When did you last take a car­rot for a walk?

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL FEATURES -

ook Poppa – a gi­ant car­rot!” I fol­lowed the di­rec­tion of Max’s, 7, point­ing fin­ger and, sure enough, com­ing to­wards us across the park was a vivid orange car­rot with the most ex­tra­or­di­nary crown of bright green leaves. As it drew nearer, we saw the car­rot was be­ing car­ried in the arms of an el­derly gent, neatly dressed in a sober grey suit. Closer now, it was clear the car­rot was made of pa­per mache but its pur­pose wasn’t ob­vi­ous and cu­rios­ity couldn’t be con­tained. “Ex­cuse me Sir, if you don’t mind my ask­ing, where are you tak­ing your car­rot?” The man with the car­rot stopped and turned as we ap­proached. “For a walk, of course”, was his pleas­ant re­ply. My raised eye­brows ob­vi­ously asked a dozen more ques­tions be­cause he went on by way of ex­pla­na­tion: “I used to bring my oc­to­pus but peo­ple seem to be much more com­fort­able with the car­rot”. Max nod­ded sagely and asked: “Is this the car­rot’s favourite walk?” The man nod­ded and said: “We some­times go to the rail­way sta­tion to watch the trains but there, most peo­ple are in too much of a hurry. Here in the park they re­lax and have fun.” He pointed to a group of adult chil­dren at­tempt­ing to re­trieve their kite from a tall tree. As we parted from the man and his car­rot, wish­ing them both an en­joy­able af­ter­noon, he turned to Max say­ing: “I like to make peo­ple smile!”

Graye Shat­tky is an old sol­dier who lives in St Bathans and, from time to time, is tempted to wave his rusty sword at im­por­tant is­sues.

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