River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Runnin' on

January 2002

Further adventures of Tom the Carter

Now that we are, or at least will be by the time you read this, well into the New Year, I thought I ought to let you know that the little mouse who ended up in the Crib Scene in the Christmas issue of The Pump is back with his old pal Boxer.

After Twelfth Night, Tom the carter had a message from the Vicar's wife to say that she would be taking down the Crib scene in the church, and did he want to come up to collect all the hay and straw. Tom used to help Mrs Williams with the job every year.

Boxer was pleased to have some work to do again, he had enjoyed the holiday, on the dry days he'd been put out in his field and he'd had a good old rub around the big trees there. Boxer loved a hard scratch against a tree for a treat.

Boxer had missed the mouse, stray grains of corn were stuck in the corners of his manger, the mouse always used to clear all those out in no time!

Tom came in with Boxer's breakfast and started to get the big horse's harness ready, "Good" thought Boxer "There must be work to do." The cart stood ready in the yard and Boxer snickered to Tom, he wanted to get back to work.

Tom laughed, he loved the horse and gave him a hug. No one could see him in the stable and call him a softy. In a very short time the horse was hitched to the cart and Tom drove the cart off along the track to the village church.

Mrs Williams, the vicar's wife had already got most of the packing up done, Tom helped her with the rest and the fetching the hay and straw sacks from the cupboard he started to fill them up, meanwhile Mrs Williams had gone off to make a cup of tea. When she brought back a tray with teapot, cups and a plate of cakes Tom rubbed his hands together, Mrs William's cakes were the best in the village!

When she came back with a tray full of treats Mrs Williams said, "Before we have the tea will you come out and give me a bit of advice about one of the trees please Tom?" Happy to oblige Tom followed Mrs Williams into the church grounds, back in the church the little mouse looked about, he was going wherever his straw and hay was going, so he scrambled into one of the sacks!

Mrs Williams and Tom came back into the church for their tea and cakes, then Tom tied up the sacks and saying "Thank you." He took the sacks out to the waiting Boxer, there was a piece of cake in Tom's hand and Boxer snuffled with pleasure when Tom held his hand out and let Boxer eat the cake, what a treat!

After the drive back to the stable yard Tom took the sacks into Boxer's stable and emptied the straw and hay onto the floor, of course the mouse ended up all of a heap too, he sat up and looked around, thank goodness, he was home again!

Tom busied himself unharnessing Boxer, then without being led in, Boxer headed straight for his stable, standing by the manger he watched Tom tip some feed into it for him. Boxer gave his Tom a friendly nudge and got a pat in return before Tom shut the door and strode off to put the cart away.

Just as Boxer started to snuffle through his food to find the best bits he saw the mouse carefully taking the stray grains of corn from the corner of the manger, his stable mate was back, a bit of company for him. Boxer made just a gentle snort to show how pleased he was!

Janet Tilburn

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