Umbridge – episode five

March 8, 2018

An everyday story of extraordinary country folk

The story so far:-

Young John Farmer arrives home from University to find that all is not well at Rookfield Farm.  Both the prize Boar, Quinton, and his Father, Loon E Farmer, are unwell and will not touch Old Bart’s Triple X Special Bitter.  In fact neither will eat nor drink anything except lemonade.  The cause has been identified by MAFF Scientists as being due to a rare virus known as Triple X Lemonade Disease.  The only known cure is to drink pints of shandy and then to slowly decrease the lemonade content.  John obtains a supply of Old Bart’s and Lemonade from the ‘Chick Inn’.  Unfortunately however, Quinton is shot by the Ministry of Agriculture under the Triple X Lemonade Eradication Scheme.

Now read on:-

It was a week later and John was leaning against a pen at a large market near the village of Umbridge.  He was surveying an enormous pig.  His rucksack stood on the ground by his feet.

     “Yoo Hoo, John!”  The cry came from behind him and he turned.  It was Grace Ourchurch, the fifteen stone vicar’s daughter.  She strode up to him.  “Hello, John,” she said.  “I heard about Quinton.  I’m very sorry.”

     “Yes,” replied John, “it was very sad.  Mother was very upset.  What are you doing here?”

     “Oh just looking.  I like animals.  What are you doing here?”

     “I’m thinking of buying a new pig to place Quinton,” he replied.  “In fact that one there looks a likely specimen.”

     “It’s certainly a fine pig,” agreed Grace.

     “However, I must make sure first,” said John.  He stooped, opened his rucksack and took out a bottle of lemonade.  He opened the bottle, leaned over the pen and offered the contents to the pig.  The animal gave a shriek and rushed to the far end of the pen where it cowered in the corner.  John replaced the cap, opened the rucksack and replaced the bottle.  Next he took out a bottle of Old Bart’s Triple X Special Bitter, opened the bottle and again offered it to the pig.  This time the animal gave a grunt of pleasure, rushed over and began drinking it avidly.

     “Good,” said John, “this pig certainly hasn’t got Triple X Lemonade Disease.”

     “Oh, John,” said Grace in admiration.  “You are clever.”

     “Yes, I know,” he agreed and added, “Oh, Grace, I do love to hear you say that.”

     “Well, you are clever, John.”

     “I know,” he said smugly.

     Later that day, John was returning to the pig-sty at Rookfield Farm and making his way towards the house when he saw his Father coming towards him across the yard.  He had a glass of shandy in his hand.

     “Father!” exclaimed John in surprise.  “You’re up!”

     “Aye, Lad,” replied Loon.  “Doctor says that wi’ any luck, I could be drinking lemon tops by next week.”

     “That’s good news,” said John and then added excitedly.  “Father, I’ve bought a new replacement for Quinton.”

     “‘Ave yer now.  “I’d best take a look at ‘im.”

     John followed his father to the pig-sty.  “Careful, don’t get too near we don’t want him catching anything.”

     Loon leaned over the wall of the sty and surveyed the pig with a professional eye.  Suddenly his face went bright red.  “You dim **** !!!!”  He exploded angrily.  “I thought you was to buy a boar.  That there’s a sow!”

     “What’s the difference, Father?” asked John.

Can it really be true that, despite a University education, John does not know the facts of life?  Will this affect his relationship with Grace?  Have we heard the last of Triple X Lemonade Disease?  Find out next month in the next exciting instalment of Umbridge.