(A Tale in the style of Listen with Mother)
“Good morning girls and boys.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.
Once upon a time in Auckland there was a group of lovely Mummys and Daddys who came from a little tiny beautiful island called Niue. They were beautiful people who wanted their beautiful girls and boys to grow up ready for school, and having fun, and being able to speak two languages. Yes, weren’t those girls and boys lucky?
But the Mummys and Daddys from Niue needed a house for their Kindergarten. Do you know what a kindergarten is? It is a lovely little school where girls and boys just like you go to play and to learn and to do things that will help them when they get to school.
Well, the Mummys and Daddys from Niue were lucky and found an old schoolhouse that was no longer being used. It wasn’t very nice but it was better than being outside when it rained! Have you been outside when it rains? It isn’t very nice, is it? All the girls and boys and their Mummys and Daddys used this old schoolhouse for many years because they weren’t able to get the men and ladies from the big office building in town to agree to help them get a new kindergarten. The old schoolhouse became quite a tumbledown affair but still the girls and boys came to the kindergarten.
But, one day, the postman brought some good news. Do you remember what a postman is? Yes? The nice postman brought the Mummys and Daddys a letter that said that the men and ladies from the big office building in town were going to help them get a new kindergarten. Everyone was very very happy.
Along came the builder, his name was Bob. Along came the truck with the cement. And another truck with some timber. Bang, bang, bang went the hammers. Squeal, squeal, squeal went the electric saws. And soon a new kindergarten was built. Shiny and new, after all those years of waiting, the Mummys, Daddys, girls and boys from Niue were going to have their brand new kindergarten. They were all very happy.
But there was one more job to do. They had to build a sandpit. Do you like playing in a sandpit? Along came a little digger to make a little hole for the little sandpit. Then guess what happened? The little digger dug up some very nasty yucky stuff called asbestos. “Oh!” cried the digger man, “Oh!” cried the officials. Asbestos is very dangerous when it is dug up by a digger. And so they chained the gate, locked the doors and went away to find out what to do. And they never came back.
The Mummys and Daddys told the men and ladies in the big building in town about it but they must have been very busy people because nothing happened. The men and ladies in the big building in town were trying to find out who had to get all the nasty asbestos out of the hole. And still everyone waited.
Six months later – do you know how long six months is? Yes it is one whole spring and one whole summer. That’s a long time isn’t it? Well, six months later the new kindergarten, all shiny and bright was still waiting for the digger man and the other workers to come back and finish the sandpit.
“Why are we waiting?” asked the Mummys and Daddys.
“Why can’t we play in our new kindergarten?” asked the girls and the boys.
Then one weekend, when everyone had gone home, some naughty people broke a window and climbed into the new kindergarten. They did some naughty things like throw paint around. They broke windows. They “trashed” the place.
So the girls and boys from Niue still go to kindergarten in their old tumbledown schoolhouse. The new schoolhouse is still empty but now it is also badly damaged. The sand pit is still unfinished and the boys and girls and Mummys and Daddys are sad. They have waited for ten years for their new kindergarten. One day Bob the builder and the digger man might come back and clean up the new building. Then everyone will be happy.
Did you like that story? Tomorrow we will have a happy story.
“That was listen with Mother with Daphne Oxenford. The BBC wishes to advise that today’s story is based on true events that are unfolding in Auckland, New Zealand. Next we have a repeat of The Archers.”