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
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 maître 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’