A view backstage at Beverley Minster

Festive frolics and a fabulous fictional fable

Neil Pickford comes over all whimsical
Once upon a time there was a little ball of fluff that floated round in the wind and its name was Pimple. It used to be blown here and there, not knowing where it was or where it wanted to be, and just listening and watching when it came anywhere near the hard stuff below it.
Pimple was an explorer, without a plan or a care in the world and it loved always finding somewhere new. The favourite day in its whole life was when there was a sudden: “Whoosh” and Pimple found it was stuck firmly on the nose of what it later learned was called a reindeer. The reindeer, and all its friends, were in a hurry because they had to pull a huge sleigh full of boxes all around the whole world in less than 24 hours and they travelled to everywhere, (literally ‘flat out ‘ in Pimple’s case) until the task was over.
Pimple had been floating around without a worry for many, many months after this chance meeting but it had fallen into some stronger winds lately and was getting bashed and biffed about. Normally Pimple didn’t try to fight the furies but it was getting cross with the wind always yelling and shrieking and decided it wanted a rest.
As Pimple was bounced from here to there and everywhere it saw a huge, cross-shaped building and felt that this might be a nice place to have a holiday. It was very pretty and full of the sort of good feelings that Pimple liked feeling. So, as the wind sucked and puffed brainlessly Pimple took the chance to slip and float down towards this lovely building. As it got closer Pimple realised it had never felt so much happiness in one place in its whole life. So it let a gust of wind blew it through some huge wooden doors and down again to a flat yellow-grey surface which, as Pimple got closer, looked more and more like the ….
Pimple was a bit frightened and bothered when it finally touched down so it lay there, flicking slightly as it took stock, but all the time the nice feelings grew stronger and stronger. Everyone was looking at lots of green tree-things which puzzled Pimple – they were supposed to be outside, not indoors. Still, as everyone seemed so happy Pimple wasn’t going to spoil things by complaining (a nasty habit it’d picked up by absorbing the feelings of humans). Gently, small bits of the green things were falling from the trees and landing on top of Pimple, but they were light and Pimple was happy to be covered by them – hidden from view.
Pimple couldn’t count, so it didn’t know that many thousands of feet were walking past the little spot it had found to hide in. All it could tell was that people were happy, interested, surprised and satisfied – all day long. Dimly it registered that, when almost everyone had finally gone there were a few humans somewhere in the background, moving things around, but they weren’t as important or interesting as the masses of happy people, so Pimple dozed.
Later on many more feet passed Pimple and then there was a lot of noise. This noise also seemed to make the humans on top of the feet very happy so Pimple was happy as well. Pimple was so excited that, afterwards, it didn’t pay any attention to the few humans in the background moving things around because they weren’t as important or interesting as the masses of happy people.
After a while Pimple woke up to find all the feet had gone and the big green trees were being moved. There was no wind around to blow Pimple on to its next adventure so it tried to hide when it saw a big noisy tube coming that sucked up all the green bits around. With a shudder it felt the last of its camouflage being dragged away and realised that the big sucker was going to suck up Pimple too.
If Pimple could feel angry or frightened then it would have felt like that now – but Pimple couldn’t. All it could feel was the calm, ordered mind of the tube-holding human as it steadily worked through its big task of making the ground un-green and clean again. But that wasn’t important.
Luckily Pimple was expert at riding the draughts and, as the sucking sensation flicked Pimple around it managed to sneak round a corner and find some peace and quiet underneath a big table.
Every now and then more groups of feet would come to the table and say strange things about a railway, then go away happily so Pimple enjoyed that. When the feet all went away and just a few humans were left, moving things around, Pimple dozed because they weren’t very interesting (although surprisingly content, as it happens).
At some time over the next blur of days Pimple heard the sharp: “WHOOSH” noise that reminded it of the team of reindeer and their load of boxes. Pimple wondered why everything had to be done in such a rush – why didn’t the reindeer do just a bit of the work every day instead of all in a tearing hurry. But that was another mystery and Pimple didn’t enjoy mysteries, just experiences.
Not long after the whooshing reindeers had gone by the big building was quiet again for a long time with just a few humans wandering around and moving things – but they weren’t interesting or important. So Pimple decided it was time to move on again.
What adventures will Pimple have in 2012, dear readers? Tune in next week at the same Bat-column, same Bat-newspaper and see if our hero has escaped. ‘Til then, Merry Christmas.
Now please excuse me while John and I move a few things around.

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