Town Mouse

Dam­nits!

Country Life Every Week - - Town & Country -

LONDON’S cathe­dral-like av­enues of plane trees are now weep­ing their leaves, the even­ings have drawn in and the first frost is in the air. Au­tumn closes in at last. The fam­ily, how­ever, finds it­self strug­gling to cope with the chang­ing sea­son. Search­ing out win­ter clothes for the chil­dren has re­vealed that nearly ev­ery­thing in the wardrobe is ei­ther too small or thread­bare to use. Their ev­i­dent grat­i­fi­ca­tion at the prospect of so many new clothes is in ex­act pro­por­tion to the de­spair of their par­ents.

Mean­while, a school let­ter has an­nounced an in­fes­ta­tion of head lice. Sure enough, a short search re­vealed quite im­pres­sive num­bers of the nasty lit­tle things. By way of a re­sponse, we set to work wash­ing all the linen in the house and submitted the chil­dren to long ses­sions of hair comb­ing with oil. They were a lit­tle hor­ri­fied to be vic­tims of par­a­sites, a word they clearly as­so­ciate with very ex­otic and dra­matic crea­tures in­deed. I tried to calm them by ex­plain­ing that nits had been a fea­ture of my child­hood, too. I’m not sure they be­lieved me. It seemed be­yond their imag­i­na­tion that their bald fa­ther ever had a thick head of hair and the ques­tion hov­ered un­com­fort­ably: where could the nits pos­si­bly have lived? JG

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