Once Upon a Tender Time, a poignant tale of childhood, is the concluding part of Carl Muller's Burgher trilogy. The Burghers of Sri Lanka, hardy and fun-loving, produce children by the dozen-but often forget them. Carloboy Prins von Bloss and his companions are usually considered a pain in the neck by the adults they encounter as they go about the serious business of discovering the world and, primarily, the facts of life. Romps in the backyard, trysts in deserted houses and long bicycle rides to discover true love are commonplace. Also frequent are thrashings and canings as adults try to do.