Sunday, 22 February 2009

Mythical beasts

The ravens were circling above The Hill. Cawing 'Nevermore' or whatever it is they say, flying like buzzards over our heads. Mr Sheepwash was terribly excited. His twitching would have made Bill Oddie envious. Up until now the ravens had taken on mythical significance for Mr Sheepwash, rather like the big black cat no-one believes in until they actually see it. Celebrity Farmer's mother once told me the ravens were the bane of their lives. Protected by law, the birds have carte blanche to cause terror among the sheep, ripping out their eyes without fear of persecution. Pelly Sheepwash says she was told by another farmer's wife that the ravens would move in on a ewe as it gave birth, helping to pull the lamb out and then spiriting it away in their beaks. I find this rather hard to believe. But, who knows, anything is possible in this village. It's a bit like a dark, reverse version of the stork as midwife.

I once saw the black beast making its way across a field. I nearly crashed the car as I looked at this sleek black panther while it calmly walked towards the hedge. I have since discovered another driver saw it too, at the same time in the same spot. So I am not completely mad. A bit, perhaps, but not completely.

Another mythical creature has resurfaced after being out of sight for days. The lesser paint- splattered Mr St John was seen striding through the mist towards our door yesterday. He was looking for the paint stripper he thought we still had. But he had taken it back several weeks ago and promptly forgot where it was. Things on his mind. He has gone to ground at Southfork, directing the decorating proceedings like Nick Knowles in shorts.

It has been a strange week in the village. Half term children off for days out with the family or prowling the streets not knowing what to do. Oil has been siphoned from the village hall tank again and a gang of teenagers have been spoken to by the police after play equipment was damaged on the green. The culprits are always mythical creatures and never the little darlings let loose by the parents who don't know where they are.

Maybe it was the ravens.

That's about it
Love Maddie x

PS Someone else has just told me about a backhanded compliment. She does not want her identity revealed in case you, dear reader, think she is a heifer. The story goes like this: She was in the kebab shop and some bloke said 'I remember you, you used to be really slim'. Her reply? (And this is the best bit). 'Ah, but I can lose weight. You'll always be ugly.' A quick retort, Churchillian in style, that anyone would be proud of. Can anyone beat that?

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