Thursday, September 9, 2010

The Great Fire Of Little Frigging


One of the most significant moments in the history of Little Frigging in the Wold, is – of course – The Great Fire of Little Frigging. Even today, some 350 years or so after the event it is still much debated when the denizens of the village are gathered together in The Pervert’s Appendage, and we have run out of more interesting things to talk about.

Of course, it helps that the eyes of one casting about the snug of The Pervert’s Appendage for a conversational gambit cannot help, if their eyes are still able to focus correctly at that point in the evening’s libations, to notice the display case on the far wall. There, proudly displayed is the actual 17th century beer mat that is the sole surviving artefact of that conflagration still known as the Great Fire of Little Frigging.

The story of that never to be forgotten evening, began just as the evening’s dusk was starting to spread and the hairstylist herders were calling in at the village inn in order to slake their thirsts before heading homeward. As you should already know hairstylist farming was still in its infancy in those days, and so there was often a great deal of discussion between the various herdsmen and breeders about how best to look after these – at the time – poorly-understood creatures. Such was the amount of discussion that took place at the Inn that several of the herdsmen usually had to be carried home by their fellows when the Inn inevitably ran out of beer that evening.

Apparently, one of the herders still almost able to stand after one of these discussion, thought that a midnight snack would be a good idea, so he set about cooking whatever he could find in the cupboard – all in the same frying pan. However, such was his sheer exhaustion from the intense debating earlier that evening, he soon fell asleep and one of the socks he had – in his ‘exhausted’ state mistaken for a rasher of bacon fell from the pan onto the rush matting.

In a matter of moments the whole village was aflame with women, children and some of the more comely ewes fleeing hither and yon from the cottages in panic. Fortunately, though, several of the herders were still awake and – according to the Little Frigging Chronicle of the time – were ‘still replete with the significant amounts of ale they had supped that evening. So forming themselves into a row, lifting their smocks and pulling down their breeches’ they extinguished the fire in record time.

Afterwards, the village council did think about asking the renowned architect Steve Burps to redesign and rebuild the entire village, especially the vital pub. But – in the end – no-one could be arsed to bother.

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