Sunday, 23 April 2017

The Mad Woman of Middle Earth.

There’s a strange woman I occasionally pass during my daily perambulations around the Shire. I call her ‘strange’ because she always seems to want to exchange a greeting with me but doesn’t seem to quite know how to go about it. And so she says slightly odd things in a slightly odd way, and regards me with a slightly odd look in her eyes, and smiles a slightly odd smile that might be described as ‘enigmatic’, before hurrying on without so much as a backward glance.

I’ve only been seeing her for about a year, and I’m tempted to wonder whether she’s the village mad woman who’s only just been let out of the attic. Maybe she just isn’t practiced at talking to anything but spiders. And yet she has an air about her – an outside-the-box sort of air – which I find not unpleasing, so maybe I’ll lead her into conversation one of these days. She has a dog, and dogs are ever the best of bridges by which a recluse might engage in conversation with a mad woman.

And you might find it entirely unsurprising that she’s only the second person I’ve met in my eleven years of living in this place who I’ve found intriguing enough to want to say ‘hello’ to and mean it. (Actually there was a third, but the third was the Lady B’s mother and she isn’t strange at all. She’s just far too posh for a peasant like me to entertain anything more than a polite greeting and a tug of the forelock.)

I wonder whether mad women smell funny. You’d think so, wouldn’t you?

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