Friday, 27 May 2011
A Wee Wanderer
It was nearly so late at night, that it was actually very early in the morning. I was sitting up going through some of my old research papers. Something curious had caught my eye:
" ... on Thursday evening last Daniel Tangle asserted that he had observed a tiny bearded boy roaming within the church of St Coligate, Norwich. He speaks of the lad as We Davy, being of a frendly disposition. Grete distemper in drinke! Evidence dismissed"
May 24th 1761
That was nearly nine years ago now, and I had quite forgotten about that odd record. However, last Saturday we Ragged Ramblers ventured out into the far West of Norfolk and an incident occurred which made my mind leap back to the story of Wee Davy.
The four Ragged Ramblers were exploring their fourth church of the day; each in their own particular fashion. Mr. Many Coats lay prostrate, staring up at the ceiling. Jimothy Ditheridge prevaricated by the porch. The vertiginous Thadeus Basil-Snapper (the third) was perfectly lost behind the lens of his camera. Munro Tweeder-Harris was tasting the lime mortar for evidence of the buildings medieval provenance... and then it happened...
As if from nowhere, there appeared a tiny boy, smiling and holding a copy of Mortlock & Roberts, 'Churches of Norfolk'. Although initially taken aback we were perfectly charmed by the little fella. He seemed to take a particular liking to Thadeus...
However, his beaming little face looking up at you from down there... well, even the hardest heart would be bound to crumble...
The only two words he seemed to know were 'Wee Davy', spoken in an extraordinarily high-pitched voice that set the dogs of the parish barking.
We fed him some of the delightfully light and fluffy gluten-free lemon sponge which Thadeus had baked for us. Jimothy offered him a drink poured from through the slots of his flask, but the boy refused to let the steaming hot tea anywhere near him. However, when Munro removed the lid from his flask and poured the boy a cuppa, he guzzled it down with relish.
Isn't it interesting how, even a tiny boy who has stumbled through a rip in the time-space continuum can recognise the essential decency of tea poured from a flask with the lid removed. Most gratifying - for some of us!