CHILD'S PLAY: Bad family shopping trip? Imagine Noah's Ark.
CHILD'S PLAY: Bad family shopping trip? Imagine Noah's Ark. Tara Miko

Noah's Ark is child's play

THE car park was busy. People pushed loaded trolleys slowly, stalked by hovering cars waiting to pounce. The carpark workers pulled long snakes of trolleys back to the shops.

Without trolley boys I think everything would grind to a halt. They, probably the least well paid, are the ones who remove the grit that stops the wheels of commerce moving. Without them, the parking places would become clogged and unusable. They should get a medal or better still, a pay rise, for working in that unattractive, dark place, day in day out, retrieving trolleys loitering rudely in the middle of the prime parking places or jammed up against poles.

I watched a big family load themselves and their tonnes of shopping into a large people mover. The children squabbled and shoved each other, the older ones heaved bag after bag of food into the back, as the mother yelled instructions to her inattentive brood. The father sat in the driver's seat, reading his phone, ignoring everyone. Everyone looked utterly fed up.

As I watched the family wrangle their way into the car and drive off in haze of irritability I thought to myself, do you think Noah had the same problem loading the Ark?

All the children's books depict the animals in a tidy line going in politely two-bytwo - but can we be sure that is an accurate representation?

Did the smaller animals nick quickly underfoot to get the best spots on the side with sea view? Who sat next to the giraffes and whined loudly and persistently 'I can't see!' Did anyone need to go to the toilet once they were all loaded? Did a group of jackals start singing an annoying repetitive song? Did the monkeys call out over and over 'Are we there yet?'

Was there any pushing and shoving? Did the turtle doves announce they get seasick? Did anyone refuse to sit next to the skunks because they reckoned they smelled? Did someone take someone's seat that they had momentarily left and then refuse to give it back?

Did anyone punch anyone else and then deny it vehemently and say "They started it!” Did anyone complain that the leopard kept changing their spots and it was making them dizzy? Did a crocodile accidentally sit on a smaller animal and then no one believed their tears? Did someone yell that the Hippo stood on their foot?

Or was it indeed like the peaceful pictures of a benevolent Noah, not in the least bit annoyed, watching on as well behaved animals quietly filed onto an impossibly small Ark?

Baloney or truth?

You be the judge...


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