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Cyril Rum, Angel on sabbatical, was up early
Normally Cyril liked to have a quiet morning, some tea and on occasion a piece of toast with strawberry fruit spread. Cyril had discovered a liking for strawberries and was thankful that in the creation of the earth the sweet red fruit had been included
His taste buds rejoiced as he rolled the sticky fruit round in his mouth.
It was then he heard the sobbing. It seemed to be coming from his back door and Cyril unaccustomed to visitors was puzzled as to what it all meant.
He opened his back door to find a small child, a girl he thought, sitting on his step, her head buried on her knees crying somewhat uncontrollably.
She wore a dishevelled outfit; dirty t-shirt, grubby shorts and very unruly hair.
“Goodness me,” said Cyril, “whatever is wrong?”
The girl looked up startled at hearing his voice. She wiped her snotty nose on her already wiped upon sleeve and bust into even louder sobbing.
Cyril looked around wondering if he should call Mildred, as she would be sure to know what to do as she was far more used to the goings on of people.
“Come inside child,” said Cyril trying to sound kind and not irritated at having his morning interrupted.
The scruffy child stood and accepted his invitation. He seated her at the kitchen bench and poured her a cup of tea unsure if small girls even liked tea but thinking how it made him feel relaxed and content he applied the same logic to her.
Just then his neighbour Mildred knocked on his door and a relieved Cyril invited her in.
“Oh my Cyril, what have you here?” asked Mildred taken aback at the sight of the girl.
“Found her on my back step just now,” answered Cyril, “do you know who she might be?”
The girl had wrapped her hands around the tea Cyril poured and was sipping it slowly.
“She looks like one of the Casey children,” said Mildred. “Are you a Casey?” asked Mildred to the small girl.
“I’m Amy,” replied the small girl,” and I live at number 23.”
“That’s the Casey’s alright,” said Mildred, “why were you on Mr Rum’s back step?”
“My mother hasn’t come home. She went to the shop yesterday and hasn’t come back, I’ve been alone and we’ve no food.” revealed Amy immediately dissolved into tears.
“Oh dear,” uttered Mildred, “ the Casey’s are a poor lot, a heap of kids and not a lot of support or care. The father moved out years ago and the mother has been fending for herself.”
Cyril immediately pictured number 23, the yard full of toys, seemingly multiple children playing and never a parent in sight.
“What of the other children, your brother and sisters?” asked Cyril to Amy.
“Mum sent them off to her sisters and brothers and there’s just me and I don’t know what to do,” she wailed.
“Here,” said Cyril handing Amy a piece of his toast which she gobbled down in no time flat. Food wasn’t something Cyril, being an Angel, had a great deal of.
Mildred said she’d go to Number 23 and see if there was anyone there and that Amy should stay with Cyril till she returned.
It wasn’t long and she returned grim faced announcing the house was deserted. Mildred may have been a single woman and somewhat like Cyril a bit of a recluse but she was resourceful and quickly rang the police to see if they knew anything about Amy’s mother.
All inquiries about the mother proved fruitless and it become clear that Amy had been abandoned.
Mildred looked at Cyril and saw his bewilderment. “Sometimes,” she said, “ the pressure of life gets too much and its easier to give everything away and run away. Amy? Did your mother tell you if you were alone, to go to Mr Rum?” asked Mildred.
“Yes,” replied Amy, “ she said Mr Rum would look out for me.”
There was an occasion some time ago when Cyril had helped Mrs Casey with a domestic issue but that was a while back and he had not seen her since.
“She’s abandoned her family,” said Mildred.
“Call the sister, she’ll take her in,” said a pensive Cyril, “she can stay here with you until then, I think she needs a woman’s touch more than mine.”
Mildred made the call and the next day Mrs Casey’s sister, Lee arrived and after some discussion and a word in private with Cyril, she gathered the abandoned Amy set off.
They went first to Amy’s house to pack a bag and found on her bed a several bags containing new clothes, dresses, shorts, underwear and shoes, with a note from Cyril saying, “I hope these are enough to get you started. Mildred selected the colours.”