On the way back from school.

M: I found out I got a Work Star today Mummy that I didn’t even know I had.

Me: Wow, that’s good. In what?

M: History.

Me: For what?

M (obviously waiting for this): Well, you know how Egyptians believed things about going to the Underworld, and how their hearts were weighed on these scales against a feather…and if it was heavier or lighter then they went different places?

Me (not sure where this is going): Sort of…

M: And Osiris accompanied them. Pauses. I’m not sure how he was supposed to go with everyone, one by one. Pauses again. Maybe there was a whole army of Osirises…but the story goes there was only one. Hmm…Maaay-bee (warming to it now) everybody waits and then piles into something like the Eurostar, and as they are all getting comfortable, over the loudspeaker comes this voice (she shifts to a game show announcer), ‘And your driver today is…Osiris!’ And of course it’s always Osiris! And it goes on like that, all these dead people waiting at the station….

We guffaw over this image for maybe half a mile.

Me (calmer, finally): Okay, but look, what did you actually get the Work Star for?

M: Oh yeah! I drew such a good picture of the real story, with all these diagrams….I think that must be what I got it for.


I don’t think I’ll ever again be able to hear poor Osiris mentioned without thinking of him as a train driver. It’s a shame in a way that her teachers didn’t hear this invention — but I don’t think she would have got a Work Star for it, alas. More’s the pity, I can’t help but think.