I play Backgammon on line and meet some interesting people. About 3 years ago I played someone whose screen name was Brightkid. And he was, beat me fairly regularly and started to chat.
It appeared that he lived on a boat that carried stuff around the Med and other places but every year they moored up for the holiday. He was, he said 10 years old.
Every time we played he told me more about himself. He was autistic and his father did not trust the education system enough to let them have his son. He had lots of books on the ship and had lessons every day.
As we got closer to Christmas he was not on line as often. They were, he explained looking for a good place to moor up for a while.
"Do you know St Mawes?" he asked me one day. Yes I did.
WE chatted on and off for a couple of days before he told me where they were.....just at the bottom of the garden. I tested it....told him where the house was and then turned the lights on and off. Sure enough he saw it.
Then it all went very quiet. He came on once not wanting to play but to tell me that his father had found out. He was not supposed to talk to people on line and please to not tell people.
So of course I didn't. But the next day the boat had moved.
But every year I wonder....is the bright kid on one of the boats now waiting for Christmas?
Was the father worried that I was going to blow the whistle?
I wouldn't. I had far too much respect for the view that a child needs parents and that a bright child would find an education where ever he was.
So now when I look out and see the big boats out there I really do wonder. Is he back this year?
I would like to think that he will be and ready to play Backgammon again.