I went to see whether Mill Lane was still there, which it was. In fact, it hadn’t changed a bit. It was nice to see the pub lit up and open again after months of closure, although the farmhouse is still awaiting a new occupant. And the cottage along the lane had lighting little and low, just like the good old days. Oh, and I gave the little people a couple of verses of Raglan Road as promised.
The fun bit, though, was fancying I caught a glimpse of something pale following me. I turned the torch in that direction, but the road was predictably empty. Ah, but then my puddled brain took over. (‘Puddled’ is a colloquialism from my neck of the woods. It means ‘slightly mad.’ You know, eyes-rolling-and-gap-between-the-two-front-teeth type mad.)
Well, I had to smile, didn’t I? Coming towards me was a cream coloured Cocker Spaniel. I’d never seen one that colour before, and watched as it came on. It was walking slowly and limping badly on one front leg. Its head was hung low and turned sideways in submission, and the faintest of whimpers hung on the otherwise silent night air. It stopped, looked up at me with doleful eyes, and yelped, apparently in pain. Awakened from my sense of surprise, and my aching heart bent on the necessity of rescue, I moved towards the poor creature. As I bent forward, its eyes turned colder than the night air. A low growl quickly became a hideous snarl, and it leapt for my throat. The grip was decisive and the searing pain all consuming, but it was mercifully brief. The sudden gush of blood drained my consciousness to nothing as it hit the road with the sound of projectile vomit.
I laughed about it all the way to Rose Mount, where I wondered whether they would have their usual cascade of blue shimmering lights this Christmas.
And now I'm going to see whether Robert Downey Jr can make a passable stab at playing Sherlock Holmes.