"Causing a Scene" series number '4'

Daddy Fell into the Pond
a poem by Alfred Noyes

Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.
We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And then there seemed to be nothing beyond,
Then
Daddy fell into the pond!

And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
"Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He's crawling out of the duckweed!" Click!

Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft,
And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.
Oh, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
When
Daddy Fell into the pond!

Alfred Noyes

Gordon was bored.

It was his turn to make an appearance at Tracycorp headquarters, and he was on a flight to his father's New York office.

Sitting beside him on the plane, was a family consisting of a mother and her two young sons. To Gordon's relief, the youngest child had slept most of the flight so far, but the older boy looked just as bored as Gordon felt.

"Timothy, please sit still." The boys mother in exasperation as the young boy started squirming again. "Why don't you get out the book Daddy gave you?"

Timothy pulled out his backpack from under the chair in front of him and rummaged through it, eventually pulling out an old book.

Gordon could not help but glance over at the family. It was difficult not too, seeing that they were sitting right next to him. That, and the fact he had seen all movies on offer, he wasn't tired, and there was nothing else for him to do.

Gordon smiled to himself when he saw which book it was. He and his brothers had the same book when they were children.

It was a book of nursery rhymes and poems.

Timothy opened the book and finding the page he was looking for, handed it to his mother to read for him.

She smiled at her son and glanced at Gordon briefly in apology, and he smiled back mouthing, "Its okay."

She put her arm around Timothy and taking a deep breath began reading ....

"Everyone grumbled. The sky was grey.
We had nothing to do and nothing to say.

We were nearing the end of a dismal day,
And then there seemed to be nothing beyond,"

Gordon recognised the verse, but could not think why it made him smile.

Timothy's mother continued...

"Then Daddy fell into the pond!"

Timothy let out a little giggle, which Gordon found infective and let out a small snort. Both Timothy and his mother turned to him in surprised amusement, and she carried on with the poem.

"And everyone's face grew merry and bright,
And Timothy danced for sheer delight.
"Give me the camera, quick, oh quick!
He's crawling out of the duckweed!" Click!"

Gordon bit his lip as the memory of what had made him smile suddenly hit him. He had used this poem at school. His teacher had told the class to pick a poem and act it out, recording it with pictures to display for the next parents evening.

Gordon had taken it to the next level - he had set up, acted out, and then taken the picture to prove it!

TBTBTB

(Gordon's flash back)

It was a dismal day. The dark clouds threatened rain, but the Tracy boys were not to be put off from the outing with their father by a bit of weather. Scott and Grandma Tracy made sure they were all wrapped up warmly before calling Jeff to let him know they were ready for the trip to the park.

Gordon was excited. He had packed his camera safely into his coat pocket, hidden away from Scott's sight.

If only his eldest brother knew what he had planned, Gordon thought gleefully!

Jeff came out of the study and Scott handed his father his heavy winter coat. "Thanks, son." Jeff murmured gratefully in his deep voice as he finished up with his paper work, by handing a load of letters to be posted to his mother. Then in a much louder voice he called out, "Alright boys, lets go!"

They all piled out of the door and into the large car. Alan and Gordon giggling. John with his nose in a book, Virgil and Scott waiting patiently for the younger boys to sort themselves out.

Jeff started the engine and the car pulled away.

Grandma Tracy watched from the kitchen as the family left on their trip, with a smile on her face. It was good that Jeff was finally making some quality time to spend with his sons.

The park was almost deserted. The wind was starting to pick up. Jeff closed his coat tighter around his body as he watched his boys race off towards the pond in the middle of the park, shouting and calling to each other as they ran.

He smiled when he saw John joining in, and actually beat his brothers to the edge of the pond, with Scott only a step behind him. Jeff wondered if Scott had let him win on purpose.

Alan, as usual was the last one to get there, but Jeff saw his youngest grinning and his chubby cheeks were flushed red from the run. Scott jogged back and picked up the youngest Tracy, carrying him to the edge of the pond so he could see the ducks better as they swam towards the family, eager to be fed.

Jeff strolled closer. "Careful boys, we don't want anyone falling in today." They all looked up at him and smiled. "No, sir," they all answered, except for Gordon.

Gordon wandered away from the others. Everyone was intent on feeding the ducks with the bread that Scott had taken out of his backpack. No one noticed him move away.

John and Virgil were each throwing small pieces of bread into the water to see which duck was the quickest to eat it.

Scott was occupied keeping Alan safe from the waters edge. Scott helped Alan tear the bread before holding the youngest Tracy by his coat and letting him throw it in himself.

Jeff stood back and watched his sons laugh and play together, and then he turned his attention to his absent, ginger haired son.

What was Gordon up too? Jeff thought as he spotted the missing child not too far away.

Jeff watched as Gordon crouched over the edge of the pond, intent on something in the water. Gordon reached out a hand towards the center of the pond, and Jeff decided it would be a good time to go and see exactly what he was trying to do.

As Jeff approached, Gordon looked up and saw his father coming towards him. Hiding a cheeky grin, Gordon got his camera ready in his pocket, and stood up.

"Hi, Dad!" Gordon greeted innocently.

"What are you doing?" Jeff asked as he stood by his son's side. He looked down into the murky water to see if he could see what had captured Gordon's attention.

"Nothing. Well, actually I'm doing my homework for school. Can you help me, please?" Gordon asked.

"Sure. What can I do to help?" Jeff answered, feeling pleased that Gordon had asked him instead of Scott or John for once.

"I need some of that duckweed. But I can't reach it." Gordon pointed to the slimy looking weed that was a little way from the edge of the pond.

"Why would you need that for school?" Jeff asked, but the look on Gordon's face made Jeff stop asking questions. This was the first time Gordon had asked Jeff to help him, so help him he would. Whatever the cost.

"Okay Gordie, you want the duckweed, then duckweed you shall have!"

"Thanks, Daddy!" Gordon grinned, and turned on his camera in his pocket.

Jeff lent over the side of the pond and tried to reach the nearest bit of weed, but the ripples caused by the duck his other sons were feeding was keeping it just out of his reach.

"You need to lean out further, Daddy." Gordon encouraged him from behind.

Jeff grunted, muscles straining as he stretched out a bit more. The edge was damp and starting to feeling a bit slippery. What Jeff didn't know, was that Gordon had already pored some cooking oil on it. The concrete underneath the smooth old slab Jeff was on began crumbling, but Jeff was too intent on helping his son that he never noticed.

Scott looked up from helping Alan, and saw his father precariously leaning over the water's edge. His heart stopped as he saw the slab give way. Just as Jeff's fingers successfully pulled out the weed from the pond, he felt his balance go...

"NO! Dad get back!" Scott shouted in a panic. Everyone looked over at Jeff, and as if in slow motion, they watched their dad fall forward into the pond.

SPLASH!

CLICK!

"Huh?" John exclaimed and the bright flash of a camera dazzled them all.

Gordon took another picture as their dad surfaced, covered in the slimy pond weed.

CLICK!

The boys stood in shock, wondering what was going to happen next.

Alan started to giggle, then Virgil snorted which prompted John to let out laugh which he quickly turned into a cough at the look on Scott's face.

Jeff sat in the water, dripping. In his hand he still held the duckweed for Gordon, unfortunately it hung off his head as well.

Gordon took a few more pictures before he could contain his own mirth no longer.

Jeff stared at Gordon incredulously, then glance over at his other sons, three of whom were laughing so much that Alan was rolling on the ground and John was bent over with his arms hugging his stomach.

Scott was the only one not laughing - but the look of anger on his eldest sons face made Jeff feel so loved, that he too let out a grin too.

Jeff was freezing cold, wet and covered in pond slime, but he was happy. His sons (bar Scott) were happy, and Jeff felt blessed to have such great children.

He was brought out of his musings by the sound of Scott's voice suddenly shouting at Gordon.

A small crowd gathered around, most laughing, and some just looking at him wondering why he was still sitting in the pond.

"Show's over folks!" Jeff announced as he stood up. A man held out his hand to Jeff and pulled him out. "Thanks."

The man grinned at him, "No, thank you for putting a smile on my kid's face."

Scott was standing in front of Gordon - who now looked afraid of Scott. Jeff had no idea what Scott was saying to Gordon, but it must have had the desired effect as Gordon had the decency to look sorry.

Jeff laugh out loud, to see such a look on Gordon's face. Jeff pulled the camera from Gordon's hand, and took a few pictures of Gordon, and then the other children laughing a short distance away. Scott took one look at the laughter coming from his father that he allowed a smile too.

Everyone was safe. Scott relaxed and joined in with the happiness.

The family would always remember this day, thanks to Gordon, they had proof...

TBTBTB

Gordon had been in a lot of trouble from both his father and Scott about that one, well mostly Scott, when they found out he had planned it all. But no one had said anything about it being a 'nursery rhyme'! Besides, he got an A+ for that one, and his Dad had allowed him to use the pictures for his project at school...it had been the highlight of the evening as Gordon recited the poem to his classmates and their parents. His Dad had taken it all in his stride, and laughed it off.

He came away from his mussing as Timothy's mother read the last part, and he found himself joining in with her...

"Then the gardener suddenly slapped his knee,
And doubled up, shaking silently,
And the ducks all quacked as if they were daft,
And it sounded as if the old drake laughed.
Oh, there wasn't a thing that didn't respond
When"

Gordon and Timothy's mother stopped reading at the same time, but a little voice continued ...

"Daddy Fell into the pond!"

All three of them looked at each other and started laughing, Gordon could not help it and he laughed until tears were pouring down his face.

Timothy giggled because the adults were, but then he stopped and looked at Gordon. "Why are you laughing?" he asked curiously.

Gordon calmed himself, and took a deep breath before answering.

"Because when I was a little boy, I used this in my school project. My dad even fell into the pond for it. It was the best grade I ever got!"

Timothy's mother gasp in surprise "Oh my god, I know who you are! You're Gordon Tracy! My husband used to be in your class at school, he talks about you to the boys like you are a legend or something." She blushed before looking down at the youngest child who was starting to wake up, "That's why he brought them this book. He said you were the bravest and funniest person he had ever met. When you won the medal..." She looked away, suddenly embarrassed before looking back at him sheepishly. "He would be so jealous if he knew we were sitting next to you on the plane!"

Gordon was amazed that anyone would even remember him from school, let alone talk about him to his wife and kids.

"What is your husband called?" Gordon heard himself asking

"Jim Carter. But he," She looked down briefly before looking at Gordon again, "he has leukaemia, they don't think he will survive the year. But the things he tells the boys of what you did at school makes the boys laugh. It gives them something to talk about when we visit. Takes his mind off the ... off his condition."

Gordon tried to remember who Jim Carter was, and he came up with no-one. There was no one called Jim Carter at his school - was there?

Gordon swallowed, feeling guilty for putting the sad look on Timothy's mother's face. "I'm sorry. I, I don't even know your name.."

"Beth. Beth Carter, and please - I probably shouldn't have said anything. I'm sorry." She turned to the now wide awake smaller boy who was staring at Gordon with what could be described as awe.

"It's you!" The tiny boy said. "You're Gorden Tracy! Daddy told us all about you! I like swimming too! Can you tell me about the Olli-pics? Daddy said he thought you're cool enough to be in International Rescue! Do you know International Rescue? My Daddy says..."

"Gordie, leave the gentleman alone, please." Beth gently told the younger child.

Gordon started at the child's name. Jim had named his son after him? Why couldn't Gordon remember who Jim was? Did he really know that Gordon was working for International Rescue?

Beth opened the book again, and turned the page, but two voices protested.

"No! Read it again Mommy, plwease!"

Gordon smiled gently, and took the book away from Beth's slightly shaking hands. "Let me. Please, I insist."

She smiled gratefully, unable to find her voice. Gordie and Timothy watched with wide and excited eyes as their dads hero began reciting the poem again.

They all joined in, and very soon even Beth had been able to compose herself and join in.

After twenty minutes of reading the poem from the book, Gordon started to tell the boys stories of other pranks he had pulled, on his family and friends. He even had Beth laughing along with them.

Wiping a tear from her eye from laughing so much, Beth lent over and put a hand gently on Gordon's arm. "Thank you. Thank you for sharing your stories with us. Now we have some thing to share with Jim when we visit him next."

Timothy took the book out of Gordon's hand and asked him before his mother could stop the words coming out of his mouth. "What happened in your accident? Did International Rescue save you? How did you get better? Daddy said it was a miracle. How can I get one of those to help my Daddy get better too?"

Beth had tears in her eyes as she was about to reprimand her eldest son for asking such a question, but Gordon stopped her before even a single word had crossed her lips.

"Its a long story Timothy, but you know what - we have time and there is no-one else I would rather tell it to." The little boys smiled hopefully, excitement filling their eyes.

As Gordon told them his story, he saw the hope fade a little in their eyes as understanding took over. Gordon felt his heart contract with sympathy for this family - who were using the pranks he did in school to keep a smile on their faces.

"Do you think," Gordon paused biting his lip in nerves. He glanced shyly at Beth, "do you think I would be able to visit Jim? Would he mind?"

Beth looked stunned. Timothy jumped up and shouted in excitement "Yes! Daddy will love it! He would like it better than if he had a ride in one of the Thunderbirds!"

Gordon smiled and Beth finally let out a grin. "Yes, please do. It would really make his day. Look, here's my card, give me a call, and I'll arrange for you to see him."

Gordon was about to answer when the captain's voice came over the speaker. "We are coming into land, please make sure all your belongings are secured in the lockers, and that your seat belts are fastened. On behalf of the crew, we would like to thank you for flying with us today, and hope that we will see you again soon."

Gordon took the card, and pulled out one of his own. "Listen. Call me, please. If you need anything, at anytime, just call me?"

Beth went to shake her head, no. But Gordon squeezed her hand tighter, making her look into his eyes. She gave in and gratefully replied , "okay. I will. Thank you."

The plane landed, and nothing more was said between them, though Timothy and Gordie chatted continuously about the different schemes Gordon had told them about.

As they all exited the plane, Beth gave Gordon a quick hug.

"Thank you."

"No problem. And I mean what I said earlier. Call me?" Gordon repeated to Beth, with her two sons watching with wide eyes from below.

"I will, I promise. Take care of yourself, it has been a pleasure to meet you for real. Especially the boys." He said as he looked down at the youngsters and flashing them a quick grin.

He winked at Beth before crouching down on his knees so he was eye level with them and said "I hope you two rascals are going to behave yourself for your mummy now." Both boys nodded earnestly, "Good. Come here, you two!" And Gordon held his arms open for a hug and both boys jumped into his embrace.

Gordon held them tightly, and whispered "Tell your Daddy that Gordon Tracy thinks he is a very lucky man to have such wonderful boys. And tell your mummy to phone me!"

They both nodded and grinned at him as Gordon stood up.

"Good bye." Gordon said to Beth, and she smiled as she ushered the boys off to collect their bags.

As Gordon watched them walk away, he heard someone calling his name, and saw his fathers chauffer waving to him. He waved back in acknowledgment before turning to watch the Carter family again before he left, but they had gone already disappeared into the crowd.

Shaking his head in disbelief, Gordon wondered how someone from so long ago would follow his career and then even name his child after him. A man who Gordon still had no idea who he was.

But he was determined to find out, and then he would visit him. Gordon was a bit scared by it all, and hoped that Jim Carter had not put together that he was in International Rescue ... at least with Beth seeing him on business for Tracy Corp, his cover should not be blown.

Gordon walked over to the chauffer and smiled as the man took Gordon's bag from him "Good flight, sir?" The man asked.

"Yes thanks, an interesting flight. Take me straight to the apartment please."

"Of course, sir."

Gordon listened to the news on the way, and he heard that IR had been called out on a mission.

He was pretty sure his cover was safe, but he going to check it out anyway.

After the rescue his brothers were on, he would call John to help get more information on Jim Carter.

With that thought in mind, Gordon watched the scenery pass by the tinted window of the car. His memory of his childhood, and the small family he met on the plane playing in his head.

The End

Please remember the lives you effect around you, even if you think you don't. For every action there is a consequence. Be kind !! ;)

Hope you enjoyed

Hob x