CHAPTER 2: THE THIEF
It was exactly nine months two days and ten hours later when Marie learned that her father was not a soup maker. She was sitting on a wall on the outskirts of the village, watching horses galloping in the sun, as polished and brown as chestnuts. Marie had decided long ago that she was going to be a horse when she grew up. Perched with her on the wall were Olivia and Sylvie, and the three sat so close together that Olivia’s jet black hair ran off her shoulder and intermingled with Marie’s red, whereas on Marie’s opposite side Sylvie’s nut brown tresses mixed with her own. Four feet further down the wall, in compliance with the unspoken rule, sat Bernadette-who-smelt-of-cack. It had often seemed a shame to Marie that Bernadette always had to keep a distance, which she did amicably and without bitterness, because on the whole she preferred Bernadette to the other two. Olivia could bully and be patronising, and Sylvie had a tendency to be sullen, but Bernadette was very sweet tempered and pleasant to be with.
Just not too closely.