It is the final chapter of Bill Nagelkerke’s cool story today. Please leave a comment and let us know what you thought of the story. We’d like to thank Bill for very kindly allowing us to publish Cauliflower Ears on the Christchurch Kids Blog. You’re a legend Bill!
Chapter 16: Three cheers
It was over. The Greens had won the Junior Home World Cup. Our first Grand Final. Our first trophy. We danced. We hugged each other. Then we lined up to receive the Cup.
We shook hands with Junior Home World Cup organisers. Chip held up the cup for everyone to admire and everyone, including some of the Reds, cheered. And we cheered them as well and shook their hands, even Spike and Taggart’s.
‘No hard feelings?’ I said to Spike.
‘Get real,’ said Spike. ‘If it hadn’t been for you . . . ’
‘It’s not fair’ said Taggart, ‘letting girls play rugby. They completely stuff up the game.’
I took no any notice of what Taggart said. Neither did anyone else. So what that I’m a girl? I can play as well as anyone and today I proved that, even though it nearly turned out to be a disaster of a swan song.
There was a celebration afterwards at Mr Marlow’s place. Everyone came: the Green Team; parents; supporters; even Grubber’s dad although he soon dropped into a chair and feel asleep.
I felt hugely happy, and hugely sad, both at the same time.
‘How’d you know we were going to win?’ Sprigs asked Mr Marlow, looking at all the food laid out on the table.
‘I didn’t,’ said Mr Marlow. ‘We’d have had a party regardless. You made it to the Grand Final after all.’
‘But what if we hadn’t made it to the final?’ Sprigs said.
‘We’d still have had a party,’ Mr Marlow said, ‘because the Greens are such a great team.’
He looked at me. ‘And we’d have had a party because Wings is leaving us and we have to give her a fitting send off.’
I started to feel all sniffy.
‘Speech! Speech!’ the Greens yelled.
‘I can’t,’ I said.
‘Yes you can,’ said Dad. ‘You always have plenty to say at home.’
There was silence as everyone waited for me to finish blowing my nose. I took longer than I needed to because I was trying to think of something to say. Trying didn’t work.
The words didn’t fall into my head. So I stopped trying to force them out and I just said what I was feeling.
‘I’m really going to miss you guys. Miss you heaps. All the practice sessions, and all the games. Not being here to defend the Cup next year. But Mr Marlow is right about us. We are a great team and it’s because we’ve got such great players.’
‘And because we had my lucky laces,’ said Sprigs. ‘Don’t forget them.’
‘And because we’ve got Sprigs’ lucky laces.’ I remembered the broken piece was still in my sock so I pulled it out and waved it around my head.
‘Sprigs’ grubby laces,’ said Sprigs’ mum and everyone laughed.
‘It wouldn’t have mattered if we hadn’t won today because we would have given it our best shot and that’s all that matters,’ I said.
‘Liar,’ said Grubber loudly.
‘But true as well,’ said Mr Marlow. ‘Some other team will be lucky to be getting you as a player Wings.’
‘Three cheers for Wings,’ said Chips.
‘No, for all the Greens,’ I said.
So we all shouted our slogan: ‘Three cheers for the Cauliflower Ears!’
And then we got stuck into the feed.