The Shed

Lurking in the dank shadows, amid a heavy wreak of creosote, a rake, head held high, leans across a bundle of raffia, the strands of which escape and tumble to the floor and over earthenware pots plopped in unruly piles next to a bundle of slender bamboos each darkened at the tip where it has been thrust into the ground to truss up last year’s raspberries or was it peas or runner beans, no matter, oh and there’s Granddad’s butterfly net, I can see him now, careening across the tiny lawn and between the narrow rows of carefully tended greens in search of cabbage whites, brandishing the net at them, and Nana peering round the kitchen door, her pinny tight about her waist, her face red from cooking, calling out Hey Percy, lunch is on the table, while his stomach rumbles and him grumbling all the time, complaining that it is too early or too late, and all the time shaking the net at stray fluttery patches of white as he struggles a spade from the damp soil, shakes the clods of earth from it and plods away from their tiny terraced house, along the narrow stone path by the apple trees that have been trained along the fence until right at the end, there where a brick wall marks the boundary of his little world, he cracks open the door, returns the spade to the hoe and fork, before hanging up the net for the day and clicking closed the door of the shed.

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