A prompt response to this photo from ~ The Dark Room on Our Write Side
THE BRIDGE BETWEEN TWO WORLDS
by John Yeo
Rambling along a pretty lane bordered by tangled shrubs, Megan and I were enjoying an unplanned afternoon walk through the glorious countryside.
The hot Springtime sun shone between fluffy clouds that skittered across a clear blue sky. Hedge sparrows and small finches darted to and fro across the path.
“The birds are building their nests in these thick bushes, to raise their families,” I remarked to Megan.
Nodding she said, “Just look at those pretty yellow primroses growing along the wayside banks.” She picked one and sniffed the soft yellow petals.
“They are not perfumed at all, but they are so soft and velvety.”
Wood pigeons and rooks were feeding, as we skirted a newly ploughed field.
We approached the edge of some thick woods, green and luxurious with dense shrubs and leafy, branchy trees as far as the eye could see. The shady woods looked inviting.
“I wonder if they are private property.”
I mused when suddenly Megan exclaimed…
“Look, just there at the edge of the woods, a tiny deer. It looks like a fawn in distress. Oh! it’s limping; where are the parents? Can we go and have a look, Joe?”
“Of course! Come on let’s go.”
We quickly made our way towards the edge of the woods. The handsome speckled brown and white baby deer seemed totally unaware of our approach. In our haste to get to the casualty, I tripped and fell. I suffered no serious damage, just a few minor grazes.
The startled fawn looked up at this unusual noise and headed into the woods.
Megan and I without thinking followed the limping fawn along a tiny track through the dense woods. Startled woodpeckers and woodland jays flew high into the treetops as we approached.
The track led us to the banks of a wide river and we continued following the path along the banks of the river. The riverbanks were marshy at the edges covered in large yellow flowers. Moorhens and ducks were swimming among the reed beds, ducking their heads beneath the clear water to feed.
Suddenly I realised we were in a fix as we didn’t know these woods at all.
Megan suddenly said. “Joe are we lost? I have never been here before: Do you know where we are?”
“Not exactly Megan, I think if we continue to follow this track along the riverbank we may come across a cottage. We might even meet one of the locals.”
We came across a separate pool alongside the riverbank full of the most beautiful, pink and white water lilies.
“Those coots are having a feast on the small creatures in that impressive little pool,” I remarked.
We continued along the riverside path and before long a wooden bridge on stilts loomed up in front of us.
“Joe, perhaps if we cross the river over that bridge we may find an easier path.”
We breathed a sigh of relief when a canvas structure came into view.
“That looks like a fisherman’s shelter Megan; I hope there is someone inside who can guide us on our way.”
“Hallo! Is anyone in there?” I called loudly.
I opened the flap to the front of the tent to discover a wizened elderly man holding a fishing rod over the water. A rather strange looking elderly man wearing a floppy elfin hat dressed in multicoloured clothes looked up as I opened the flap.
“What do you want? What are you strangers doing in these woods? This is private property.”
“Sorry!” I said, “We were following an injured fawn, and we got lost. We just want to go home now. If you can show us the way back we would be happy to leave your private woods at once.”
The old man just nodded and said, “Which way did you come?”
I gestured to the path along the river.
“We wondered if we crossed that bridge we would come across a direct path back the way we came,” I said.
The strange old man jumped at this. “No! Whatever you do, don’t go over the magical bridge. That is the dividing line, Mad Molly lives in a shack on the other side. You will never be the same again if you come into contact with her. I will personally escort you to the edge of the woods. We will return the way you came on this side of the river. I’m Archie by the way, If we take the shortcut you will be home in no time.”
Archie escorted us to the edge of the woods and waved goodbye. We made our way along the familiar country lanes towards home.
We soon arrived at a pretty little pub set in a well-kept garden full of fruit trees and flowers, with inviting looking tables and chairs.
“Let’s stop here for a drink;” I said.
“Yes please;” answered Megan.
I entered the comfortable bar to order the drinks and as the landlord was pouring them I related our adventures in the woods. Our contact with Archie and the magical bridge and his timely warning about mad Molly.
This resulted in roars of gleeful laughter from the landlord and the patrons in the bar.
“Sorry!” Said the landlord. But you wandered onto the estate of Lord Archibald and Lady Arabella Fortescue-Jones. Lord Archie always referred to his mother-in-law as mad Molly.
Lady Arabella frowned on this and the bridge is the result. To cross the bridge is to enter a world where hunting shooting and fishing is banned. Lord Archie is not allowed to cross the magical bridge and Lady Arabella never visits his side either.”
We finished our drinks and made our way home. We have a wonderful after dinner story to dine out on for the next few years.
Copyright © Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved.