Monday, 20 October 2008

A cautionary donkey tale

Yesterday we had tea with our old friend, Judy Freeman, Ken's widow. She was staying in the village with Sue Tobin and they honoured us by coming round. Conversation turned to donkeys. Sue recalled when there had been six donkeys at Stanford House just across the green from her home. Judy told us that when she was a girl growing up in Wicklesham her mother bought her a donkey and cart. She would drive it down the hill into Faringdon, the market town nearby. However, the donkey was always reluctant to go - away from her home. 'So I got a whip,' she said - and you ought to know that Judy is sweetness itself -, 'and I'd tie a carrot on the end, and dangle it in front of her nose. Then she'd move. She had it as a reward only when she got home again.'

I don't quite know what the moral of the story is. Possibly keep the aim in sight and you'll make it in the end . Perhaps more is achieved by carrot than whip (for legislators). Or no gain without perseverance (for financiers).

When Judy got engaged to Ken, the local sweetshop owner was heard to say, 'I don't give that more than two years.' They were married for very nearly 60 years....

1 comment:

  1. Did Judy also tell you about the time when he was driving back from Faringdon to Wicklesham in the cart, and she hadn't fastened the back properly, and all the vegetables went rolling out behind her down the hill?
    Poor girl! I expect she had to scrabble to collect them up again. That was in the days long before the by-pass! And her mother planted lots of spring bulbs in the Wicklesham woods, which still flourish there to this day.