In The Hamlet Of Glebe

In the hamlet of Glebe there is a blind brute, the village wrestler, a man with the mien of a squirrel, or perhaps of a distressed mole, and they coax him, this brute, with fronds, for he is fond of fronds, they coax him out of his cubby and drive him out of the hamlet and up into the hills, poking at him with their pitchforks and making awful guttural yelps to affright him, and when he is up in the hills, they scamper back, the villagers, and hold a picnic upon the green, munching their sausages and plums and swigging their cans of Squelcho!, singing roundelays and setting fire to ladybirds, they are oh! a vicious lot, each and every one, and the blind village wrestler dares not return until nightfall, from up in the hills, he senses the twinkling stars by sniffing and by running his fat fingers through the air, and when he is sure it is night he comes clumping down from the hills, pausing to slurp water from rills, and he enters the hamlet of Glebe in the darkness and crosses the green, and he stumbles upon the picnic remnants, discarded sausages and plums, the sausages of contaminated meat and the plums half-rotten and sour, and he gobbles them down his squirrely, moley gullet, and then, by touch, he gathers up the crumpled and empty Squelcho! cans and carries them to his cubby and falls into a dreamless snooze, from which he wakes, in the morning, when he hears the clink and clank of the milk cart, and the horrible “halloo!”s of the villagers, and he takes his hammer and beats flat the Squelcho! cans and adds the flattened tin to his store of flattened tin and he knows that soon, oh!, soon, perhaps in three or four picnics’ time, he will have enough tin to fashion for himself a suit of tin armour, fitting him from squirrely head to moley toes, and then he will no longer fear the poking of pitchforks, and he will come clattering out from his cubby and roar and bash and bash and bash and bash until each and every one of the horrible wankers of the hamlet of Glebe is lying sprawled upon the green, groaning for mercy, and it will be a fine day, and he will set them on fire, each and every one, just as they set on fire the ladybirds, at every damnable picnic, and then the blind brute village wrestler will cast off his Squelcho! can tin armour and he will stride up into the hills where, over many moons, he has built a shrine, and he will slump on to his knees before the shrine and pound his fists upon the earth and declaim, in awestruck tones, his eternal devotion to the Ladybird God.

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