It is the summer holidays and due to the mother being busy with work; Eveline is in charge to look after her younger siblings Therese and Tyler. One day she is washing up the dishes and hears Therese scream. She realises Therese is being chased by wasps so she runs outside to get the hose to wash the wasps off Therese.
In August Tyler and Therese aim to dig to Australia in their and Mr Mordecai's garden. Later Eveline realises Therese is wearing a golden ring and asks where she got it from. Therese explains to Eveline that she had found it whilst digging. Eveline goes to the hole and reaches in to find something. After Therese gets a torch they realise it is a dead hand. They do not go on to telling anybody instead they keep the secret within themselves.
After the holidays are over two police officers come to ask questions about a girl who has been missing. The police officers show an image and ask whether the children recognise her however they all shake their heads. The police officers leave them and follow on to their neighbour's house- Mr Mordecai.
Eveline: although an age is not given we understand that Eveline is a young teenager who wants to be like an average teenager. Due to being responsible for her younger siblings, she can't be a normal teenager.
Therese: she is Eveline's younger sister who is frightened by wasps. Also, she finds the ring causing an unsolved mystery.
Tyler: He is the youngest who is dependent on Eveline.
Mum: She is a single parent who works all day and comes home tired. This shows she does not spend time with her children, instead works hard for them.
Mr Mordecai: He has never been present as a person in the story however the body was found in his garden making him a suspect of murder.
Death: The death of the young girl is a mystery as we never find out who has murdered her and how she has been murdered. All we are told is that she has been found in Mr Mordecai's garden.
Innocence: Therese and Tyler are innocently digging up soil however when the golden ring is found, their innocence is challenged.
Change: Although Eveline is young, she is forced to be like an adult due to having the responsibility of her younger siblings.
Family: In the story we realise that the family is never complete as the mother is always working or tired and the father has never been introduced.
Guilt: When confronted by the police, Eveline does not tell them the truth about the dead body, instead she hides the ring behind her back.
Ignorance: When Eveline finds the golden ring she wears it and does not report it giving us the impression that she may not be bothered.
- Personification: 'her pigtails dancing.'/ 'as if everything was holding its breath.'
- Metaphor: 'a halo of angry wasps'.
- Typography: ' Woman’s own'.
- First person narrative- Eveline's perspective
- Neutral tone making it difficult to understand her emotions and expressions.
- Short sentences: 'I didn't smile back.'
The short story is set in a garden which is known as idyllic however when the wasps are introduced it is seen as full of danger.
This is elaborated when the dead body is found, hinting tension and a deadly mystery that will never unravel in the book.
It is also set at the children’s house but is not described making it be absolutely anywhere.
The story is said to be set a while back as descriptions such as ‘transistor radio' gives us the idea that it may be the famously hot summer of 1976.