Spring it was, I relaxed before the fire to share this story with Beatrice, Godfrey’s lifelong friend, on my second visit to Wales.
My old dad was gone, (we buried him with the T.V.) Mrs Gibberflat lived with us now as did Garnet’s mother, Betty Odd. It was very early morning, Garnet went out to check on a foaling mare, and tripped over something large on the porch- I awoke to what I thought must be Coyotes in the yard. He had tripped over Godfrey, in his sleeping bag and had trod on his hand. Mrs Gibberflat, in her robe and nothing else was beating Godfrey about the head with a soup ladle. Old Mrs Odd was poised with the clothes iron yelling, Bugular! Bugular!. Dogs barked, yard lights came on, neighbours phoned, a truck stopped at our gate. Amid pandemonium, the mare serenely gave birth to a fine colt. Godfrey told me, ‘I was dropped off very late and did not wish to disturb anyone’.”We scared the shice out of each other’, my two finest fellows agreed.
..A Goat Renter? Beatrice choked on her tea, laughing. We meant it sincerley, yet it was not to be. Godfrey did stay awhile in our interesting household, and helped start the Goat Rental Business. He usually went south in summer, on wheat harvest, which he loved. He enjoyed the winter to, writing by night in my turquoise chair. He had developed a fear of moths, wrote often to Clementine , (hrrmmfh muttered Beatrice) He was still planning to go home. Godfrey built a special table on the back porch for the 1000 piece jig-saw puzzle he found in a paper bag at a jumble sale. It was, we learned only by his steady progress on it, a picture of a light house on a narrow headland.It was down a , grassy path, sheer cliffs and roily sea on either side.It was pre-computer days of course, and he was determined to find out where this Lighthouse was located, and walk that grassy path.
We scoured the Library, annoyed a retired geography teacher, dissapointed every travel-agent in Calgary. We pawed through several hundred ancient National Geographics, woke up Mrs Gibberflat, who claimed to know everything, wrote to Alice, Godfrey’s sister, who did not know every thing, we even created a nuisance with a globe in a toy store.
Godfrey proudly completed his puzzle- No flag, no clue, no idea. He said it reminded him of the headland in Tasmania, where years before he had found “The Comfortable Pew’, but not as rugged. Finally Garnet, in exasperation dragged out his boy-hood stamp collections, and in the very last tome.. there it was, his lighthouse on a stamp, Cape Reinga, North end of New-Zealand. ..He was not always comfortable being hugged, but I held on a bit longer that morning. I noticed he took note of it to let me know that he knew that I knew that he knew. I had followed his adventures, in verse and vingette for years now, and was not going to let him go , like it or not too soon again.