Chickens Still Locked In Their Coop And Hungry Song Birds

Posted by Ian Douglas on Nov 6, 2011 in My Journey |

I slept soundly after all the hard work of cleaning up my neighbour’s cottage after their visit from the evil Goblins of Hack.  However, as sun arose, two young doves landed on the window ledge beside my bed and their cooing, although soft and affectionate, slowly woke me up.  I was feeling a little hungry so, after several yawns, got out of bed and had a wash and shave then looked around the kitchen for something to eat.  I went to the cupboard to get some cereal and found a note attached:

“Gone to see the Wizard; will be back this evening”

It was signed by my Spirit Guide.

I got myself a bowl of cereal and sat down at the kitchen table to eat it.

“Looks like I have the day to myself” I thought.

After all my recent adventures with members of the Spirit World it felt strange to be able to look forward to a “normal” day.  In fact it felt so strange I couldn’t really think of what to do with my time.  I decided to visit my neighbours again.

It was bright and sunny when I left home but as I set off down the lane it gradually became darker.  Soon I was outside my neighbour’s cottage and light rain started to descend from the dull clouds above.

I rang their door bell but could not get any response.

I then went around the back of the cottage and noticed they had not let their chickens out (as they normally do each morning) and there were several, hungry looking, small garden birds on the edge of their bird table waiting for my neighbour’s wife to put out some food as she normally does.

I knocked on their back door; but again could not get any response.

I looked up at the sky.  The sky seemed clear and bright over my cottage but the dark rain cloud and drizzle made my neighbour’s cottage seem cold and miserable.

I walked across to their kitchen window and looked in.  I could see my neighbour and his wife sitting at the kitchen table with bowls of cereal in front of them but they appeared motionless.  They were both sitting resting their heads in their hands staring down at their bowls.  I knocked on the window to try and attract their attention but neither moved; they just continued staring at their bowls.  I knocked on their window again and called out to them.

John, my neighbour, suddenly sat upright as if brought out of a trance and gently touched his wife Ruth on the arm before getting up and slowly walking, his head bowed down, to the back door.

“Come in and join us in a cup of tea” he said half-heartedly as Ruth slowly got up out of her chair and walked, head hanging low, to the kettle.

I sat down at their kitchen table and couldn’t help noticing they had not even attempted to eat their breakfast.

John went to the cupboard to get some biscuits and as he done so I watched them both with great sadness.  This couple, normally so full of life and conversation, now appeared so lifeless and despressed after yesterday’s visit from the Goblins of Hack.

“We are thinking of moving” John said as he placed a plate of assorted biscuits on the table in front of me.

“Why?” I asked.

“There is no point of us remaining here.  Our cottage was so badly defaced by the Goblins of Hack yesterday and we fear they will return again.  What is the point of keeping our cottage in such beautiful condition if it will be defaced again?”

I could feel the despair and sense of hopelessness in his voice.

“There is no point continuing.  People do not appreciate what we have achieved. Ruth and I have decided we are not cut out for this life… we are thinking of moving into a concrete tower block in the city.”

I sat looking at him stunned at what I had heard then noticed a tear starting to room down his cheek.

“Please excuse me” he said as he got up from the table and went to the bathroom.

“He loves living here.  His garden is his life” said Ruth, a tear now starting to roll down her own cheek.  “I must be strong for him” she added.

I took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze.

John reappeared from the bathroom and the three of us walked into the lounge and sat in more comfortable chairs, our cups of tea in front of us.

I felt their sense of despair and quickly looked around the room for inspiration.  On a shelf behind John was a gold cup and on the wall alongside were several certificates.

“What is that cup?” I asked, knowing exactly what it was.

“It is a little something we were presented with by our village last year” said John.

“Could you pass it to me?” I asked so that John would pick it up and hold it.

“You may remember our village won this for being the prettiest village in the kingdom last year” he said.  “At the award ceremony the judges remarked that our cottage was outstanding and the main reason for our village receiving the award so the Town Mayor decided that I could look after the cup on behalf of the village.”

“And what are those certificates for?” I asked pointing at the framed certificates on the wall.

“These are just little awards from the local horticultural society for my roses and vegetables I have entered into Shows” He said.

Holding the cup in his hands and looking at the certificates he let out a sad sigh.

“So why are you giving up on all the years of hard work you have put into your cottage and garden?” I asked.

“It broke our hearts to see everything defaced by the Goblins of Hack yesterday.” He replied.

“There will always be those who take pleasure in destroying the beautiful” I said.

“Think back to the extremely harsh winter we had two years ago.  Many of the plants you had nurtured for years in your garden were destroyed by the freezing temperatures.  Yet you have said that your garden was the main reason our village won the trophy for the prettiest village in the Kingdom last year.  How did your garden change from being full of decaying frost-killed plants to the prettiest in the Kingdom within the space of one year?” I added.

“Think of all the citizens of our Kingdom and beyond who have visited and admired your cottage and left encouraging comments over the years. Think too of all the cottages you, yourself have visited and left comments linking back to your cottage.  It would be such a sad moment if you turned your back on all this hard work.  The evil Goblins of Hack are gone and their graffiti has been removed yet you are still letting them destroy you in your mind.  You must take courage.  Be determined not to let them destroy your mind.  Look back at what you have achieved with your cottage.  Think of how much it is admired and appreciated by others… then move forward.”

“My Spirit Guide has gone to visit The Wizard who lives in a cave at the bottom of the foothills.  He has much experience of battling with the Goblins of Hack and she will ask him if he could find time to visit our humble abodes and share some tips on how we might better defend our dwellings against the powers of darkness intent on destroying us”.

“That would be so kind” said John.  “If the truth be known I do love my cottage and would dearly love to remain here”.

Ruth let out a quiet sigh and put her arms around her husband’s shoulder.  “Together we will be strong and all learn from what The Wizard has to say”.  Now let’s all drink this tea before it gets cold.

The dreary rain stopped and the sunshine once again broke through the clouds above the cottage.

We drank our tea and after eating a couple of biscuits I mentioned that I had better be getting back home.

“Thank you for calling round Ian” said Ruth.  “You have given us hope.”

Then as I left the cottage she called to her husband “Come on John!  I need to let the chickens out and feed the birds and you need to get that front garden tidy ready for when the Wizard comes.”

“OK Dear” said John with a spring in his step again.  “We have never had a visit from a Wizard before.  It will be quite exciting.  I wonder what he will say.”

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