Mrs Johnson and Mrs Cameron were a bit worried. Their little boys had gone out to play with each other two hours ago and it was about time they came home for their tea.
At opposite ends of the village, they furrowed their foreheads.
Mrs Johnson scooped up a few stray hairs that had sprung out from her untidy bun, and tucked them into her hairband.
Even Mrs Cameron's immaculate lacquered rococo updo had a hair out of place.
A thought bubble hovered above Mrs Johnson's head as she made a cup of PG Tips and reached for the Mr Kipling's Fondant Fancies. Inside the thought bubble were the words, 'Should we really have given Boris a catapult for Christmas?'.
Boris was such an untruthful child; he had a knack of embedding his lies in the middle of a joke. The day he'd thrown a stone through Mrs Livingstone's window he hadn't owned up, even when the vicar sat him down and asked him. All he'd done was laugh and shout 'Let him who is without sin cast the first stone!' over and over again, until the vicar, deafened by his bellowing and upset by his rudeness, went back to the vicarage and wasn't seen again for a week.
Meanwhile, just five minutes along the road, Mrs Cameron was making a cup of Earl Grey (the 'help' was in the village taking the poodle for its weekly shampoo) and rummaging through a box of Rose and Violet Cremes. Above her head was a thought bubble with the words, 'Should we really have given David a pea shooter for Christmas?'. The problem was that David had such a temper on him, and if he didn't get what he wanted, he got all red-faced and shouted and stamped his feet really hard. That made the dog panic and rush about the house barking, so of course the neighbours immediately knew that David was having one of his little tantrums: so they'd had to buy him the peashooter he'd asked for instead of the latest Harry Potter, which he said he didn't want because it was written by a lady.
Oh dear. the hours passed by. Just where could those boys be?