The Present Prank

Category: Slice of Life

“Here we go!”

We had gatheredgathered aroundaround Tom, watchingwatching him wrap up the orangeorange brick with bright, colourfulcolourful paperpaper left over from Christmas.Christmas. He had done a reallyreally good job. Once he had tiedtied the ribbonribbon around it and addedadded the bow on top, it had lookedlooked just like it belongedbelonged underunder the Christmas tree.

CHRISTMAS 000Now we were in our hidehiding place, sittingsitting behindbehind the trees at the top of the hill, aboveabove the road that ran betweenbetween our familyfamilies’ farms. The beautifullybeautifully wrappedwrapped brick was lielying there, a very strange sight in the middlemiddle of the road. How could it have got there?

We waited.waited. Pam and I were tryingtrying hard to smothersmother our gigglesgiggles in our hands while the olderolder childrenchildren were hissinghissing at us to be quiet. FinallyFinally a funnyfunny little car came putt putt putting up the road, Mr PritchardPritchard hunchedhunched over the steeringing wheel, peeringpeering out from under his hat.

The little car came to a shudderingshuddering stop and he slowlyslowly squeezedsqueezed himselfhimself out of the door, like toothpastetoothpaste out of a tube. He limpedlimped over to where the present was sitting and carefullycarefully bent down, holdingholding the small of his back with one hand, and pickingpicking the parcelparcel up with the other. A smile, that could be seen from the top of the bank where we were sitting, lit up his face. He lookedlooked closelyclosely at it, shook it and brought it to his nose.

We sat there, holdingholding our breath, wonderingwondering if he would unwrapunwrap the present there and then. HopeHoping he would! But he got intointo his car with the present, startedstarted the engine and drove away. 



Clarify these words: gathered, smother, hunched, peering, shuddering, limped, small of his back, parcel.

Retell what has happened in this Slice of Life.

What prediction can you made about what might have happened next?

Make inferences or give opinions about:

  • Who is saying 'Here we go' and why.
  • What time of year this story might have happened.
  • Why Tom wrapped a brick in Christmas paper.
  • Why the brick was a strange sight in the middle of the road.
  • Who would ask 'How could it have got there?'.
  • Why the older children would hiss at the younger girls.
  • What you learn about Mr Pritchard.
  • What Mr Pritchard getting out of the car is compared to.
  • Why he does what he does with the present. 
  • How he felt about finding the present. 
  • Why the children were holding their breath.
  • How they felt at the end.


What question could you ask about this Slice of Life?

Visualise these uses of descriptive language: bright colourful paper left over from Christmas; beautifully wrapped brick a strange sight in the middle of the road; smother our giggles in our hands; hissing at us; putt putt putting; hunched over the steering wheel, peering from under his hat; shuddering stop; squeezed himself out of the door like toothpaste out of a tube; limped; carefully bent down, holding the small of his back with one hand, picking the parcel up with the other; holding our breath.

Make a connection with this narrative so far.

Word Study

Verb endings: What happens when we add sed or ing to: hide, sit, wrap, lie, try, squeeze, hope.

Other affixes: What happens when we add other prefixes and suffixes like unful, ly, er, y to these words: wrap, colour, beautiful, final, slow, careful, close, old, fun. 

What two words make up these compound wordsaround, himself, toothpaste.

What do the apostrophes mean here: families'