The Aunt and the Father were standing by the front gate chatting, when a car drew up. "Hello, Miss Heng!" said the man, getting out. Miss Heng? But I'm the only Miss Heng around here. In fact, he was greeting my Aunt (who, being 76 years old, has been a Mrs Teo for the best part of half a century.) Not an old flame, though, but a former student, whom she'd taught when he was only 9 (he is 64 now.)

“I still remember, Miss Heng, that you taught us to sew little ducks, and to stuff them with cotton wool. And you told us “When you come to the very end, be very careful to sew the fabric closed very tightly, don't let any cotton wool escape.” I always remember that: whenever I'm closing a business deal, I remember to be extra-careful at the end, to make sure no 'cotton wool' escapes.”

(I feel this anecdote ought give comfort to teachers everywhere.)

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