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Sticking up for the little guys...

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

9. Dick meets Patch

Hi, I'm Richard Everyman but people call me Dick

As I walked up the road I took in my surroundings and saw the familiar fields and farms in the distance.  Like the house in Lupin Drive nothing much had changed in the last 43 years except that now there was a new ruling elite with this strange conundrum called the Big Society.

My friends the Eggheads gave me answers or made observations on most subjects.  They even empathised with my situation and my long incarceration in the attic.  They quoted a famous black man called Nelson Mandela who lost his freedom for many years. "There is nothing like returning to a place that remains unchanged to find the ways in which you yourself have altered."  It made me think, though perhaps too much.  
Who or what was inside?

Maybe I should just accept the Big Society even though I don't understand it.  If I had been free I would not now be tormented by the changes in myself and instead get on with living my life without questioning everything around me.  It was then that the shack came into view.  Beyond which stood the chicken coops, my real destination.  But there was something drawing me to the shack.  Some strange compulsion to enter.  Who or what was inside?  The Eggheads would have to wait a little longer for their eggs.

I crossed the rough ground along the overgrown path towards the unloved building.  The rusty tin roof still provided some protection from the elements but nature was slowly encroaching all around.  Time had not been kind and the neglect became more and more apparent as I drew closer.  

I saw something move in the corner
For some reason I knocked on the door, as if expecting to encounter someone, but I knew I was being polite for no reason.  I walked inside.  Rays of sunlight cut through the dark interior illuminating the walls and floors.  A metal wood burning stove and a few broken chairs filled some of the floor space.  On the walls were dusty shelves containing iron pots, forgotten pickle jars and a couple of chipped tea pots.  I saw something move in the corner.  It was a dog.  It stretched and yawned then sat up in surprise when it saw me.

Hello, boy "I'm Richard Everyman but people call me Dick."

The dog looked forlornly at me and then I recognised him.  It was Billy's old dog, Patch.  

"Patch is it really you?"  He studied me carefully.  "You remember me don't you?  We used to belong to Billy."

His eyes lit up and he turned towards me, slowly revealing his face.  To my horror he only had one ear and his stuffing was showing through in places.

We sat and talked for hours...
"Hello Dick, " he said "It's been a long time,"

We hugged each other and for the first time in 43 years I experienced true warmth and friendship.  We sat and talked for hours about the Boultons and especially Billy who had thrown Patch into a stream and watched him float away.  But alas, he had no news of Yvette.  Still we had been reunited and to my astonishment Patch was as intrigued as I was about the Big Society.  Through the barking network he had heard tales of dogs being fed inferior food as if their owners were cutting back.  Of being taken out less with cars sitting on drives and used only for essential journeys. He had heard of family feuds involving shotguns or divorces and worst of all of dogs being kicked out into the street to fend for themselves.

"Dick, if there is a Big Society, we have to find it".  My poor emaciated companion was in need of help and so we decided to join forces in the quest.

"I can't believe I've found you Patch," I said "but first we've got to get some eggs."

This is Dick Everyman signing out...

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