As my father always used to say. No good deed goes unpunished.
It is early evening, and I am sitting in the kitchen chairing a zoom meeting.
On the call are a dozen community councils, all discussing next year’s Platinum Jubilee. You may already know this, but in 2022, the Queen will have been on the throne for seventy years.
It is some milestone. Beacons will be lit, parties held, and trees planted. Anyhow, halfway through the gathering, there is a banging on the window.
Outside are several men. One is shining a torch, and he is talking with some urgency.
‘Help, we need help!’
By now the MacNaughties have leapt into action.
Wee Bennie the Norfolk is yapping. The lion-like Delilah the Chow is growling. Barra the elderly Cocker, meanwhile, snoozes on. Then, he is deaf.
As I am home alone, I am a little concerned. Who are these people and what do they want on a dark, wet night? I open the door on the chain and peer out. The two young dogs are going crazy in the background and my unasked visitors look nervous.
Yet it soon becomes clear what has happened. A delivery man has followed his sat nav past our house and onto a muddy track. The result is, he is stuck.
Stuck in the mud
His workmates have arrived in another vehicle to try to pull him out. But they have come with little more than a ball of string. Which is not going to take the strain of a stranded van.
I make my apologies on the zoom. I find the chief’s new orange tow rope, and venture out into the rain.
Where the light from a torch confirms that, yes, this person is well and truly stuck. Wheels spin. Tyres slip as he tries to manoeuvre the thing onto drier ground.
By now some are pushing whilst others are pulling. The tow rope is robust enough. But it is not long enough. So I go back to the house to fetch the next best thing.
Dog leads are sturdy things. They seem to please anyhow, and the tow is now long enough. Yet the van will still not shift.
With no phone signal, one person comes back to the house to phone his boss. Who calls the RAC. They then return to their base, leaving the unfortunate delivery man, so I go back in the house and return with two bacon butties and cup of coffee.
He will need the fuel. Two hours later and a rescue truck arrives. But it is not big enough to do the job, so another must be sent for.
At one in the morning, our despairing driver is finally delivered from his woes. He is pulled from the mud and can go home – and I can eventually get to bed.
I have done my good deed. And the doggies have enjoyed some mid-week excitement.
But in the cold light of day, I view the mess on the track. And realise that someone seems to have gone off with the dog leads…