The Farmer & His Wife

Anne Tay­lor is a dab hand with most things, but not all!

The People's Friend - - 8 -

WHACK! I brought my hand down hard on our kitchen ta­ble. I was frus­trated more than an­noyed.

“John, don’t do that again!” Anne had been work­ing on her ta­pes­try. She was just putting in a stitch when I made her jump. The nee­dle went into her thumb.

Anne gen­er­ally has a ta­pes­try in her wooden frame. She picks it up and does an inch or two when she feels like it.

I’ve seen her take over a year to fin­ish a small one . . .

Most of her friends en­joy ta­pes­tries, too. But they have more time than Anne has.

“How’s your ta­pes­try go­ing, Anne?” they in­vari­ably ask when they come to see her.

“It’s com­ing on.” Anne’s an­swer is al­ways the same.

“Is that all you’ve done? When will you fin­ish it?” “By Christ­mas.” “Which Christ­mas, though?” But last Septem­ber, Anne meant it. She was des­per­ate to fin­ish the one she had in the frame by Christ­mas.

The pre­vi­ous year, one of our grand­sons had no idea what to give Granny for Christ­mas. Then he’d seen a ta­pes­try of a girl’s head in a shop win­dow. It looked very like our only grand­daugh­ter.

He’d bought it and handed it over. With a grin, he’d told his gran it had to be fin­ished by Christ­mas or she wouldn’t look like that any more!

Anne was do­ing her best, but she wasn’t get­ting very far. Then one of her re­ally good friends came to see her . . .

“Anne, you won’t fin­ish it at this rate! I’ll do it.”

When she and her husband left Anne ad­mit­ted some­thing to me.

“I was hop­ing she’d say that!” It was handed back be­fore Christ­mas. To this day no-one knows it wasn’t all done by Anne.

So why was I so an­noyed with my­self that I thumped the ta­ble?

Our lo­cal pa­per of­ten has com­pe­ti­tions that in­volve large squares of jum­bled-up let­ters. In that jumble you have to find five or six spe­cific words. They’re usu­ally sim­ple to work out, but that evening there was one I couldn’t find.

Anne looked over my shoul­der.

“What word can’t you find?” “Eif­fel.”

Anne read the prize. “Would you like a week­end in Paris?”

“No. I’d rather go to the Wye val­ley any day.”

“Then just for­get it.”

But I couldn’t. I sat and puz­zled all evening.

And guess what? I fi­nally found the Eif­fel Tower!

More next week

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