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Norman | Don Wijewardana | Wellington

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Norman (his real name) was one of the nicest guys who lived with us at the college hostel. But he had one weakness: he often got into trouble with other boys. I couldn’t think of one week that passed without him getting a caning from the hostel warden.

One day, fed up with his incorrigible behaviour, the warden asked Norman to get his father to come and see him to give him a last warning. Norman knew he was in big trouble. But he had no choice. The following day I saw Norman walking in with his father like a prisoner being taken to the gallows.

The warden related all Norman’s misdeeds and gave the ultimatum that unless he mended his ways Norman would be ousted from the hostel. The father listened quietly, threatening Norman with appropriate treatment.. After about half an hour he left.

I thought it was all over, with that berating. But the following day I was surprised to see the father again in the playing field looking for Norman. I then rushed into the hostel where I saw Norman and told him, ‘come quickly your dad is looking for you’.

Norman sneered at me.  ‘That is not my father. I saw him yesterday at the bus stop and asked him to front up to the warden as my father. I promised him two rupees. I didn’t have two rupees then. I gave him one. He has come to collect the other rupee’.

By Don Wijewardana – Wellington

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