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    by TasiJohn at 03:51 on 18 December 2015
    Horses were always important members of the farming family, no more so than during the Second World War. Tractors were far from commonplace and, although farming was an essential occupation, the fuel that was supposed to be available wasn’t always. Fuel for horses, on the other hand, was generally readily available.
    One problem with horses is that, at some time or other, many will come down with a dose of colic. In horses, colic can take many forms. The term may be applied at times to other abdominal problems but, in the main, farmers get it pretty right.
    I can’t tell you the real name of the neighbouring farmer who was the main character (or, perhaps, secondary) in my little tale, any more than I can identify the horse. Even though both long dead, I would hate to cause embarrassment to the memory of either.
    Old Jack (as I shall call him) told my grandfather he came out one morning to harness up Jupiter, the draught horse, only to find him in a fair bit of discomfort. Poor chap was standing there with a distended stomach. Jack recognised it as a dose of spasmodic colic. The local vet was overworked and probably wouldn’t be able to get there, so old Jack had to do what had to be done in an effort to get the horse well. That was important for them both.

    Grandfather asked how he went about it and Jack explained the procedure in detail. Thankfully, with Jupiter still on his feet, it was easy for the treatment to be administered.
    An inveterate pipe smoker, Jack filled the bowl of his pipe with tobacco, lit up and got it burning to a bright cherry glow. When satisfied it was stoked up as well as possible, he lifted Jupiter’s tail and… ahem… inserted the pipe’s mouthpiece.
    Grandfather was surprised, to say the least, but Jack explained that the big horse, shocked at the intrusion, sucked inwards –just give that a moment’s thought if you will! – and got a good gutful of smoke. In a few moments, he blasted it back out, thus relieving the colic. Ten minutes or so later, Jupiter was ready for work.
    Grandfather grinned and asked, “What about the pipe, old friend? You didn’t put that back in your mouth, surely?”
    Jack, dead serious, replied, “Nah, mate, wiped it on me sleeve a couple of times first. Can’t be too careful now, can you…?”


    Pity about the obnoxious capitals. My apologies. I had no idea clumsy old fingers had keyed Caps Lock until I'd submitted the piece. It won't happen again.blush
    by Freebird at 10:55 on 18 December 2015
    Hi there. TasiJohn (another Taz on here!),

    this looks very interesting but to get proper fedback, you need to post it in one of the writing groups. Have a look around and see which one you think would be most suitable, then go to 'My Writewords' and upload your work from there - if you have any problems, come back here and shout for help, and one of us will assist!

    welcome to WW, by the way!
    by Freebird at 10:56 on 18 December 2015
    P.S i couldn't resist reading it and it did make me smile, in the same vein as James Herriot!!
    by TasiJohn at 11:37 on 18 December 2015
    Thank you, Freebird. Your welcome is welcomed! Yes, I will learn to navigate my way around WW as I go, hopefully without too many errors. I look forward to an entertaining involvement.
    Cheers, John
    by Bazz at 12:46 on 19 December 2015
    Hi John, welcome to the site. The short story group's had a lot of activity lately, you'd be welcome to join there if you'd like. The site can be a little confusing at first, but take your time, feel free to ask if you need any help with anything :)
    by TasiJohn at 21:47 on 19 December 2015
    I am certain it will prove itself a great site. I'm finding it both friendly and helpful already, Bazz, thanks to you and Tassie Devil and Freebird. And that's in just the first couple of days! Cheers, mate.
    by Freebird at 10:47 on 21 December 2015
    if you want writerly support and banter while you're working on something, Fast First Draft is a god group to join. It's not a place to upload your work for comment, but rather to just cheer each other on and encourage you in whatever you're working on (or stuck on!)
    by TasiJohn at 11:36 on 21 December 2015
    Your help and that of the two fellows is greatly appreciated thanks, Freebird. Every little bit of help is a step further forward. I'll probably make mistakes - and not simply to prove I'm human! - but not through lack of support from you.
    I hope you have a lovely Christmas.
    by Jennifer1976 at 05:53 on 22 December 2015
    Welcome TasiJohn. Hope you enjoy your time here. You'd be very welcome in Intensive Critique, if you fancied joining us.

    All the best,

    by TasiJohn at 06:52 on 22 December 2015
    Thanks, Jenny. I can feel the welcome mat under my feet! Despite just placing a single piece for starters in the personal introduction forum, the helpful responses have already been a great start on entering a new site.
    Yes, I would like to get some critical feedback. A decade ago, in the early stages of caring for an ailing wife, I started a novel. It had to be set aside but I'm feeling able to continue and am just now getting under way on a rewrite. Critique is good for the writing soul (I doubt The Bard coined that expression!) and I look forward to hearing people's thoughts.
    Again, Jenny, my thanks. Have a lovely Christmas.