I was walking along a favourite footpath on the Downs. I had come down the hillside, into a small clump of beech trees where I often stopped for a break. Ahead I saw what I thought was a small branch on the path. Then I realised it was a crutch. A crutch ? What an odd thing !! I stopped and looked around .
I called out several times, “Hello, is anyone here ?” No answer. The grass on the hillside was very short. I could see that there was no one there. I walked into the trees. There was no undergrowth and grass does not grow long under beech trees, so in a few minutes I assured myself that no one was lying there.
I sat down on my favourite fallen trunk. There were so many thoughts in my head. What had happened? Where was the owner? You don’t usually get people with crutches walking on uneven terrain such as the Downs. I didn’t feel like walking on straight-away, so I just sat and let my brain do some work. There weren’t any logical answers. So the illogical ones appeared.
Perhaps, like the crippled Lazarus in the Bible, he was cured suddenly. He threw away his crutch and walked on singing. Or perhaps his time had come and he was whisked away to heaven up a celestial ladder. But his mortal remains would still be left on earth, wouldn’t they?
Then it dawned on me. Somewhere nearby, perhaps in a camouflaged tent, there is someone with a film-camera transmitting me live to a TV show. Perhaps millions of people have seen someone walking past the crutch without even pausing . Perhaps a hidden microphone has picked up my, “What the fuck?” and are wondering what I will do next. So I pick up the crutch and continue my walk. When I get home I’ll take it to the police station.