The sky was blue, the sun shone and the villagers stood outside listening to the speeches.
All the Nobs were there as well and in the big marquee a great feast was laid out on long tables.
“A feast fit for kings,” nine-year Billy thought, “but none of it for us kids!” Sausage rolls, egg sandwiches, iced buns and Mrs Magee’s famous cream sponges. With strawberries!
Who would miss a crumb here, a nibble there, turn the plate round and they won’t notice.
Happily working his way round the table, Billy feasted right royally.
He even tried a drink from a bottle in a carton under the table.
It didn’t taste so good but it was fizzy and fun so he had some more and a squashy piece of sponge with strawberries.
At the end he looked back and saw what a mess he’d made and now felt both sick and scared, with cream and crumbs all down his front.
“I’d better hide,” he thought as he climbed out through a gap at the back of the marquee and was heartily sick and unhappy in the long grass.
Then Billy saw his salvation — the old pony grazing nearby.
Widening the gap he pushed old Tommy through to munch happily while the crowd outside clapped and looked forward to a delightful tea party.