Hockey Skills Vanquish a Night Intruder

Bandicoot rats fear nothing and no-one. Any soft, warm body will do for a meal. But the one that pounced on the sleeping chest of my grandmother didn't reckon on her tough British hide nor her quick reflexes nor her fearsome field hockey skills. He flew off faster than sprang on when she sat up violently. Quickly, she got up before he regained his senses in the corner of her dark bedroom and roused my poor Uncle. She commanded him to line up her suitcases, while she found a handy broom that would serve as a hockey stick and opened the shutters. She told him that on her signal he was to herd this giant rat towards her down the suitcase race. He'd never heard of such a daft thing. One avoids bandicoots, not shoo them towards one. But he feared her more than it and obeyed. As she waited, stick in hand, muscles tensed, eyes on the "ball," my Uncle somehow convinced the rat to go into the suitcase race and away down it he ran. Smack. She slapshotted him through the apartment window and onto the ground below. Splat.

Now that's hockey skill. Teamwork combined with confident precision stick handling, and the enemy is vanquished. Too bad our men's hockey team hadn't figured that one out as quickly as my hockey-mad grandmother in the middle of a Bombay night.

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