The Village Wrestler

At midday, greased and pungent, the village wrestler took up his position by the war memorial. With his aggressive stance and tiny brain, he challenged everyone passing by to a wrestling bout. But not one among the villagers was fool enough to fight him and so, in his frustration, he would fling himself upon a dog or a chicken or a defenceless toddler straying from its mother’s apron-strings, and wrestle them to the ground and pin them there, counting to ten in awful grunts, and then stand up, arms raised aloft in victory.

He was the undefeated champ when, eventually, the sheriff shot into him a dart tipped with a powerful horse tranquilliser, and he keeled over, bashing his head on the war memorial. He lay there unconscious for days. The villagers debated what to do with him when he awoke. Chains and cages were suggested, as was electro-convulsive therapy. But then, when he did awake, the village wrestler was placid, all aggression spent. He took a chicken and a flask of water drawn from the village trough, and he wandered off along the lane that led to the aerodrome. We never saw him again.

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