“Take tube A and insert into sockets 23, 46 and 79G, making sure that the connection is free from interference from canvas panel M.”
“I don’t think reading the instructions for the tenth time makes it any easier to put the stupid tent up,” said Tina, amid an array of poles, brackets and extra-tension locking hinges.
“I thought you said you were an experienced camper,” said Tayo, peering over the vast set of instructions.
“I am,” replied Tina, “but I’ve never camped in a tent this...old before.”
“What’s wrong with it?” asked Tayo. “My grandad used to camp in this every summer.”
“When was that? Elizabethan times?”
“Listen, it can’t be that hard. Let’s try again: take tube A...”
Eventually, the tent was up, thanks to hard work, chocolate and ingenious use of gaffer tape. Tina and Tayo managed to get everything inside just before the skies opened and the rain came pouring down. They sat looking out onto the rain-sodden field they were camping in.
“Do you think it’s going to stop?” asked Tayo.
“Yes, but not until 2025,” said Tina.
Suddenly they heard a sound like someone was running a tap. They’d sprung a leak! They hurriedly shifted their stuff away from the waterfall cascading into their tent, but not before Tayo’s sleeping bag had been soaked with the entire month’s rainfall for North Yorkshire.
“Don’t worry, I’ve brought a repair kit. It’s for the new tent I got for Christmas, but it should work on this old thing.” Tina rummaged in her bag, while Tayo tried to make a dam out of dehydrated pasta whirls and an Ordinance Survey map. Tina put on her waterproof and rushed outside.
“Wait!” Tayo shouted after her. “My grandad said we should use his old repair kit. New patches might not stick properly!” But the sound of the rain drowned her voice, as well as everything else.
Eventually, Tina came back in. “There! Good as new!”
They both looked at the repaired hole. As they watched, they saw the shadow of the new patch disappear as the glue failed and the patch blew away in the wind.
Chat about the story, what the family members liked and didn’t like. Has anyone ever been in a similar position? You could use some of these questions in your discussion:
•Why did Tina’s tent triage fail?
•Have you had experience of trying to merge old and new?
•Is everything old bad and new good? Why? Why not?
•If this were a story of Jesus’, what might he be trying to say?
This story is based on Matthew 9:16-17. If you’d like to add a more explicit faith element to your discussion, then read this passage together. Compare Jesus’ two examples to this one. Discuss what Jesus might have been saying.
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