Adventure Characters – Ollie, Eddie , Old Judas Hugglebottom
Eddie and Ollie’s Surprise Encounter
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Adventure was always uppermost in EDDIE and OLLIE’S mind. The boys were hopping through the woody copse with much anticipation a slight breeze cooling their faces. Oh! oh! to have returned home having broken up from boarding school looking forward to the wonderful balmy summer days ahead. What joy!
They were on their way back to look for OLD JUDAS HUGGLEBOTTOM who had a clay hut midst a tiny area of clearway. An adventure was about to start. Despite a golden day of summer, they sniffed out the faint aroma of burning wood. The boys were excited with the prospect of nearing his little paradise. It was their very own kept secret.
They had discovered that Old Judas was one with nature. He hated the hustle and bustle of normal routine. He’d lived in his little clay hut for the best part of his later life. No-one to harass him, no-one to bug him, just to be “at one” with the wondrous sides of nature. Old Judas hadn’t been one to make his presence known. However, when Ollie had slipped and fell there was an inner perception, he’d hurt his ankle.
Old Judas on hearing a squeal ventured out into the trees to investigate.
The two boys had been surprised to see a stooping old but seemingly gentle man hobble towards them. He was dressed in a faded red jumper that had seen better days. Hanging from his waist were once upon a time, a good pair of blue dungarees, but now ragged and worn. Gnarled hands and leathery skin painted the picture of a complete outdoor life of a recluse, keeping well away from other humanity, not bothering a soul, and keeping himself protected and out of harm’s way.
The old man’s unshaven face sported a red tinged beard just at a length whereby it could be cut straight across. It was kept at about two nose lengths beneath his chin. Unevenly cut reddish upper lip hair completed the picture. A worn scarf of many colours was wound around his neck. A lopsided torn trilby hat was perched on top of his shoulder length, hacked, red greying hair. But…peering out from this aged craggy unshaven face were the most beautiful shining deep violet eyes. What adventure they were about to have they just wouldn’t have believed.
Old Judas, feeling that Eddie and Ollie were in a ponderous state and wondering what to do next, introduced himself. Old Judas Hugglebottom tried to calm them. He noticed Ollie’s slightly swollen ankle. He removed his worn scarf from around his neck and carefully bound Ollie ’s ankle to give support. This good Samaritan had come to the rescue, and with the help of Eddie he managed to escort a hobbling Ollie through the woodland trees and into a very small previously unseen clearing. There was an astonishing clay cabin before them. A tiny wisp of smoke could be seen rising from the other side.
Old Judas and Eddie sat Ollie inside this mysterious unexpected hideaway. The old man suggested Ollie should sit quietly for a few moments until his ankle felt a little less sore. Then he would be ready to limp his way through the trees, across the lane and back home. The boys looked around the amazing hideaway. Eyes widening as they took in this tiny space. They couldn’t believe the surprise encounter amongst this peaceful woodland.
Old grubby blankets were thrown into corners; a few pots and pans were scattered on top of a makeshift unsafe looking wooden shelf. There was a dilapidated large rusty bucket stood full of rain water acting as a water butt, and there was no mistaking the patch of yellowing grass with an old threadbare tartan rug strewn nearby, was the place Old Judas slept.
Eddie and Ollie were alerted to the crackling and spitting of a tiny fire outside, despite the warm spring day. They peered through an opening and they could see a blackened kettle which was suspended from a long tree branch. This was supported at either end by two upright pieces of wood staked into the ground. Each had notches untidily hacked at the top. Nearby were a few tin mugs of various sizes which Old Judas used probably to make his tea… of sorts.
Whilst absorbing their surroundings, Old Judas was busy unbinding Ollie’s ankle. He dipped the scarf into the water bucket, and then reapplied it, expertly binding it up once again. Both boys felt a sense of utter calm. Such tranquillity was found in this old man’s presence. Eddie and Ollie had decided this was going to be their secret and that no-else would be a part of. The voice of Old Judas had a gentleness in a gruff kind of way, and as they began talking more it became obvious that this old man was great at storytelling.
It was intriguing to hear about his antics in his magical woodland, surviving from day to day. He seemed a contented soul on the surface. What an adventure this was turning out to be. His “lot” was his enchanting refuge, his castle, not expecting anything else that life could have offered. He lived in secret and remained elusive. Not a single soul would the boys tell. It was going to be a treasured meeting only for them. Judas had magical persona that cast over them like a spell, and even the bird society didn’t want to miss anything that Old Judas had to say! What an adventure they were having, the boys couldn’t wait until next school term finished.
After what must have been an hour, but felt only like a few minutes, the boys clamoured for more storytelling. They were totally absorbed but… the one that held them most spellbound was hearing about the… Shamoshelimyticleletite.
“The Shamoshelimyticleletite was a…” but Old Judas suddenly stopped.
In his wisdom he thought that Ollie’s ankle could now bare the weight of the growing boy’s body and would see him slowly back home with Eddie’s help. Home they must go. He and his storytelling would always be there for them to hear more about the wondrous mammoth, but…it would have to be another time.
Eddie reluctantly helped Ollie up from a small grassy mound. Feeling robbed of more storytelling with his great tales, they very hesitantly bade Old Judas farewell and thanked him for his kindness. The old man watched as Ollie hobbled away into the woodland with Eddie to help him. They were on their way home and would be going back to boarding school in a few days. When they returned for their next holidays during the summer months, they would revisit, and somehow… Judas was certain of that.
© agj16 revised 2018. All rights reserved
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