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Uncle John Reflects On His Childhood

I always knew I was a bit odd when I was a younger, but I tried not to let it bother me. I often got bullied, yet I made a point of never responding to it. Even though that was sometimes hard. In order to escape the name-calling, I’d while away my lunchtimes in the library, burying my head in books. My favourite librarian, Mrs Lefman, must have noticed me spending an awful lot of time in there. She once gave me some wise advice that I’ll never forget. She said, ‘Bullies are often bullies because they’re jealous. I know that doesn’t take away from the fact they pick on you. But maybe it helps you to realise that THEY are actually the unfortunate ones.’ And you know what? Mrs Lefman was right! After all, it’s not every nine-year-old who has an invisible dog, is it?

And I don’t know quite how it happened, but my little Havapoo pup is somehow back in my life. What’s more, I can finally see his adorable little face again! It must be magic! I’m so grateful to be reunited with him. It’s surprising how wonderful having a pet can be – dogs are great companions. I never feel lonely when Poodles is around.

I do still chuckle when I think about how silly I must have looked in my youth, though – wandering around with a dog lead stretched out in front of me when no one could see a dog. Ah… Poodles, there you are. Good doggy. Do you want some sausages?

I must run. Someone’s getting hungry. Maybe he’d like some mashed potato with his sausages. No? Okay, perhaps not. But you know what I’ve realised lately? It’s actually quite fun to be different. Admittedly, I seem to feel less odd as time goes by these days. Perhaps it’s old age creeping up on me. Or maybe this new dress sense of mine has something to do with it. Yes, I’ve thrown out all my ghastly brown cardigans recently, and my teeth somehow look a lot straighter than they used to. But all in all, I still think it’s good to be a little different. After all, wouldn’t life be boring if we were all exactly the same?

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