The small village of Ramsfeckle under Whiteskelfe can be found nestling in the shadow of the Hills to the north of York, closer to the Moors and the sea than to the Yorkshire Dales. Typical of most Yorkshire villages of its ilk Ramsfeckle under Whiteskelfe’s roots go back through the centuries, though the angst and demeanour of life in the village is very much a part of the present day and not the past. This and subsequent stories are how village life and events are observed and perceived by Walter and Nimrod, two of the village’s more stalwart inhabitants.
This week souvenirs are discovered in the village and they’re not being discarded by disgruntled tourists!
Walter was genuflecting in a moment of rapt concentration when a familiar voice drifted over the low garden wall.
“Are yer knees givin’ out or ‘as t’teken to prayin’?”
“Shit,” replied Walter.
“I beg yer pardon?”
“Dog poop, Nimrod. Some bugga’s dog keeps desecrating me lawn.”
“Ah, I wondered why you had bald patches on yer green sward. You’ll have to erect a sign.”
“What? Dogs can’t read.”
“Yer daft bat.”
“So what then? It’s not exactly conducive to a serious game of croquet if yer ball strikes a hardened chocolate sausage and is deflected past the hoop. ”
“I’m going to keep watch. Sit up all night with a flask of soup and a torch.”
“Well your Mary won’t like that. And the dog might not be regular. Could take a while. Have you got a jam jar with a lid.”
“Eh? Nimrod, I’m not looking to preserve it.”
“Doh. We’ll take it to the vets and ask him to run it through his spectrometer for analysis. It’ll tell us what the dog eats for its supper.”
“Oh great. Then all I have to do is ask round as to what folk feed their dogs on.”
“Aye, well it’s only an idea.”
“Sometimes, Nimrod, I wonder about you.”
“Sorry, Walter, lateral thinking’s not so easy at my age. My creativity is thinning.”
“Aye, like yer head.”
As they cogitated and scratched their thinning thatches a little cream coloured Schipperke trotted into sight and completely ignoring the pair squatted in the middle of the lawn.
“Well would yer look at that.”
“Brazen, I’ll give it that”, added Walter
They watched as the dog completed its ablutions, scratched away at the grass and trotted off again.
“Oh ‘eck,” said Walter. “I recognise it now. That’s Mrs Braithwaite’s pooch. She lost her Jack a few months back and dotes on that dog. Always talking to it. I haven’t the heart to say owt. I can’t.”
They looked at the steaming deposit on the lawn.
“Then I’m afraid,” said Nimrod wistfully, “you’ve got another souvenir to add to your collection”.
Words and photographs Copyright © 2017 by Antony J Waller