Thursday, March 26, 2015

Scene, not seen

There is an ox reclining on a turned-leg spindle table next to the inglenook at the Lemon and Stick.

To be more precise, the table, inglenook, and ox are in the back room of the L &S, because the inhabitants of the front room can, on occasion, bump wobbily into things and people and the ox doesn't care for all that hot nonsense, so he stays where it's safer for him.

Oxen are notoriously fussy about their bodies, and the care thereof.

The Lemon and Stick has two main rooms, the pub in front and the kitchen at back.  To one side of the kitchen, pressed against the great stone fireplace, shouldered in next to the warming oven and fuel depot, is the inglenook.  It is the only dependably warm spot on cold days and the only dependably cool one on summer days, when the cooking goes outdoors and the folks of Banner Bank eat from the large pot that hangs over a fire in the pit out back.  Season after season, warm and cool both, the ox reclines, comfortable in his frail skin, content to observe that comes and goes through both front and back doors.

The ox doesn't have a name.  This troubles him, but not to the point of saying anything about it.  To say anything about it would reveal too much about him, and he has had enough revelation in his past to know the comfort of a good long silence.  He can accept namelessness, for in that anonymity his past is kept a secret, though he knows well what he is supposed to be called.

It was a long time ago though when last his name was spoken, those who brought him here don't come around anymore.  The ox espies an afternoon sunbeam creeping across the far lip of the spindle-leg table and decides, for the the fourth time today, to nap and reflect on when next to blink.

1 comment:

kenju said...

The ox and I are alike in the nap respect.