Antonia Finds a Husband

Chapter 3

Once there was a young girl named Antonia Gigglegoose. Antonia came from a very large family. There were Gigglegoose brothers in the first and second grade, and Gigglegoose sisters in the fourth and fifth grade, and there were even Gigglegoose triplets in kindergarten! Antonia herself just finished the third grade. 

It was summer holidays, and Antonia was working as an Emergency Medical Technician, or, as the grown-ups called it, an EMT. She had started this job unexpectantly when Winnie Walker, her doll, unfortunately, got her leg caught in the spokes of Antonia’s bike when Antonia was pretending to be a school bus driver. It was a slow day as an EMT. No doll needed her immediate attention, so Antonia was thinking of going home and having an early supper.

“Dad! I’m hungry!” Antonia announced as she entered the house.

“Sorry Tony” (Tony was what Antonia’s dad called her when he was in a good mood), but supper won’t be ready for another hour. I just put the meatloaf in the oven, and I’m still waiting for the potatoes to boil.”

“But I’m huuuuuuuuuuungry” Antonia bellowed.

“Well, you’re just going to have to wait.”

“Well, that’s not good at all. My stomach is growling so loud I can barely hear my own thoughts” Antonia thought to herself, “I’m going to find my own husband so that I can have someone to cook my supper.”

“Where can I find a husband,” Antonia wondered to herself.  “I can look at books? Hmmm, Jack in Jack and Jill is too clumsy. He might spill soup or milk when he is cooking my dinner.” Prince Charming? No, he looks like he is dressed for a party or for church all the time. What if I looked at school? 

“Dad, I need the phone.”


“I want to ask a boy that was in my class if he wants to be my husband.”

“No, maybe when you’re older”.

“Ok, then can I ask a girl that was in my class if she wants to be my husband?”

“No, maybe when you’re older” her dad answered mindlessly as he tested the potatoes with a fork.

“Fine,” thought Antonia. “I’ll look somewhere else. Perhaps television will be helpful.”

Antonia went into the living room and turned on the T.V. There seemed to be a curling match taking place on channel 2.  Antonia watched and listened for a few minutes. She didn’t like the yelling the curlers were making “hurry, hard” “sweep faster” began to annoy Antonia and just before she was about to turn the T.V off her heard this wonderfully sonorous voice commenting on the game. “He sounds nice,” thought Antonia to herself. And sat with her chin in her hand to listen to more. It was at a commercial break that Antonia began to wonder what name was attached to the voice she heard. “

“Welcome back to curling corner. My name is Fred Ferguson, and we are in the middle of a riveting game with only 3 shots left.

“Fred”. Antonia said the name aloud. “Fred. That is a very suitable name for a husband.”

 “I should probably learn everything I can about his job so that we have something to talk about over supper”. So, Antonia went to find a notepad and pencil.

Antonia found her notepad and paper and made herself comfortable on the sofa. The curling commenter continued talking about curling and as he did, Antonia took notes. “Rock. Sweep. Key. Ok, I think I’ve got it”. 

After about 10 minutes of listening, Antonia thought she could understand curling enough to have Fred as her husband. Besides, she had lots of stuff of her own to talk to him about. Her job and an EMT, the family dog “Six Toes”, her breadbox playhouse provided lots of stories to share with a husband while he prepared her supper.

Antonia spent a wonderful hour with her new husband. Fred had prepared the most delicious meal. In fact it was her favourite imaginary spaghetti and meatballs!

“Antonia! Supper!” Antonia’s father yelled from the kitchen.

“Sorry, Dad, but I’m not hungry,” Antonia replied, wiping her face with a napkin after eating her supper.

“But you were complaining you were hungry an hour ago. Did you sneak a snack when I wasn’t looking?” Asked her father.

“No, my husband made me supper” Antonia retorted as she attempted to make her way out the door to play with Six Toe.

“Just wait there, young lady. Go wash your hands and sit yourself at the table.”

“Argh, alright. But it would be very rude of you not to invite Fred to dinner.” 

Antonia’s dad blinked at her in confusion. You want to invite who for supper?”

“ Fred. My husband.”

“Fred? Ohhhhkay’. So Antonia’s father squeezed an extra placemat, plate, fork, spoon and knife between Antonia and her sister Arabella.. 

“Who is sitting here?” Arabella asked, gesturing to the extra plate as she plunked herself down at the table.

“That place is reserved for Fred. He is my husband if you must know. He cooks me supper when I’m hungry.

“You’re so weird” Arabella muttered under her breath as she filled her glass with milk.

Every day, after Antonia had finished working as an EMT, she would come home and find Fred on the television. Fred was a very reliable husband. Antonia would turn on the television right at 6:45and there he was. “Hello, Fred. How was your day?”. Fred didn’t really answer her questions so Antonia would have to come up the answers herself. “That’s wonderful, Fred. I’m so glad your friend Bob is recovering from bonking his head on the ice. I do hope he will be out of the hospital soon and back at work soon.” 

Fred was lovely to have around for the remainder of the summer. By the end of the holidays, when school was about to start, Antonia often forgot about her husband and was starting to get excited about fourth grade. One Saturday afternoon, just before the beginning of the school year, Antonia turned on the television to watch Fred at work. Lo and behold Antonia could not find Fred on any of the channels. 

“Hmmmm. I wonder what happed to Fred?  He’s always here waiting for me at this time of day,. Oh well, I guess he had better things to do.” Antonia was momentarily melancholy thinking about how wonderful a husband Fred had been, but then she got distracted by the smell of fresh cookies coming from the kitchen. Her father was back to school baking!

“Would Fred like a cookie or two”, her father asked as Antonia came into the kitchen for her cookie. 

“No. I’ve decided I don’t have time in my life for a husband now that I am going into the fourth grade. I’ll be too busy with my friends.”

“Well just in case you change your mind, here is an extra cookie just in case you run into Fred”. 

“Thanks, Dad!” said Antonia and as she left, she shoved both of the cookies into her mouth. 

It’s the Little Things. In Honour of Father’s Day

In honour of Father’s Day I thought I’d share some little things my father used to do that made my sisters and I feel loved:

1. He would sharpen our pencil crayons with his jack-knife.

2. When my sisters and I would come home off the school bus he’d leave us a little note on the counter telling us where he was working on the farm. He’d always include a little stick drawing of himself and the cat.

3. Every morning he’d wake us up for school and keep us company while we ate breakfast. He’d be the one to dollop porridge in our bowls.

4. He’d find where the mother cat had her kittens, or where the dog had her puppies and would crawl in prickly, cramped, claustrophobic places to pluck out the babies so we could hold them…even it if was only for a minute or two.

5. He’d make Cheez Whiz toast for us when we were sick, and cut the bread into four equal quarters.

6. He’d shovel off the dugout in the bush so we would have our own little skating rink.

7. He’d make sure the night-light was always lit.

8. Every morning during the school year he’d watch us toddle out to the end of the driveway and cross the road . He’d then patiently wait until we all safely got on the school bus.

9. He would be more gentle than my mother when taking out splinters.

10. He would discover baby mice or partridge eggs or newly hatched ducklings and would always find the time to share his discoveries with us.

Oh he did all the grandiose fatherly things too like put food on the table, teach us to drive and help pay for our education…

but it’s the little things that stick closest to the heart.