On Pugton Hill

While shepherds watched their flocks at night on Pugton Hill the wind blew wild and there were shimmerings or ghostly gleams. One shepherd had a wristwatch and told the time to the other two. Down below Pugton Hill on the main arterial road huge container lorries thundered past on their way to the ferry. The shepherds smoked their pipes. The lorries too belched smoke for there were no laws in place to stop them so doing. Nor were there speed limits. Crashes and pile-ups and terrible accidents were common at that time in that place below Pugton Hill. When they heard or saw dimly in the black night a grievous traffic incident the shepherds laughed for their hearts were cold and void of human sympathy. They preferred the company of nocturnal sheep wide awake and terrified as sheep are for most of their time on earth and on Pugton Hill. So slowly the hands of the wristwatch tock off the minutes and the hours. The shepherds are waiting for a sign. There is no signage on the main arterial road save for an occasional arrow pointing towards the ferry. No sign points the way back for none of the huge speeding lorries ever comes back. They carry the contents of the country load by load to the ferry and never return past Pugton Hill atop which the shepherds smoke and laugh and are fiercely protective of their terrified sheep. Glory be for yes it is a kind of glory up there above the road as the wind blows wild in the night on Pugton Hill.

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