fiction · Postcards

Postcard #4

postcard_sheep_frame

‘Alo Barney,

I made it to the country. Took me four hours to properly escape the big smoke. Woke up at the crack of dawn and drove and drove till I couldn’t see any buildings higher than a lamppost in the rear-view mirror. Went down a few winding, bumpy country roads and there I was. Nothing but farmland and pastures as far as the eye could see. Me, born and bred in the city, the only bit of grass I’ve ever known in all my eight and twenty years tended by the auspices of Her Royal Highness, I hardly knew what to do with myself Barn, all alone in this wild agrarian wonderland.

I spotted a flock of sheep in the distance, and among the herd I saw what I made out to be a ram. It was a real beaut, like a piece of liquorice cloaked in a cloud of sherbet. All my life breathing in nothing but urban smog and vehicular exhaust. I think the sudden change to pure countrified air must have gone straight to my head Barn, cos I felt my concrete heart begin to soften and I got this sudden urge to give the beautiful beast a hug and a kiss. So I walk towards it to express my newfound affections, but when I get right up close, the wooly thing only goes and takes flight. ‘Oh no you don’t,’ I says and set off in pursuit. The rest of the grazing flock stood stock still, slack-jawed, gazing at us with their black beady eyes as I chased the bleater round and round the grassy green fields. Mighty fine bit of entertainment we were providing.

I almost had the mutton in my grasp when BANG! BANG! Shots fired Barn. I look about me all startled like, like the babe in the woods I actually was, and there I see him striding my way, a real honest-to-god mash and mince pie shepherd, a smoking 20-bore Webley & Scott in his grabbers. I could hardly believe my bleedin’ eyes.

‘What d’you think you’re playing at son?’ he says. ‘I ain’t mean no harm guv, I was only trying to give the bleater a kiss?’ ‘A kiss!’ he says, ‘What you want to go do that for? ’ ‘I come from the city ain’t I. I ain’t seen a living breathing brute that wasn’t a pigeon or squirrel in donkey’s. I suddenly come over all funny like, want to reconnect with my animal roots. Thought I’d give the sheep a kiss as to demonstrate my gratitude to our dearest mother nature.’ ‘That so,’ he says, and after a moment’s ponderification he adds, ‘Well, go on then.’ But I wasn’t feeling much up to it by then Barn, what with all the galloping and gunplay.

‘Tell you what,’ he leans in close so as not to allow his flock to eavesdrop, ‘You come back here to this very spot past sundown, slip me a fifty, and I’ll let you do a lot more than just kiss that there ewe. You can ram the ram an’ all if that’s more your cuppa.’ Dirty sod stands there winking and nodding at me like he’s having an epileptic fit.

I was flabbergasted, staggered Barn! Would you believe it? And they call us city folk filthy pervs. I started to see red. And the red in my eyes on this country morning certainly meant shepherd’s warning. But the unsheepish bugger didn’t seem to heed the signs and remained looking all smug and knowing like. So I gave him my best right hook, smack right in the kisser, and trod off.

______________

photo by Davinia Marie
words by Dean

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