Faithful Old Ginger had stood on the gate to catch my attention, Gizmo lying at his feet until he did so. Since My 'The Her' was asking My 'The Him' why he couldn't stop the caterwauling he finally did and I was able to hear Ginger. Why My 'The Him' tries singing I don't know since everyone says the arrow of tunefulness missed it's mark by a mile when aimed at him.
I went out through the open clearway. The skywater had stopped and the light was just warming everything up. As I approached the gate Ginger jumped down on the other side next to Gizmo who now stirred himself and in an excited mew told me to hurry up and see what they'd found. Temporarily firgetting that I don't hurry for anyone, I jumped up onto the gate and over to join my friends. "So what have you found"? I asked.
"A big hole" Gizmo replied. "A well" said Ginger, "and we've not seen this one before".
I followed my friends through the village, letting them set a brisk pace so no-one else got there before us. Not that it really mattered to me if they did since wells aren't something I especially claim an interest in. We reached the Church and all in turn jumped over the stile and headed for the path. Ginger and Gizmo walked on the grass beside the path on either side of me who sauntered gently along it. At least I did at first because you will remember the Church path is very steep and it had been collecting a lot of skywater . Though most of it had run away along the sides , some had remained in the soil. My feet were becoming quite muddy and I was starting to slip and slide.
Eventually we reached a point where the slip and slide couldn't be stopped and my body picked up speed. "Hey, wait for us" called Ginger rushing along beside me.
"Sorry Ginger, I'm just so interested in seeing your well" I said rather than admit I had no choice since even putting my front paws down hadn't slowed me. On I went gathering speed and leaving my companions behind until my forward motion was checked suddenly and my feet felt nothing. I was just congratulating myself when my motion took a different turn, downwards. Judging by the bricks I could see before me I guessed I had now found the well.
The journey downwards took a long time it seemed and when the landing finally came, fortunately for me in water, the light seemed a long way away. I heard Gizmo call "Are you alright Oscar?" to which I replied as nonchalantly as possible, having just lost at least one more of my nine lives "Yes, thanks Gizmo. Just wanted to see if there's anything interesting down here. There isn't so you can help me out as soon as you like."
There was a lot of muttering from above until Ginger finally leaned over and said " We have no way of helping Oscar. Gizmo will have to go and find a Longlegs to help." I told him "Not one of my Longlegs please" but Gizmo had already gone.
Time passed with Ginger asking me what I could see down there until I finally convinced him that he had the light up there and down here it was still dark time. Soon enough I heard voices.
"Sorry Vicar" said one I recognised as My 'The Him' this damned cat seemed to be wanting me to follow so I did. I was just going to show Mellor's where to plant my rhubarb too."
"Interesting "said the Vicar, "I thought he'd be the one to know the right spot since I gather he did a lot of planting with Lady C."
Hello, I thought, I'm down here waiting..........
The Vicar stuck his head over the edge of the well. "My word, there's a cat stuck down the My Lord, and I think it's yours."
Joining the Vicar in blocking out what little light there was came My 'The Him' and stating the obvious said "Yes, that's Oscar, in trouble again I see."
The heads disappeared for a moment then I heard the Vicar call out to his verger "Hoskins, be a good chap and bring me a rope and a bucket." then turning to My 'The Him' said "They only found this well yesterday, I think it dates from before the civil war and I wanted to see if there were any marking on the wall to date it. Maybe it could be brought back into service, even as a wishing well for the children."
"Interesting Vicar " said My 'The Him' "but I don't think it's that old since there were no buildings here then. I'd say Victorian."
I let out a mew to remind then I was there and they shut up. Just at that moment Hoskins returned with the rope and bucket. In short order they had the bucket on it's way down to me and I was able to stop pedalling water long enough to climb in. In less than a minute I was back on dry land and able to say thank you to my saviour. "Well done Gizmo" I said "I'm very grateful. I entwined myself round the ankles of the Vicar and of My 'The Him' as a small thank you for the part they'd played but My 'The Him' jumped back saying "Oh no Oscar. You're not sending me down there.Back away."
I did so reluctantly.
Later on, back at home safely I cringed when My 'The Her' saw me and started singing, "Ding, Dong, Dell, pussy's in the well."
I tried to tell 'The Him' that he was right as coming up in the bucket I'd seen scrawled on one brick in the well, Joe Bloggs woz ere 1839, but as usual he didn't understand me.