Note: My faithful reader may recall the published results of my research into the real-life dramas behind four of the stories we know and love, and the complex, sometimes troubled, souls involved (Nursery Rhymes: The Stories Behind the Headlines; Aug 14, 2017). I am pleased, herewith, to offer the most recent results of my research, with special thanks to my assistant, Ms. Lucy Locket.
Letter from the East Grinstead Fire Department to Mr. & Mrs. R. J. Benimble-Bequick:
We wish to call to your attention an incident involving your son, Jack:
Yesterday afternoon, we were called to the scene of a minor conflagration in a barn near your home.
We found Jack lying on the floor, in some considerable pain. His shorts and a portion of his undergarment were rather substantially singed. There was a lingering smell of smoke in the air.
Once we had seen to his (fortunately minor) injuries, we asked his account of what had transpired. He claimed that he had been playing with three female friends (who had already fled), that he had been regaling them with a story to which they did not give credence, shouting at him “Liar, liar, pants on fire,” which, he claims, caused his garments to combust.
We strongly suspect that this may not be an accurate rendering of events and that a partially-consumed candle, found nearby, may have been a contributory factor.
We would be pleased if you and your son would honour us with your presence so that we might ascertain, for our records, the particulars of the matter.
Letter from the North Ealing Chamber of Commerce to the Hot Cross Bun and Doughnut Shop:
We have received complaints from customers of your establishment, alleging unfair pricing practices.
Specifically, it is claimed that, despite your posted price for a Hot Cross Bun, at (we quote) “one-a-penny,” some customers have been charged only a ha’penny per bun (“two-a-penny”).
Your right to charge what you wish for a Hot Cross Bun is not in dispute. However, we are cognisant of allegations that Buns at “two-a-penny” have been reserved primarily for attractive young females and that others pay full price.
In order to assure that you understand the implications of discriminatory treatment, if such be the case, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss the issue with you at your earliest convenience.
Incident Report from County Dorset Police Constable Wicket to the Officer-in-Charge:
On my rounds, as I was walking to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives. Checking their documents, I confirmed the fact of multiple marriage, placed the gentleman under arrest on suspicion of bigamy, and called for a police vehicle, which conveyed him to gaol.
With regard to the wives, each one had seven sacks, each sack had seven cats, and each cat had seven kits. Faced with a possible case of cruelty to animals, I summoned Animal Control. The wives took violent exception to my action and, dropping their sacks, began to attack me.
As bad as that was, the cats and kits, now freed from confinement, also began to attack me.
Fortunately, Animal Control arrived quickly, helped subdue the wives and undertook to round up the feline miscreants. Unfortunately, only half the 343 cats and perhaps a third of the 2401 kits were recovered. The wives, whom I had intended to detain for bodily assault, escaped once our attention had turned to securing the felines.
Besides the numerous bruises, and a possible broken finger, incurred in trying to control the wives, I received many painful lacerations from the cats and the kits and, herewith, request rest and recuperation leave.
Letter from the Manchester City Human Rights Council to Mr. & Mrs. Reginald Porgie:
It is alleged that, on numerous instances within the past three months, your son, Georgie, has kissed the girls and made them cry.
It is further alleged that your son persisted in his unwanted advances, and it was only when the boys came out to play that your son, Georgie, ran away.
We trust that you are aware of the statutes relating to sexual harassment and assault, which apply equally to legal minors.
We request that you, with your son, meet with us in our chambers, at 8:30 am this coming Thursday, to consider these incidents, with the hope that we can reach a mutually acceptable plan of action that will put an end to these unfortunate incidents.