Cauliflower Ears by Bill Nagelkerke – Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Wings

‘Did you see how he tackled Danny?’ I asked Sprigs. ‘The ref should’ve spotted that, he was right there. If I’d been the ref I would’ve done something about it.’

‘It was legit,’ said Sprigs.


‘But legit.’

And I knew he was right.

Things improved a little after that bad beginning. Grubber scored a try and Sprigs’ place kick converted it sweetly between the posts.

Seven – seven.

‘At least my leftover lace is still working its magic,’ said Sprigs. If he could have bent down far enough to kiss that lace I’m sure he would have.

‘The try will help keep my dad awake and on his toes,’ said Grubber, sounding really pleased.

‘You did good to get him to stay and watch for a change,’ said Sprigs.

Grubber’s dad was a nurse at the hospital. He worked in Accident and Emergency. Grubber’s dad didn’t like rugby much, because he thought Grubber was going to get injured one day, but Grubber loved the game so much that his dad just had to let him play.

‘I told him this morning that I’d never talk to him again if he missed seeing us win the Junior Home World Cup,’ Grubber said.

‘You didn’t mean it, did you?’ I said.

Grubber didn’t answer me.

I was happy that Sprigs had converted Grubber’s try. Me, I’m not a kicker.

And I was really, really stoked that Grubber had scored that try.

But I couldn’t help wishing that it’d been me. I’m a winger, you see. That’s why my nickname is Wings. When I’m running I feel as if I’ve sprouted two massive feathery things that fly me all over the field.

I desperately wanted a chance to use my wings before the final whistle blew.

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