly. And then there were the bright lights and noises going past. It kept me awake most of the time”.
“Shuggly? I’ve never heard you use that word before!”
“There’s no need to use the word nowadays. I meant the train rocked about a lot and you could never guess which way it was going to shake, left or right, up or down. It was tiring.”
“That was during the War, when you were very young? “
“Well, I’m not so old now. It’s just that things change fast, and if you don’t experience them when you can, they’ve gone into the history books.”
“We were hearing about musty old steam trains in history in school last week.”
“The real thing is much better than musty old history. Even space rockets are history now and you boys get too bored easily, especially if there isn‘t any football.”
“Dad, You’re an old Fogey.”

The End

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