4. May, 2014

The squatters

In the garden of our home for waifs and strays, was a small old shed that had seen better days.

      It’s been there a long time and had served its purpose, I told my kind and unassuming husband, who says that everything must have a purpose in order to thrive, and in many ways, this is true. But this particular day, he told me that the shed had lacked attention and could be restored with a bit of work and some imagination. That’s easy, I thought. Whilst he is the clever one, I had oozes of imagination.

     As I thought about the wee shed, I remembered my father once saying that although he had retired, he still needed a purpose to get up every day. He had worked hard all of his life and wasn’t prepared to sit in a room and wait for his last breath to come. So he took up oil painting.

     As many of you know, at least, those that have read my stories, my father was an eccentric and clever man. He was certainly not your average dad. He loved animals over humans and I can quite often see why. I remember the time he bought me a pony, a wild little thing that was restless in the stable built especially for him. My father slept with that pony every night, until it settled down. Well that’s the type of man my dad was.

      So, my father had a purpose and I noticed the change in him. His eyes sparkled when he showed me his work and he spoke with a newly discovered enthusiasm. Thinking of this purpose in life brought me back to the shed. What purpose did it need? It was far too small for a tool shed. Too small to store anything in, like animal feed or firewood. So I went to have a closer look.

      My kind and unassuming husband had already repaired the roof and replaced some wood here and there. I often wonder if he is related to Mary Poppins!

        It didn’t take long to empty the shed and discover that Jake and Jako had become squatters. I could also see that a hedgehog or two had slept there all winter. And there were abandoned cobwebs where life once thrived. How could I possibly take this away from them? So now I too, had a purpose...to convince my kind and unassuming husband to let me turn it into another home for waifs and strays. As predicted, he agreed.

        I found an old tin of purple paint and set to work.  Yes, I could have used it for many things, but what better purpose was there, than another home for Jako, Jake and all the other waifs and strays?      

And to Jake and Jako and all the other guests...please clean up after you!