A night time stroll

Night had fallen across the Cotswolds, when I took my last walk of the day with my dog, Boots, a small border collie. She was the runt and the black sheep of the litter so we have a real affinity as I often think of myself the same way. Although I’m the eldest of 3, I’m the shortest and the one that has the most unconventional lifestyle.

Anyway, back to our walk. We headed up the lane towards the graveyard; not my usual route, but something drew me towards the silhouette of the church. Boots didn’t mind where we walked, she just wanted to be outside, in her usual place, just ahead of me, leading me up the lane. It was a particularly dark night – almost starless so I only caught glimpses of Boots as she went on ahead of me. My torchlight caught the white patches on her coat and the whites of her eyes each time she came back to round me up, before she darted off again to find interesting new smells.

“Have a heart Boots, Hang on, wait for me” I yelled. This caused her to pause and loiter while I caught up. I sometimes think she does this rather begrudgingly just to humour me and make me believe that I’m in charge. I was particularly slow this evening as my thigh was stiff and sore after a recent badminton match. The adage the older I get the better I was seems apt for me now.

I don’t usually go into the churchyard as you have to put dogs on a lead and Boots isn’t keen on that, but as it was so late I snuck her in. It’s about as rebellious as I get these days. As I walked past the old tombstones I noticed that some were in a poor state of repair, so much so that it was quite difficult to read the inscriptions on a number of them.

Just then something spooked Boots, she yelped and jumped sideways. This happens often and there’s never anything there. I’m convinced she has a sixth sense and sees dead things, so her behaviour doesn’t faze me anymore.

I then spotted a stone I’d never seen before so I limped over to look…the inscription read…
Hear lies the body of Daisy Chain
Only her body they took her brain!
Not just her brain, they took her head
No wonder the poor woman’s dead!

[© Jacky Leonard 2010]

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