HARRY OAKENBOTTOM-He was the fourth- A Beatrice Story.

And what of Beatrice when Godfrey left home? They were inseprable  as children…now she was a young woman to on her own.Out on her porch with ice-cream and fork and the last piece of Sneaky Beet Chocolate Cake, across the field she could hear Godfrey’s Ma, still ranting over her  wayward  son and the sacrifices she”d had to make.

Romance was the last thing on Beatrice’s mind as she ate,  then about a week later, Abner Mulgrew showed up at her gate. Abner Mulgrew held a dew damp bouquet of  roadside flowers he picked as he walked from town. She  set him to work cleaning goat pens, and Abner proposed to Beatrice  that evening as the sun went down. Donkey’s silhouetted in evening, shadows shaggy of mane, watched as red headed Abner was sent walking home again

.After a few years…lonely ones yes as her few friends  set off to roam or wed…and Godfrey  adventuring , the letters and poems that she read, brought her joy. Simeon Tweed the postman asked for her hand, but she knew his greedy eyes desired only Sonsie Farmland.

Godfrey’s cousin Lochart Gland, son of the late Uncle Lou ,a musician to, serenaded her weekly under her window at night, and Beatrice always sent him packing with a well aimed shoe  in the Pre dawn light

Then came Harry Oakenbottom from Hardbottom Down, in the eastern most valley to the west of Ewe. Harry came a courting when he and Beatrice were an independent  42.

Harry was a fine chap and stood a chance that year , but he was terribly allergic to all that she held dear,fur, feathers, wheat, hay, eggs, the hair of donkey, goat and horse, so Beatrice stayed a lifelong maid and Harry Oakenbottom, he was the forth.

AUDREY, FRED, AND THE BOYS, Every year it seemed, just after summer, every year for Beatrice when December rolled round. Beatrice would  lend her donkeys and sheep, to the Christmas Nativity Pagents in town. And every year of her life without fail, the same Christmas card would come in the  mail.

With gritty fake snow and  a winking Santa, at the chimney with a great bag of toys, a card without legible return address, love from Audrey, Fred, and the Boys.

Old Ma would shake her head in wonder, her dad aimless Lloyd did not have a clue. Audrey, Fred And the Boys were people nobody knew.Beatrice reckoned the cards would cease coming when her  old Ma and Lloyd  went to their reward, but still year after year came the same greeting card.

Alone up on the mantle the card went, under her photo of a photo of a painting of Godfrey, who when they were kids found  the cards terribly funny..Christmas morning Beatrice fed her pets early, lest the neighbors complain of the braying and noise, then she raised a toast of good whiskey- coffee, a toast to Godfrey wherever he roamed, and a toast to Audrey,Fred, and the Boys..

BEETS AND ROSES, BEATRICE SANG- Beatrice whistles as she works, feeding her pets and shoveling things, and when she brushes her big Clydesdales, until they  shine like coal and copper Beatrice sings.

..Beets and roses, goats and hens, till Godfrey comes down the road again. Foals in summer,lambs in spring, beets and roses I will sing.And at this, the turning of the year as Beatrice go’s about each chore. She sings Beets and Roses welcome, welcome, welcome old friends to my door.

Beatrice chose to stay her whole life on  her rustic valley farm, the remote and damp Sonsie Sanctuary. It was Godfrey’s Scottish mother named the property Sonsie. Which meant  thriving, fortunate,happy and positive.

Godfrey’s Ma missed  Knitting when he and Alice left, and  often made warm, wooly plaid  coats for spring lambs and foals. Iris rarely showed her soft side and would leave the knitwear on a pole, where no goats could reach them…From WORZEL.

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