Thursday, September 24, 2015

Tally Ho!

This week's words at Sunday's Whirligig are horses, poems, dancing, balcony, railing, sing, luxury, apartments, windows, dirty, shining and brick

‘My dear friends, welcome to the Hadlow Manor Hunt Ball 
in the year of our Lord nineteen fifty-seven’ 
bellowed a ruddy-faced Major Faulkner.

The grooms were settling the exhausted horses in the stables after the exertions of the hunt.

‘Let the dancing begin, music maestro please’

In the kennels, the lads were attempting to calm the exuberant hounds.

‘Ladies and gentlemen, my dear wife 
Isabella will now entertain you with
one of her charming poems.

High up on the balcony little Miss Matilda leaned on the railing, looking down on the scene, a smudge of foxes blood on her forehead placed there as she witnessed her first kill.

‘Let us raise our glasses and sing 
together A Hunting We Shall Go!’
In the kitchen, Mrs Carter the cook and her helpers were busily preparing the pheasants and grouse shot just hours before.

‘And so the time has come to present the prizes 
and offer our congratulations to this year’s 
worthy winners’

The gamekeeper stowed away the last of the rifles in the gun locker and started the stroll back to his tied apartment.

‘And now for the traditional blowing of the horns’

Billy the apprentice climbed a brick wall and gazed open-mouthed through the window at the revellers.

‘My Lords Ladies and Gentlemen’ shouted the butler. 
‘Please make your way to the dining hall’

An army of uniformed waiters stood to attention while the guests seated themselves at the long table, with its starched white cloth, shining glasses, gleaming cutlery and glorious flowers. A line of servants carried silver platters of food to the table. The waiters poured wine from crystal carafes.

‘Pray silence if you please’ called the maĆ®tre d’ 
as he tapped a spoon on a glass. All eyes turned
 toward the Major as he shuffled his papers 
then started his speech.

Outside, the only sounds that remained were those of hooting owls and fluttering pigeons. A fox and his vixen wandered across the lawn stopping briefly to look with disdain at the manor house.

‘My dear friends, the time has come to part company.
 We shall I am sure, meet again in one year’s time.
 Farewell and God speed’



  1. *a look of disdain* VeRY good story. I like the manner in which it is written too, the different styles.

    1. Thanks Shadow. I tried to lighten what is a very dark subject.

  2. I hoped I wouldn't be reminded of those days of old Keith now I'm living on the other side of the world but tradition dies hard so it is probably is still their if you look hard enough.

    1. Sadly it is, particularly in my part of the country. Although it was outlawed a few years ago, there have been few if any prosecutions and there is soon to be a vote on legalising it again.

  3. Sometimes you have to wonder what is man(kind) or beast...nicely demonstrated here...poor Matilda for some reason i felt she was marked prey also

    1. Indeed. The custom of 'blooding' children was once seen as part of growing up for wealthier country children. I remember well several kids going through it when I was at school.

  4. The vulpine disdain is a very nice touch. I'm glad I read the other comments, unaware this still occurred. While I think some children are entirely too sheltered from the facts of life and death, this is another thing altogether.

  5. I'm with the fox and vixen: nothing but disdain for the huntsmen. Well done, Keith! Quite a tale!