It was a bright sunny day and the birds were singing. Young John Farmer got off the bus at the gate to Rookfield Farm and made his way across the muck-filled yard, a suitecase in either hand. Little did he know what lay in store for him.
The farm-house door was opened by Mrs Stitis the daily-help. “Why, Master John!” she exclaimed joyously.
“Hello, Ma,” said John. “I’m home from university. Is Mother home?”
“She be out back strangling the chickens. Come in !”
Meanwhile, down at the pig-sty, John’s father, Loon E Farmer, was examining his prize boar Quinton, with the local veterinary surgeon. “It be like this, Mr Marriot,” he was saying, “‘E’s off ‘is food an’ won’t perform wi’ the gilts. Not only that – ‘E won’t touch ‘is daily ration of Old Bart’s Special Bitter. ‘E won’t drink nothing but lemonade.”
“I don’t understand it,” said the vet scratching his head, “but I’ve taken a couple of samples and will send them off to MAFF. If anyone knows what’s wrong they will!”
“I s’pose it could be worse. ‘E could be drinkin’ larger.”
Marriot left in his car, whistling the tune to ‘All Things Bright and Beautiful’, and Loon Farmer made his way to the farmhouse. When he entered he was greeted by his wife and son. “Look, Loon,” beamed his wife, “our John is home!”
“Hello, Father. I’ve got a first-class degree in Agriculture with distinction. I can be a great help to you on the farm!”
“Aye lad, tomorrow you can scrap the muck off the yard and then you can feed the pigs. Come! Let’s be down to the pub while your mother gets the dinner.”
A little while later, Jack Door the landlord of the ‘Chick Inn’, was pouring both father and son two pints of Old Bart’s Tripple X Special Bitter. Loon gripped one of the glasses in his hand, blew the froth off the top of the beer and took a sip.
Suddenly, his face went white and his hand shook as he put the glass back down on the bar,
“Are you all right, Father?” asked John with concern.
Loon could scarcely speak and when he did his voice was very faint. “Jack,” he said, “could I have a glass of lemonade?”
“My God!” exclaimed Jack in horror. “Loon! What be wrong?”
Yes, what is wrong? Will MAFF find the answer? Does anyone realise the full significance of Ma Stitis on Rookfield Farm. Find out next month in the next exciting episode of Umbridge!