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Kate Rancid

Once, in a cottage by the stormy North Sea, there lived a family of fish mongers' assistants. The eldest was called John Hurrrrrbridge. He was a lovely chap with big red shiny cheeks and a bouncy round bottom that glimmered and shone like the setting sun in a warm country.

John's brother Snade, and sister Snippet, worked very hard in the local fishmongerie in town. They were paid a pittance for their hard and often unhygenic work, but their efforts were more than rewarded by the amount of fresh fish they were allowed to take home at the end of the day.

In the cottage there also resided the brothers' parents, Nancy and Flag. Flag was the nicest mum in all of the world and spent fourteen hours of the day, and fifteen on Sundays, baking flans and meringues for her sons. Nancy was a sullen but kindly man who would wander wistfully over the rocks singing hymns with only a fading bunch of dahlias for company.

Whilst his three sons (Snippet was biologically male due to an unfortunate accident as a teenager involving a turbo-strength hoover nozzle) liked to swill lager in the local public house of an evening, Nancy would sit by the sea with his embroidery and a nice cup of hot sweet tea.

The brothers made fun of their poor father. They couldn't understand it when he repeatedly turned down their offers of drinking and fighting in favour of Gone With The Wind and a fairy cake. He was indeed a mystery.

Oh yes.

One day, after a particularly hard fish entrailing session the sons arrived home to find Nancy had gone missing. Flag was out of her mind with worry. It seemed she had been in the garden hanging up her meringues on the washing line and when she got back he was gone. He often wandered off by himself to pick wild flowers and gaze dreamily upon the landscape, so at first Flag had not been worried.

Then Mr. Titwank, the haberdasher, called round for his weekly spanking and it was unheard of for Nancy to miss one of his sessions. Poor Flag had been so worried that she had forgotten to bring her meringues inside when it had started to rain and so on top of losing their father the brothers also had to cope with a cakeless supper.

When Nancy still hadn't returned the next morning Flag decided to call the cops. P.C. Dick Dung was round in a jiffy, helmet in hand, to deal with Flag's enquiry.

"I'm sorry, Mrs. Hurrrrrbridge," he said, "But there is nothing we can do. I suggest you remarry and move to a nicer house."

*

Six weeks later, Nancy returned to find everyone was gone.

"Pigs' knackers!" he said as he stuck his nob up the budgie.





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