Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

by Jerome K. Jerome

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How did Uncle Podger divide the work among the children?

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Uncle Podger makes a right old song and dance out of the simple act of putting up a picture. Unlike most people, he doesn't just go ahead and do it. Instead, he gives the children little errands to run, which guarantees that there'll be a delay in getting started. "Leave it to me," says Uncle Podger, but he actually leaves it to the children to go fetch him the tools he needs to complete the job.

But before he even gets started, Podger's already sent off a girl to go buy him a sixpence worth of nails. Then he sends off a boy after the girl to tell her what kind of nails he requires. Clearly, the absent-minded Podger hasn't thought this through properly. And he isn't finished delegating just yet. He wants Will to go get him a hammer; Tom needs to bring him a rule, a step-ladder, and a kitchen chair; Jim's little chore involves going round to Mr. Goggles to send Uncle Podger's kind regards and ask him if his leg's better; oh, and to ask if Uncle Podger can borrow his spirit-level. Maria's not going anywhere, though; she needs to stay put and hold the light for Uncle Podger, and when the girl comes back with the nails, she needs to head on out again, this time for a bit of picture-cord. Finally, Tom, having already brought Uncle Podger a rule, a step-ladder, and a kitchen chair, is now also required to hand him the picture.

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