James Bryant ... true silly stories of 1965

I'm about 10 and in a class room with other kids at St John's School, Episkopi, Cyprus. It's midmorning and the sun's beating down on the tin roof making us feel like chips in a frying pan. Our teacher, Mr Hunter, is giving a history lesson. The subject is Alexander III of Macedon, better known as Alexander the Great who single-handedly changed the entire nature of the ancient world in little more than ten years and died at the age of 33.

Mr Hunter asked us if we knew how Alexander the Great got his name, but there's a pregnant pause as we all said nothing. "Well," he said "I'll tell you the story. As a young boy, Alexander had to do chores around the house before he could go out to play and the main one was to clean out the fire from the night before. His mother often laid in bed up stairs and could tell if he'd cleaned the ashes before he dashed out to play. One morning, Alexander was about to rush out of the house before doing his cleaning job but as he opened the door for a quick exit a stern voice from upstairs yelled Alexander the Grate."


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