The Farmer & His Wife
There’s a problem in the pipeline for John Taylor. . .
IWAS having a wash at the kitchen sink when Anne burst in. “There’s a smell in the yard.”
I ask you, a smell in a farmyard! If there was no smell it wouldn’t be a farmyard.
“Come,” she ordered. She strode across the yard; I followed.
There was an unusual smell, even for a farmyard.
“If it’s a blocked drain, dear, I’ll get Jock to come and clear it tomorrow.”
To hear Anne lecture me you’d have thought we’d all be dead by nightfall.
“You’ll get that drain cleared before the bairns come home from school.”
Jock calls himself an agricultural contractor but is really a ditcher, hedger and builder of stone walls.
For some reason, he and Anne didn’t see eye to eye.
“He’d only have to dig to find where it’s blocked,” she told me. “You could do that after lunch.”
After lunch I and Anne started operations. I was the one with the spade and Anne was the ganger. Anne pointed out the direction in which the drain must run.
I dug. I did find a drain; it was as dry as a bone.
Anne disappeared to feed the hens. As she’d be gone, I felt Jock’s help was a necessity.
Jock was in the yard before Anne came back.
He saw my hole and dry drain and laughed.
“John, I blocked that up years ago. The drain runs this way now.”
We were busy digging when Anne came back. She wasn’t pleased to see Jock.
We found the drain, broke it open and stood back. There was no denying it – it was blocked.
We rodded until the rods could go no further. We measured them. Jock knew the direction and we measured on the ground.
Without a word to me he disappeared in the direction of the back door. “Mrs T, come here.” Anne came down the garden.
“Did you put that stake in?”
Anne admitted she had put it in for her sweet peas.
“You’ve blocked and broken the drain. Next time, ask an expert. Good day, John.”
With an air of the highest authority on drains, he left.
Suddenly we both saw the funny side and laughed. “Sorry, John.”
On that note, the matter was left. ■