He hobbled along the edge of the winding country road, his single stick waving viciously at the passing cars. A hunched dull grey figure wrapped against the nippy March breeze he dodged the oncoming traffic with the ease of an old court jester capering for his master. Tramp or traveller? Difficult to say from where I sat in the drivers seat, but as I approached I was aware of what appeared to be a square of paper hung around his scrawny neck. Had a piece of his well tucked in newspaper escaped from his ruined ancient jacket leaving him short of a much needed layer of insulation? It could be a cold night for him tonight if that was the case. Maybe it was a sign – “50p for a cuppa, mate?”. or possibly “Bugger off and leave me alone!”. Who knows? I had no intentions of stopping to find out.
There was, however, an unsettling feeling of familiarity as I drove past, eyes averted for fear of making contact with this strange creature of the roads. It would be the sad, silent, pleading for food, or possibly a lift, that would prove difficult to deal with. Overcome with guilt I relented and glanced in my rearview mirror but all I could see was the back of the shuffling grey figure, still heading in the opposite direction. Odd though…there was definitely something about that old tramp?
Less than a minute later The Fatdog and I pulled into our intended parking spot at Amulree. It was only a couple of days after our wee excursion up Monamenach with Mr.P. I wondered how he was getting on. Probably off back to Derby by now. Shame, he would have liked the walk I had planned for today. Mind you, he would be more likely to have wanted to tackle those two Grahams further back….along…the…road?
I glanced back along the road…but the old tramp had gone.