A Memory of Ice Cream

by Heather

I was five or six years old when the ice cream incident occurred. We were at a petrol station at Outer Harbour. It was our Sunday drive with the family and the custom was to stop for an ice cream. It was the days of crisp wafer cones that came from an overhead metal dispenser, one at a time as the conical end was pulled downwards. And a scoop was used to create a dome of usually vanilla ice cream, to plonk on top, tap a couple of times to secure it and pass across the counter for a small price, sixpence I expect.

I remember carrying it proudly and carefully as Dad and I walked away, savouring the expectation of the first lick, cold and sweet upon my tongue. The smell already tantalised me. The beads of milk began to form on the surface and dribble down the cone towards my clasped palm.

My tongue made its way to the surface. With one longing lick the ball of desire toppled off the cone and landed with a mushy thop onto the sticks and stones at my feet. Deflated I looked up at Dad in despair, unbelievable disappointment and humiliation. What had I done wrong? Dad, dear Dad, fixed the day and returned for another scoop.