Nyns eus goon heb lagas, na ke heb scovarn

There is no down without an eye, nor hedge without an ear


Absent-mindedly, but with the sureness of familiar routine, Abner Clemo slowly strapped to his left thigh the well-worn, but sturdy, leather straps of his wooden leg before reaching down to pick up and similarly secure his right wooden leg to his other thigh. He always did it that way – left before right. He was a man who found great comfort in routine.

It was no easy thing for him to do. The same accident that took out his legs all those many years ago also left him with only a thumb and half a little finger on each hand – very difficult to tie your straps up like that! Anyhow, looking on the bright side, no one could call him “Wanker!”

Abner was the sort of man who believed in looking on the bright side. It never seemed to be where he was, so he kept looking for it elsewhere.

He looked up at the ceiling in his hut at what he called his ‘weather hole’. Whatever was happening outside was usually also happening inside thanks to the weather hole. It was so often streaming with rain that he had placed a bucket beneath it. Today the bucket was quiet, empty and dry – no rain – yet, at any rate.

Screwing up his good eye. he could just make out what appeared to be a clear blue sky. It was on just such a day, in his dreams, that Fiona Bruce (pictured left after her arrest for Saturday night drunken brawling) would ask him to marry her, so he now looked forward to the unfolding events of the day with an even greater relish than that usually afforded by his seemingly boundless optimism. Fiona’s picture had blown into his hut some years ago. It had caused him great excitement then and, ever since, had been a treasured possession.

He had long since got the hang of the bedsprings he had had attached to the end of his legs and, feeling the first stirrings of nature’s call, in three stout springy bounces, he had reached the stream in which he performed all acts of ablution.

For a man in his 95th year and with his complicated medical history, he was in astoundingly good form. With just the one eye up to something near scratch and deaf as a post, he still had an astonishingly good sense of smell, which was something of a curse in his case.

With an agility that belied his years, he emerged from the stream and bounded back towards the hut (pictured left), bellowing Fiona’s name at the release of each spring.

At the entrance to the hut, he stopped – naked and toothless – in total shock at the vision which awaited him inside…..

To be continued…