The Shade of Hardy Skulks Through the Valley

An odd moment today. You may remember that, 150 or so years ago, when the Hnaefs and I escaped from Wessex back to Husborne Crawley, the assorted village idiots who pushed us off the cliff fell over after with us, still clinging to the back of the Porsch Cayenne. They went on, for the most part, to get jobs in the City. But Joseph Poorgrass and Christian Cantle, having got handsomely paid off as part of a bail-out package, are now working as gardeners and odd-job people for me. They live in the Granny Annex. And when I say “Granny Annex”, I do indeed mean “garage”.

So when Joseph ran into the study this morning, shouting about random numbers of sheep, I had to get him to slow down, take a breath, and try again.

It turns out that Solomon Underdown’s sheep had got into a pasture full of clover, and gone down with the blast. Joseph said I had to get on my horse and ride across to Little Tremlett, to get Shepherd Ash down to stick a hole in their sides.

I told Joseph not to be so stupid – we have phones these days, and I have Michael Ash’s mobile number for just these kind of sheep-related issues. This isn’t the 19th Century.

Except, of course, round here there’s no mobile reception, is there? So I ended up riding over to Little Tremlett after all. I lent Mr Ash the horse, and enjoyed the stroll back.

It just gives me two nagging doubts, this morning’s little adventure. The first is – this all seemed vaguely familiar, and I can’t think why.

The second is – where did that horse come from?

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