Saturday, 11 August 2007

Sheep's Tale

Wandering up a track in the hills of Argyll last week we found ourselves being overtaken by an aged 1956 Massey Ferguson tractor, zig-zagging and emitting alarming noises as it dragged something along the stony surface. The gentleman on board explained that he was trying to free up a seized turnip scarifier, although I suspect he was primarily coming to investigate us. Anyway, he switched off the engine and we got chatting, as one does in such places.

Inevitably the talk turned to local characters, and he told a story about an old family friend I had last met ten years ago, who has since died. This man (let's call him Donald) was driving some sheep along a single track road, minding his own business, when a tourist drove up behind him. The tourist rapidly grew impatient, and began edging forward until his bonnet was nudging at Donald's heels.

Without looking round or breaking his stride, Donald rapped the front of the car smartly with his staff, and there was the tinkle of breaking glass. The tourist leapt out, examined the front of his car, and exclaimed 'You've broken my headlight!'

'No', replied Donald serenely. 'You've driven into my stick.'

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