Come on, sleepyhead.  Time to get up.

I've got a tummyache, Mum.

Not again!  I've had just about enough of this, young lady.  Three days off school last week, and then you were absolutely fine over the weekend.  Strange how your 'tummyache' comes back on Monday morning, isn't it?  Right, Melanie, I'll just get the thermometer.  Lets see what your temperature's doing.

And I feel a bit sick, too, Mum.

OK, pop this under your tongue.  Your colour looks fine. Now, let's see.  Perfectly normal.  You probably just need some breakfast.  See you downstairs.

* * *

Eat up, love, you'll miss the bus.  Melanie, there's nothing worrying you at school, is there?


You would tell me, Melanie?  You can talk to me about anything, you know.

My tummy still hurts, Mum.

Well, see how you go this morning.  You can always go and tell the nurse if it doesn't wear off and they'll ring me if you need to come home.  You can't afford to miss any more school this year.  Don't look at me like that, love.

Mum, I need some lunch money.

Really?  I thought you still had some left over from last week...  OK, here you go.  See you later, sweetie.

* * *

Oh, here she is; Smelly Melly.

Smelly Melly, Smelly Melly.  Poo - she stinks.  Does your mum stink too, Smelly?

And your dad?  Does Smelly Melly's daddy smell as bad as she does?

You all better now, Smelly Melly?  We missed you, didn't we, Jo?

Yes Jen, we missed our little Smelly Melly last week.  Where were you anyway?

I was ill.

Sorry?  Speak up, Smelly, we can't hear you. Can you hear her, Jo?

No Jen, I can't.  Cat got your tongue, Melly?

I was sick.

Sick, were you?  Not surprised.  I'd be sick too if I had to go round with that smell all day.  What d'you think, Jo?

I think we should look in her purse and see if she's got anything for us today, Jen.

Give it back!

What's this?  Five pounds!  That's so generous of you, Melly!  That's two-fifty each for me and Jen.

That's for my lunch.  Give it back!

You don't need to eat any lunch, Melly. 

No, she doesn't, Jen.  She's already too fat and smelly!

* * *

Mrs Miller?  It's Mrs Acton from St Paul's.  We've got your Melanie here with the nurse.  She's complaining of a bit of a sore tummy.  Yes... maybe she needs a few more days to get over that bug she had.  Needs to be at home, I think.  She looks a little pale.  Crying her eyes out, too, poor lass.   Could you come and collect her?  OK, see you in a little while.

The End

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