Friday, 11 October 2013

The Long Man on the Hill

Again she watched the dog fox cross the ploughed field below the chalk figure, heading for the vicarage garden.  He stopped, one front paw raised, to watch a rook digging in the furrows.  Then (did he shrug?) he went on his way.  The fox lives at the vicarage.  And the Long Man on the hill.  She sipped her coffee.  That wasn't a man's walk.  The angle of the leg to the hip: that was a woman.  Walking away over the hill.  Where to?  And why?  And for how long had she been on the hill?  Had she been there, like Rupert's observatory, over five thousand years?  Like a henge monument?  Like Stone Henge, maybe?  What was she marking?  A direction perhaps.  South?  Again, why?  Surely, if these people studied the orbits of the stars and were capable of creating this figure on the curve of the Down, they must have been able to write?  But if so, on what?  Not on stone, or clay tablets, or they would still be with us.  So something less durable, less long lasting.  Like paper, perhaps....An advanced culture over a thousand years before the pyramids of Egypt.  How tempting was that then?

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