I go into the
lounge room where kids are spread out over the floor doing
homework. The TV is on but no one is watching. Through the
curtain I can see the eldest daughter studying in the store.
The youngest daughter is cuddling the baby and singing, "Fly
fly fly the butterfly, flying high in the sky ..." She
sometimes switches to, "There was a farmer had a dog and Bingo
was his name: B-I-N-G-O, B-I-N-G-O ..."
One of the
kids lies back and sprawls all over the sofa. The kid at the
end moves his homework to the floor. Pig-wig escapes from his
sister and crawls over and claws the homework book. Someone
comes to the rescue and takes Pig-wig to the other side of the
room. Pig-wig fire-hoses the floor. The kids laugh. One gets a
cloth and wipes it around a bit - not too good a job, but no
As the kids
finish their homework they begin watching TV. Half way through
a cartoon one of the kids gets up and changes channels. I wait
... nothing. No one says a word! Someone else gets up and
readjusts the volume.
channel change then someone turns on the radio. There are many
conflicting sounds. Outside I can hear kids laughing, a dog
barking, a guitar, and a tape of Kenny Rogers singing
"Lucile." Inside the kids are laughing and passing
Pig-wig to each other. The two youngest are playing a singing,
hand clapping game.
boy starts writing his diary. The other kids ask if it's about
his girl friend. He smiles. The boarder, a 14 year old girl,
grabs the diary and starts to read. The boy just shrugs and
quietly says something in Tagalog. She says sorry and hands it