Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Dangerous descent

After some glorious views of the Barton Hills I descended down them through a wood area which did not allow for any further views of the beautiful vistas. This disappointed me somewhat. The path was gradual and my progress was slowed. Too gradual and too slow for my newly discovered spirit of adventure, so I decided it might be a good idea to go off-road and head straight down the hillside, you know , as time saver?

 At the edge of the path there were two large bushes with feathery leaves. The gap between them look navigable and I was sure that I was almost at the bottom. Carefully, I stepped off the path walking side ways down the steep, but manageable, gradient. I moved through the bushes and discovered a wall of dense-looking foliage a little way down. I decided this was not such a good idea after all and attempted to make my way back up the bank, but, try as I might, I could not reverse my momentum, which was inescapably, downwards.

With the soft, muddy underfoot offering little in the way of traction, gravity was having the best of it and I was being pulled, tractor-beam like, down into the wall of bushes. It was then that I had my second bad idea of the day. I have always found that , like buses, they often come in twos for me. And this one would prove to be a doosie!

It was time to think rationally about the whole situation. To allow common sense and instinct to guide me. Thinking that a little speed might help me break through this barrier that faced me, but with the bushes offering enough resistance to exit the other side at a crawl, I picked a soft looking spot in the undergrowth and threw myself forward... The sound of snapping twigs sounded loudly around my ears as the foliage gave way. I ungracefully exited the other side of the bush at a tremendous speed and, now, I was on on my bottom. Walking boots and grasping hands proved unless at slowing me down, try as I might , and hurtled down the steepening muddy bank. With frantic curses my only means of protection, I plummeted through several groups of thickets where thorns and twigs tore at my clothes and scratched at my face. Entirely unable now to control the rate of my decent, I slip-slid my way downward, on and on. It was a white knuckle, brown-trousered decent from hell and, probably, to hell, for all I knew and an experience I would never want to repeat again.

With one final, foul-mouthed, shout-curse to all of Mother Nature and her doing's and the evil forces of Brian Cox and his gravity ideas, which had, thus far in my journey, pretended to be my companion, only to betray me now, I came to an abrupt stop!

 I opened my eyes to see a young boy of eight, or so , and a younger girl, who I presumed to be his sister, both holding small fishing nets on long sticks. They were wellied and standing in a small river. Their faces looked surprised to see me, but that was nothing to how the lady standing with them was looking me. They must have all bared witness to the human avalanche that had just crashed, snapped and cursed his used way down the hillside right at them. Now this filthy creature, for her face told me that she thought of me as nothing more, was sitting in a heap infront of them, covered head to toe in mud, leaves and blood.

Fearing for the safety of her young, she pulled the two children towards her and away from me. I can't of helped matters as I stood up and, feeling pains shooting through the muscles in both legs, I let out an unearthly groan. They visibly recoiled . I immediately tried make amends by offering some kind of explanation to them but, probably due to the trauma I was suffering after my dangerous decent, I could only make a series of incompressible grunts and gurgles with an outstretched, pleading hand that was disfigured by soiled leaves, a large spider and a centipede.

It must have been hideous for the poor family that stood, huddled, trembling in silence, to witness this gruffaloick monster retreating heavily away, into the trees, embarrassed and hampered by two huge, round clods of dark-brown clay encasing each of his feet.

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