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Brother Barry's tale

My brother is nearly eight years older than me.
A child of the thirties – an era nearly washed away
By that war, nearly over when I first made
My appearance one almost spring day.
He knows things I don't of folk we hold dear
Little stories and tales that I want to hear.

Granddad Barker was a stallion man taking the horse to serve
The mares at the scattered farms around, always walking there.
Granny Barker served the tea each night as she heard the clip clop
Of the hooves down the road and past the old village shop
So that by the time the horse was fed, granddad's food was on his plate
After a long day's walk his hunger didn't care to wait.
This night was no different at the start Barry told me
Except no granddad appeared for his ready tea
Just the clop of hooves
Then a thumping noise
More angry hooves
And thumping noise
And brother Barry sent out to see
Why Granddad Barker was late for tea.
It must have been good strong ale that particular day
To start my granddad off tipsy on his homeward way.
There he was fast a sleep, arm thrust through the horse's girth,
Which having guided him back was trying for all its worth
To get its food, it's final pay
For its service that long day.
He didn't know any more Barry said
He was swiftly sent off to bed
And in those days of strong silent women and men
Neither Granny nor Granddad ever spoke of it again

By the time I became aware
Most of that world was no longer there.
A Fordson Major tractor may plough a straight course
But could it guide you home like granddad's horse?

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Brother Barry`s tale