A surreal story for children. Joe Osborne was an orphan. He waseleven years of age and could not wait to grow up quickly enough. Hewanted to be a man, not tomorrow or the day after. He wanted to be aman, NOW and his wish was granted when he met BERTIE, who solddoughnuts outside the football ground where Joe wanted to watch thematch, but a bad storm broke out that day and the doughnut stall was adisaster. Joe helped the old man to resurrect his stall under shelter,only to discover that he was seven-hundred and forty-two years old ...(well, give or take a decade or two . . but nobody was counting. . .)Bertie was able to tell Joe how life was in the reigns of older kingsand queens of the past and relates interesting tales of those pasttimes. He also knew how to become invisible at times, as nobody wouldexpect anyone to live to that ripe old age unless he could get awayfrom himself sometimes. Would they?Joe longed to live like a man and Bertie just wanted to die as one...and couldn't. But there was a secret that would release the oldman from his toil worn life ... and another secret that would grantJoe the wish he wanted..