I well remember the day when Father called me into his dusty old study and without the slightest preamble said, Son, you have reached an age upon which great thought should be given on the matter of taking a wife. Has anybody caught your eye, i wonder?
I stood and fidgeted for a moment before giving my considered response, Mrs Bloodsausage the butchers wife from Offal Lane always seems very pleasant and friendly, perhaps i could take her...but might not Mr Bloodsausage object and come after me with his chopper?
Father jutted out his chin in irritation and bristled his eyebrows, fixing me with a blazing stare before pointedly explaining that i must take a wife of my own and not somebody else's, which upon reflection did seem quite a fair way to do these things although the idea of grappling with Mrs Bloodsausage in her bedchamber did rather appeal.
Well, there's always sweet Bladderwort, the runny-nosed girl who scrubs the muddy parsnips down at Fondleberry Farm, i murmered, recalling the radiant smile she kindly bestowed upon me one bleak afternoon as her wind suddenly changed direction, And she does have the daintiest little feet, they're nothing less than adorable and such neat ankles too!
Father seemed less than impressed and waved me out of his study without further ado, obviously struggling to contain his impatience at my youthful foolishness, muttering Hmphh! You'd better set your sights a little higher than that, my lad!
Which, upon years of reflection, was possibly the best piece of advice that he ever gave me; dainty and petite feet, delectable little ankles and suchforth are all very well but when one seeks a wife one does indeed need to look slightly higher up...much further north than ankles and even knees, certainly.
© Sean Barrett - June 2010