Without thinking, Staff Sergeant Reginald Crawley pulled himself closer to the goat. From his position, deep in the Belgian mud, the veteran of the Isosceles Campaign trained his hijacked Mauser 9mm pistol on the sharp end of the animal. He gently squeezed the trigger and the rampant creature dropped in a heap, like a dislodged mound of supermarket oranges.
As the cordite from his shot gradually dispersed, the six foot eight inch Welshman levered himself painfully to his feet, using the dead Billy Goat as a fulcrum. He reached into his jacket pocket for his hip flask and his packet of Chesterfields. Twelve swigs later, coughing loudly and cursing at a nearby otter, the relieved soldier zipped up his khaki trousers and steadied himself for the long trek home.
One could only hope for a glimmer of a chance to look into the tortured psyche of the once mentally stable S/Sgt Crawley. Every now and again smoke would leak out of his left ear and waft its way, almost apologetically, past his walrus moustache and up into his nostril.
(It doesn`t really matter which one at this stage.)
Earlier that day, Wing Commander Guy Farnsworth had spotted a wildly bucking white and brown-coloured goat, from an altitude of 13 500ft. The rather cocky young pilot had suggested that the Home Guard send out a team to investigate. They did. Crawley was the only survivor of that team.
Farnsworth had noted in his Pilot`s Logbook that the goat had appeared to be butting people from all walks of life and all colours and religions. Not, in his words, `a matter to be taken lightly. `
His pen had run out at that stage and so the rest of what he had written was indecipherable.
I have it on good authority though, that one of Wing Commander Guy Farnsworth`s legs was shorter than the other.
The call had come through to the Staff Sergeant at about 2.15pm on that quaint summer’s afternoon in rural Belgium. The blue gums were blueing and the weeping willows weeping as Crawley replaced the field telephone`s receiver and waddled off to the bathroom, in answer to his earlier foray into a Belgian curry.
After much farting and flushing of water, he left the bathroom and strode out in the direction of Timdon Woude (Woods), where the goat had been spotted. The orders he had received forbade him from divulging any details of the operation to anyone, that included his pet Squirrel, Simon, who he had nursed back to health after it had inadvertently eaten a small piece of meteorite that it had discovered amongst some mushrooms.
Amongst the motley crew of pensioners that made up the Home Guard squad that investigated the goat, was a veteran of the Spanish Uncivil War. 85 years of age, and very loud, Grandpa Gimple attempted to disarm the animal using a prawn pump that he`d borrowed from Sir Arthur Wickham – the famous British whale hunter.
The brown and white Billy Goat was, in fact, unarmed but did not like people and especially people who were fucking up Belgium. The goat put its head down and charged, in a sort of Central European style.
After the blood and dentures were tidied up and the forest clearing was tucked in to bed, Staff Sergeant Reginald Crawley gazed towards the setting sun. He sneezed lightly as a tendril of smoke slithered unerringly from out of his ear and up into his left nostril. Oh how he ached for home and a huge slice of fried porridge, which is considered a delicacy in Dryvnnllandudder, a tiny Greek village just north of Cardiff.
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