27 November 2004

The Bog Thief

The village of Great Mingus, situated close to the Grunting river, had a very special toilet. It wasn't simply a hole in the ground, nor was it a little shed with running water. The hallowed lavatory was a spectacular wooden tower that rose high into the sky. The building's stench carried for miles, but it was an honour to live in its ponky path.

Since the founding of the village, every inhabitant had used this toilet. As such it was considered a sacred place where people could mingle with the voices of the past. Kings, queens, grandparents, pets; if you could name them then you knew they'd been there.

One night however, right underneath the village's nose, the much worshipped toilet was stolen. It had been cleanly plucked from the ground, and all that was left was an immense, empty pit. Where had it gone? What foul thing had stolen thousands of years of foulness?

The villagers were up in arms and crossed in legs. But something had to be done. Snout McMurdoch had the answer. His nose was the most sensitive in the land, and he knew he could follow the smell trail until it revealed the thief.

And so he set off on his journey. Over mountains and across oceans, he followed the wafting ponk until he finally came upon the toilet.

Snout McMurdoch was distraught at the sight. The once towering lavatory was smashed into millions of pieces and spread over a huge field. And there, stood raking the mess was a huge beast. It had dense brown fur, and on its wrinkled bear-like head, huge ears and eyes shone forth. It's massive bulging arms rippled with muscles as it ploughed the land.

'What have you done?' said Snout. 'You've demolished our past and
stolen the most wonderful relic of our village!'

'You didn't need it!' it growled. 'Such wonderful muck shall grow my crops to untold heights. I admit, I maybe should have asked, but what were you going to use it for?'

Snout thought hard about this. After all, the toilet wasn't the only place where all the village's population had been: there was the village itself. That was the best memorial of all.

But what would the villagers say if he came home empty handed? He tried to reach a compromise with the beast.

'Maybe if you helped us build a new lavatory that we could all enjoy together, things would be alright?'

The beast thought hard about this and then arrived at an even better solution.

'I'll help you build your toilet, and I'll even bring you gigantic vegetables when they grow. But in return you must let me use your waste as fertiliser each year,' it said.

Snout agreed, and when he returned to Great Mingus, the whole village agreed too. It turned into a wonderful partnership, and the village never went without vegetables ever again.