When I awoke from the operation for which I had entered hospital, I encountered some new challenges. I had entered with a squint and emerged with a new set of eyes. Well, one eye that was starting to co-operate with the other at least. To help my eyes play nicely together, I had to go and see Miss Field.
The ‘eye doctor’ was a slim young woman with short dark hair whose own eyes twinkled when she smiled. She seemed to smile a lot and the things we did together were fun. First, she would position me in front of a complicated piece of medical equipment and move my uppy-downy seat into place. The shiny tubes, black knobs and strange wires absolutely fascinated me. I’m sure I must have squirmed to take a better look at the buttons that Miss Field was playing with on the other side of the contraption. When she had finished her part of the game, it was time for me to start mine.
“Right, look through these eye pieces here”
Ah, yes, the binoculars which would show me the pictures hidden somewhere in the belly of the big machine. I did as I was told.
“Okay then, put the bird in the cage.”
Bird in the cage, I knew this one. The blue bird needed to be moved by turning the knob on the side of the machine until he was sitting in his big brown cage. There.
“Is it in there?”
“Are you sure?”
“Okay. Well done.”
I would fidget contentedly, enjoying my ‘well done’, whilst Miss Field found the next pair of pictures. This could be a flower pot for a window sill or a car to be put in a garage. I think there was a cat, too, and he may also have gone on the window sill, but I may be wrong about that one. Whatever the bold colourful pictures were, this part of the visit was always fun. It did not make sense to me at the time, though, why Miss Field would take time to play games with me. She was a busy ‘eye doctor’, surely she had more important things to do.
I could understand the why she changed the patch on my ‘good eye’ which was there to make my ‘bad eye’ work harder. I could also understand her shining the bright light into each of my eyes and looking at them. I could even understand why she talked with Mum about me and asked questions. But why did she play that game? And how could she tell if I was lying about the bird being in the cage? I was telling the truth, but how did she know that?