“That’s it.” she said, smiling from the back porch. “Just right. If you fill it with the compost I’ll put the primroses in it. It’ll look lovely there.” Billy dragged the first bag of compost over to where the bucket now was and propping the bag of compost up against the bush went to get his trowel. Billy was just exiting the shed when he saw the bag of compost slowly slipping against the bush. His heart sank as it finally tipped and in doing so also knocked the bucket on to its side. The bucket came to rest with a loud clunk. Billy registered two things at the same time. One, Sue arriving back onto the porch at exactly the wrong moment, having seen everything, and two, the pot now sitting on its side.
A loud tut rose from the porch as Billy shot across the patio. “Fancy resting the compost on a bush, you dozy beggar!” Sue shouted. Billy was relieved however as he approached the bucket to find that it was much hardier than he had given it credit. It was still intact, although now lying on its side.
“It’s alright Sue.” he said, getting hold of the garden ornament to right it. “All in one piece.” Sue smiled as she heard this, but then seemed to frown once again as she stared at the bucket.
“What’s that written on the bottom of it?” she said, suddenly curious. Billy recognised the look. This was the history detective side of her.
“Probably says, “Other side up.”” he muttered, getting his glasses from his shirt breast pocket.
“I heard that.” said Sue, laughing as Billy put on his glasses.
“Actually, there’s a bit more than that.” he said, and began to read. “It looks almost like a rhyme or something like that.” Slowly he traced the words with his finger, reading them out loud as he did so. “Run I can, but cannot walk. Sometimes I sing, yet never talk. Lack arms, though have hands; no head have I, but have a face. What am I?”
"The history Detectives" is one short story of many from the collection of short stories, "Liverpool" which is available to purchase Separately.