Posts Tagged ‘Robin Hood’

I read a fantastic book recently called Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green. (  I dropped Matthew a line to let him know how much I had enjoyed his book because I had had an imaginary friend as a child.  He encouraged me to write this.

Barry, my Imaginary Friend

I was nearly three when we moved from an apartment in town to an old house in the country with a large, overgrown garden. That was where I met Barry. He had sticky-up black hair and wore a black coat with a sticky-up collar. Together we explored, in amongst forgotten raspberry canes, swathes of chin-height toughened grass and chaotic weed filled flowerbeds. He pushed me into a clump of nettles once, from where I emerged red and itchy. Nanna gave me a dock leaf and told Barry off, so that was alright. He didn’t do it again. I think he was a bit frightened of Nanna. For three summers we played together, Barry and me, making camps under bamboo or climbing the old chestnut tree, swaying on lower branches, at sea on our pirate ship.  He was a lost boy to my Peter Pan; Will Scarlett to my Robin Hood.

     I’d run down the garden after breakfast, determinedly avoiding the daily brushing of pillow-mussed hair where I’d find Barry, usually with a grazed knee.  He fell down a lot so I kept him supplied with sticking plasters, taking one for myself at the same time. When it came to peeling them off, I’d squeal as my mother ripped then rubbed the fraying grey ridges at bath time.  I was never as brave as Barry.

     Even though my parents often laid a place for him at table, Barry never came into the house. Sometimes I would take a biscuit or piece of fruit outside and we’d feast in our camp. One day, my little sister joined me in the garden and that was the day Barry disappeared. He was shy, you see. She never replaced Barry; I had to make do with her company but she was only ever Friar Tuck or Tinkerbell.

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