Virgulle’s Vestral 60

Thursday 12th January 2012

The flower in the cage

SORE of foot and stiff of wing, I nevertheless had no time for lingering farewells to Frances, Hugo or the fortress that had held me captive for far too long.

I flew over the woodland to the east of the house, wishing to be hidden from view as quickly as possible and knowing, from the behaviour of those birds I could see from the terrace, that there would be a valley beyond the wood.

This I followed for some time before drifting up to the ridge on my left, where a rutted track curled invitingly over the next brow. A plateau of fields, edged with ditches, revealed farm buildings beyond.

Standing outside the farmhouse, no doubt in conversation, were two figures, one of whom soon entered a red cage, parked in the yard. It moved away from the house and into the lane.

I dipped low, flying ahead of and directly in front of the cage so that the driver could not fail to see me. The sound of a horn blared twice. I landed on the bank. The vehicle stopped and the driver’s door opened.

“Blow me down. You’re that flying woman, ent you? From another planet! What you doon out ear? They said you was ill. I’m Rose. Postie. Got a flask wi me, if you wanner sippa tea.”

“Thank you, please,” I nodded.

“They said you could speak a bit of English. Get in the van then. I usually as a cuppa bout this time. Well I never. Just wait till I tell our gran sun bout you!”

She was a short, plump woman in her sixth decade, round of face, freckled, and jovial in demeanour.

I limped towards the cage.

“Hurt yourself?”

“I have a pin in the foot.”

“Let’s ave a look.”

I leaned on the front of the cage and raised my leg for her to see.

“Ave that out in a jiffy. Deep breath.”

She dug into the flesh with a fingernail to prise the pin out. There was no blood. We Rhetans are thick-skinned.

“Wanner watch where you’re treddin, specially with no shoes on. Get in. I’ll pull in off the road. Then we can ave our tea.”

She cast the pin on to the bank. We entered the cage and Rose Postie drove off.

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