There was a time – of course – when Grand-Uncle Stagnant was the pride of Little Frigging. It was a time long ago now. It was a time lost in the mists of Grand-Uncle Stagnant’s memory. Unfortunately, it is a memory, which over the years has become something of a hit-and-miss affair. Especially when trying to recall the affairs of his youth.
These days he sometimes even has trouble remembering the names of whichever brace of dairymaids have volunteered to get him up in the mornings. Although, as Grand-Uncle Stagnant often points out, he – even at his rather advanced age – still has no trouble getting up in the morning. It is a feat which – no doubt – accounts for the alacrity with which the dairymaids volunteer to assist him in the mornings. All of them know that he will give them something well-worth remembering. Especially over the next few days as they stumble out to bring in the cows for their early morning milking.
In days gone by, many a man would be more than grateful for the deft fingerings of the dairymaids as they helped him arise first thing in the mornings. A dairymaid experienced in hand-milking a herd of cows can soon, with a few deft manoeuvrings of her digits, get a man to rise to the peak of his ability. No matter how well-refreshed he was the previous evening.
It is this early morning manipulation of his aged extremities by the dairymaids that Grand-Uncle Stagnant insists is responsible for his sprightliness, even at his advanced age. Unfortunately, no-one knows Grand-Uncle Stagnant’s exact age. It is a number that has defeated the mathematical abilities of some of the greatest computational devices in the modern world to calculate, at least using normal mathematical procedures.
Those of us too who have felt the welcoming hands of the dairymaids upon us in our hour of need would – I’m sure – be more than willing to attest to their remarkable reinvigorating powers. We all hope they continue to pass down the secrets of their calling to future generations of dairymaids. Even though in these days of mechanical milking machines, their abilities are no longer needed for their original purposes – or – in more specialised costal milking sheds – their original porpoises.