Watching television cowboys was how they learned to gallop; peeoo peeoo (that was the gun) and they smacked their bums (the horse's back). We had the wireless: And now for our serial: 'The Eagle of the Ninth.' It was the end of the Empire. Hundreds of Roman soldiers had headed north and disappeared. I ran home to go looking for them. At school we mapped the Queen's visit to Australia all along the classroom wall. Can you bring in pictures? No, there aren't any pictures of the Queen in the Daily Worker. And soldiers, please. She wanted soldiers; there was trouble in Kenya but there was good news: locking them up seemed to be working, she said. ...

Watching television cowboys was how they learned to gallop; peeoo peeoo (that was the gun) and they smacked their bums (the horse's back). We had the wireless: And now for our serial: 'The Eagle of the Ninth.' It was the end of the Empire. Hundreds of Roman soldiers had headed north and disappeared. I ran home to go looking for them. At school we mapped the Queen's visit to Australia all along the classroom wall. Can you bring in pictures? No, there aren't any pictures of the Queen in the Daily Worker. And soldiers, please. She wanted soldiers; there was trouble in Kenya but there was good news: locking them up seemed to be working, she said. Hopalong Cassidy, Cisco Kid, peeoo peeoo, who are you?

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In The Colonie (an extract: 34)

from In The Colonie (Penguin, 2005), © Michael Rosen 2005, used by permission of the author.

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