Respected outdoor chronicler and poet Alfred Todger's regular take on the goings on in beautiful Muckthwaite, and this week there's a right carrion...
Muckthwaite, Friday 7 July, 2006
There were a knocking on my door yesterday and when I opened it,
there were stood young Jack Furbutt, the village constable. Now I've
known Jack since he were a young lad and I caught him sheep-rustling
up on Muckthwaite Fell. He's a nice young fella, Muckthwaite born and
'Come in, ' I said. 'I'll put the kettle on.' But Jack shook his
head politely. 'Alfred,' he said. 'I'm on official business. I need
to have a word with you about some recent goings on in Muckthwaite.
I'd be obliged if you'd come with me.'
I locked Agnes in the cupboard for safekeeping and we set off.
Jack took the steep, narrow, cobbled packhorse trail behind
St. Aloicious church and a stiff climb brought us out onto the open
moors. Sheep have long memories and I weren't surprised to see many a
Muckthwaite Muckle eyeing Jack with suspicion.
The tussocked turf's carress was dry and springy beneath my boots
as we approached the ancient cairn of Muckthwaite Chimney. Birds
chirped merrily and the air were full of the intoxicating ale of
rebirth that spring brings to the moors.
Jack took a deep breath. 'Alfred,' he began. 'I've known you a
long time, but recently there's been some bad things happening in
t'village and some rumours I don't like.'
'Now I don't want to throw dirt unnecessarily, but there's been
talk that you've been cheating at weekly bingo sessions. Running more
than one card and changing t'numbers in mid game.
'I don't hold with that Alfred. You should know better. It's not
the Muckthwaite way, so I want it to stop now d'ya hear.'
'Sorry lad, it were just a bit of fun,' I said. 'I'll not do it
'Good man,' he smiled. 'Don't let it happen again. Now. do you
fancy a pint at t'Muckthwaite Arms?'
As we set off the air were rent with a loud avian squawk and
something fell from the sky, crashing off a rock just in front of me.
As it came to rest, I could see it were unmistakably a human
Jack shook his head. 'Vultures are frisky this year,' he smiled.
'I dare say it'll be a good season for Mucky pies.'
And with that we headed down to the pub for a pint of local