Thursday, April 17, 2008

(fiction) friday - gongoozler

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He loved boats. As a child he would sit on the towpath hour after hour and wave to the passing narrow-boats loaded with heaps of coal and piles of timber, towed along by enormous weary horses.
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The colours, vibrant reds, gaudy greens, and the bluest of blues dazzled him. He was fascinated by the brightly painted flower pots and kettles scattered along their roofs. The lines of fluttering washing reminded him of pictures he’d seen of flag adorned warships returning to port.
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How he would like to have been one of the urchin children that ran around the decks without a care in the world.
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He wanted to be a bargee when he grew up. He envied the captains with their grimy faces and rolled up sleeves guiding their boats along narrow canals and climbing staircases of gurgling locks.
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But times have changed. No longer do lumbering barges ply their trade along the waterways of rural England. Most of them live on with new coats of paint, and throb to the put-put of a wheezing diesel engine. Now there are holiday makers where the cargo used to be.
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They are steered by city types who never saw them in their former glory. They are totally oblivious to the fact that generation after generation grew up where they now enjoy their bottle of vintage champagne.
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He still loves boats. He still sits hour after hour on the towpath, but no longer does he wave.
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5 comments:

  1. I love this post Keith and the picture of the boat looks like a great river ride. Peaceful.

    ReplyDelete
  2. funny, when I read the prompt
    "gongoozler", I thought of you immediately. You did not disappoint.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I had a dream many years ago to float the canals of England. Such a shame to let a dream like that go to waste. Now others have replaced it.

    b

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  4. So sad... so poignant... so beautiful... keep watching.. and wave once again...

    ReplyDelete

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