• The narrator starts the story by declaring herself to exist, inside her mother's womb immediately after conception, in 1951 .
• Bunty and George, her parents, live above what they call "The Shop," a pet store George inherited from his father.
• Bunty wakes early and makes herself tea, thinking about how disappointed she's been by her husband and marriage in general, and is joined by the narrator's three-year-old sister, Gillian and then her other sister, Patricia, who is five.
• Bunty is left to mind the store when George goes off on errands, which she despises; when he returns, she takes Gillian to the park on her new tricycle, and the narrator reveals she will be killed in an accident at the age of eleven.
• Bunty does her shopping--the butcher, a friend of George, makes constant innuendos as he sneaks them extra meat for their ration coupon--then visits her mother...
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