leave well alone

conkers strung on metal fence

I have no idea who would have put them there, nor why, but I found these strings of conkers looped around the railway fence when I went for a walk the other day.

They reminded me of my first visit to my brother’s house many, many years ago, where I found a collection of desiccated rabbits’ feet nailed to the shed door. I asked about them as I’d been told that Sammy the cat was a holy terror and I wondered whether it was a shrine to his hunting prowess.

In fact, my brother told me, the trophies had been there when they’d moved in and he’d decided it was wiser to leave them there, rather than risk upsetting the rituals or magic of the locals.

I guess I felt a little the same way about the conkers. Thinking back to when we prepared conkers to play with when we were children, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t that easy to make a hole in them (which we did with a gimlet from Dad’s toolbox), so someone must have spent quite some time preparing them and stringing them together to make the garland. Presumably they had their reasons for doing so and I wouldn’t want to ruin their spell.

I don’t have a photo of the shed door, or even of Sammy the cat. So instead I’ll settle for this old, but appropriately seasonal, picture of another cat who was also a renowned hunter in his day.

cat among autumn leaves

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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