Sunday, 8 April 2012

Sketch - Agricolaphobia

Here is my third sketch, it is also the longest one at 828 words. It was originally called Farmerphobia but I realised after I have handed it in that it would have been more clever to do it Latin, hence Agricolaphobia.

This is actually a relatively true story as my friends and I did have dens up by Jo's house. We loved playing in them and many things happened to us while we were up there. One time, we buried a dead mouse and then a few weeks later wanted to look at its skeleton. So, we dug it up only to find piles of maggots. That was not fun. Another time we were climbing in the trees. Well, I wasn't. I hated climbing trees as I thought I would break all the branches. However, Jo and Izzy loved it. Jo was practically at the top of the tallest tree when she fell. It must have been about 30 feet but she only got a scratch on her forehead. It was an impressive feat.

Here's a photo of me and Izzy sitting on the hay bales in the field. We are older in this picture, this was taken when we were about 13. In the sketch we were around 9 years old. 


As a child, Izzy, Jo, and I had a den in the hedges surrounding a field next to Jo’s house. We played in it every day after school, and soon we had made more dens further up the hedges. However, there was one very important rule about these dens. Don’t get caught by the farmer.

Older kids had told us that the farmer had a huge gun and was deadly accurate, and wasn’t afraid to shoot trespassing children on sight. These kids told us that there was a boy that had gone into the farmer’s fields. He’d done it as a dare. Many people had heard the gun shots that day and the boy’s body was never found. We were terrified of these stories but that never stopped us, we thought we were smarter than the farmer.

One day we were messing around right at the top the field. From there you could see the whole of Ivybridge and I loved pointing out my house. This day was particularly pleasant as it was the height of summer; the sky was a cloudless expanse of blue, the recently cut grass was dry and springy, and the sun was comforting on our bare arms and legs. This glorious heat also warmed the drying cowpats; their stench gathered in your nose and settled in the back of your throat. Oversized flies buzzed happily around the dung, their shiny blue bodies flashing in the afternoon sun.

The heat had made us all lazy and we flopped onto the ground, careful to avoid the dollops of cowpat. We shaded our faces with our arms and chatted absently; the sounds of the field lulling us into a doze. The hum of passing bugs, the chirruping of birds from the bushes, and the occasional rustle of wind through the blooming trees. Then, a low grind rumbled in the ground, disturbing us from our day dreaming. My friends and I stared at each other.

‘Farmer!’ we shrieked.

The clanking of metal and the engine’s whine was only a hedgerow away. We leapt to our feet and legged it down the field. I was always the slowest of my friends and was never usually able to keep up; but that day I sped in front of them, terror leaping up my throat. The grind of the tractor was growing louder. With each beat of my racing heart my panic grew. I wished I hadn’t worn such brightly coloured clothing that day; the farmer would be able to see me from miles away.

I made it to the den first, just as the tractor roared into the field. I collapsed onto my hands and knees, and struggled through the gap in the hedgerow. Nettles attacked my arms, twigs scratched at my hair, and thorns bit my legs. I crawled as quickly as I could, but this still wasn’t fast enough for my friends. I could feel their frantic hands pushing me from behind. In my panic I accidentally scraped against the barbed wire that ran through the surrounding hedgerows. It cut into my back, tearing through fabric and skin. I chocked back a scream and fell into the depths of the den, with Izzy and Jo barrelling in after me.

We lay in a bundle, barely breathing, as the monstrous tractor trundled by. Through the branches I could see the farmer; his dark eyes scoured the area intently. I shrunk down into the leafy undergrowth, trying to hide my bright pink t-shirt from his piercing eyes. Silence fell as the tractor left the field. We all let out sighs of relief.

We had survived one more day. 


Two weeks after this terrifying adventure, the farmer came back. We hid deep in our den once more, hardly daring to breathe. I peered through the branches and was shocked to see Jo’s mum walking out to the farmer. I pinched my friends and motioned towards the adults. We all gasped as Jo’s mum turned and pointed directly at us. Busted. The farmer stepped out of his tractor and we shuddered. My heart faltered as he stomped towards us. His hands plunged into the hedgerow, pulling branches apart. Izzy grabbed hold of my arm, squeezing the feeling from it. I wanted to escape, but there was nowhere for me to run to. I stared in horror as the farmer’s head, shoulders, and torso invaded our den.

He didn’t have soulless eyes, pointed teeth, or blood soaked overalls. In fact, he looked like an ordinary man. He smiled at our terrified faces.

‘I hear you like playing in the field, that’s fine as long as you don’t spook the cows,’ he said in a thick Devonshire accent.

My friends and I nodded, too scared to speak. The farmer smiled and gave us a cheerful wink before leaving the den. Once he had driven off and Jo’s mum had gone back inside I finally spoke.

‘Well, what do we do now?’

No comments:

Post a Comment