The tram swayed and rattled through the city suburbs, with wheels screeching at every junction, and its bell clanging approach.
“The Royal Palace,” shouted the conductor. Only the boy and his father alighted. The young boy stared across the road at the elaborate gold-painted railings surrounding a very large and plain white building. When his father guided him across the road the boy noticed that in front of the palace was a dull tarmac courtyard and soldiers in sentry boxes either side of the main entrance. The soldiers never moved and reminded the boy of chocolate soldiers he‘d seen displayed in the window of a chocolatier.
“Are they real soldiers? Asked the boy.
“Yes,” smiled his father.”
“Why are they there?”
“They’re guarding the king.”
“Where’s the band?”
“The band with a big drum.”
“There isn’t one.”
“I always thought there was a band and the soldier’s marched.”
“Only on special days like the King’s birthday.”
“Is this not a special day?
“I think we’ll go home. I can play with my toy soldiers. They are much more fun.”
“I think we’ll have some pommes frites and then go to the fair,” smiled his father.
“Maybe I’ll play with my soldiers tomorrow.”