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September 2015, vol 11 no 3

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Susan King

Different Times

"KEY UNDER BUCKET" writ large in a wonky hand and attached to the back door with a tack. And a bucket upturned close by. An arrangement – only now thought odd – for the rare occasions when we were all out and someone else might need to get in.

The front door was kept secure. A sturdy oak affair with fine panelling and a brass knocker – as befitting a once grand farm – it was only ever opened to persons deemed of note like the doctor or the vicar.

But hardly ever was the back door locked, not even at night. And on fine warm days it was left wide open.

handy on the dresser
a shotgun always loaded
to blast at the crows