Penny and Peter were childhood sweethearts.
They were born and reared in a small town in the midlands of Ireland. They lived next door to each other. They went to the local school together. And one memorable day Peter carved on the oak tree at the back of the school yard ‘P loves P’.
In the fullness of time, Peter and Penny got married and they emigrated to Birmingham in England looking for work. All their married life they lived happily in Birmingham. Money wasn’t always plentiful but despite everything they managed to put some savings aside for their retirement.
At last the great day came, Peter retired. Penny and Peter decided to return to their hometown in Ireland and live out their retirement years in the beautiful, green, friendly country of their birth.
On the very first day after they arrived back in Ireland they awoke with great excitement and anticipation. Hand in hand they skipped down the road to their old school. They looked in the window at their old classroom and they were delighted to see that very little had changed. The school yard looked good too. And there at the bottom of the yard was the old oak tree with those wonderful words carved on it ‘P loves P.’
Happy and giggling the two elderly people walked back from the school to their new home, and suddenly!
Suddenly a security van swung out from a side-road in front of Peter and Penny and out from the back door of the van tumbled a brown sack. The van roared away up the road at a very fast pace.
Penny was the first person to reach the sack. She picked it up and looked inside and saw that it was full of money. ‘Let’s bring this home and count it’, she said to Peter. So home they went and carefully counted out the money on the kitchen table. In total there was 78,000 – a fortune to Penny and Peter! Peter immediately began to get worried. ‘We must bring all this down to the police station immediately’, he said. ‘Somebody will be looking for it’.
But Penny wasn’t so sure. ‘Finders Keepers’ exclaimed Penny. ‘This money will make a huge difference to our retirement plans; I think we should hold on to it.’
Peter was absolutely horrified. A heated argument followed. In the end, Penny said, ‘let’s sleep on it for one night and we’ll decide what to do with the money tomorrow morning. One night won’t harm anybody.’ So that is what they did. And they carefully hid the money in the attic for safety.
The following morning, they awoke to the sound of knocking on the front door. Outside there were two policemen. ‘Excuse us knocking so early’ said the first policeman to Penny and Peter, ‘but yesterday a sack of money fell out of the back of a security van and we’re checking every house in the neighbourhood to see if anybody saw anything, or knows anything about the money.’
“YES!” said Peter, nodding his head vigorously, “we have the money. It’s hidden upstairs in our attic.”
‘Is that so’, said the first policeman with great interest. But before he could say another word, Penny interjected and slowly tapping her finger against the side of her head, she said to the policeman, ‘don’t mind him officer, since he retired he’s gone completely senile. He’s living in the past. He’s making it all up. We have no money hidden in the attic. That’s just a childish fantasy of his. He’s like a child; he’s telling you tall stories.
But the first policeman wasn’t convinced. Turning to Peter with an encouraging smile on his face, he said: ‘Tell us all about it. Take your time, there’s no hurry, we’re here to listen to every word you say. So go ahead and tell us everything.
“Well” said Peter, taking a deep breath; ‘Yesterday, when Penny and I were coming home from school…’
And turning to the second policeman, the first policeman muttered, ‘C’mon. We’re out of here fast.’