The Farmer & His Wife

There’s a prob­lem in the pipeline for John Tay­lor. . .

The People's Friend - - Contents -

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. ■

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