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The Little Tailor of Yarpole

There are times when we all have moments thinking that the grass looks greener on the other side. We’re not happy with our lot, moan and yearn for a different life. Not fully appreciating that the life we are living is a good and fulfilling one. Until something happens that jolts us back to reality and reminds us. This was the case too for Henry known as The Little Tailor of Yarpole.

A Tailor’s Life

Being a tailor in a village was quite the thing in olden times. You were sought out by the gentry who expected you to keep them looking fashionable. By either creating something new or re-fashioning one of their existing garments. You had to be good though. Many a seamstress was lurking around the corner waiting to scoop up your work. So if you had particular skills like a talent for fine small stitching, you didn’t share your knowledge but kept it close to your chest.

A Sickly Child

Now Henry had started out life with the odds stacked against him. He was a sickly child and not given long to live. Given the circumstances his mother had decided that he would not endure the hard life of an agricultural labour/ So she taught him to sew instead. This however was kept under wraps from his father and others. Who would in those days not have approved of a man doing women’s tasks. His mother however was a smart lady, for she had a plan. She took him to the local tailor. With the skills her son had mastered so far, the old tailor knew that Henry would make him money. So he took him on as his apprentice.

Too Conversant with Women’s Under Garments

As with all apprenticeships Henry’s days were long. It was a lonely life too. He didn’t see any of his friends as they were out in the fields working. As for meeting a woman this was difficult too. A man who was intimately conversant with another woman’s under garments, as was Henry via his work, was given a wide berth.

There’s a Rebellion on the Horizon

As time passed Henry’s mother died and so did his master leaving Henry to inherit the business and home. He should had felt accomplished and proud but instead felt resentful. He had no friends, no wife or life outside of his work. In full rebellion mode he decided that he was not crouching over a candle stitching each night. Instead he would venture down the pub and enjoy some revelry. There he made ‘friends’ or so he thought. His money and willingness to spend it were an attraction that some could not resist. All of this drinking and merriment however started to have an effect on his work. He was behind on tasks, late with deliveries and his reputation was in jeopardy.

As he staggered home from the pub one evening he mulled all of this over. He knew that he had a lot to do and vowed to make an early start and get some of the jobs finished. It wasn’t right to keep the housekeeper at Croft Castle waiting for her curtains. As he ventured home he decided to take a short cut through the grave yard. It probably wasn’t a wise decision in his drunken state. Trying to navigate the graves proved quite tricky.

White Spectre or Munching Sheep?

As he approached the church something caught his eye. A white spectre was moving towards him through the graves, grunting and snuffling. Henry thought his time was up and took off running. What did this ghostly apparition want of him? As he ran through the graveyard, his legs felt like jelly, they just wouldn’t move fast enough. Until the moment where he suddenly felt as light as a feather. Floating through the air. Suddenly Henry hit the hard earth with a bang as he fell into a freshly dug open grave. As he drifted into unconsciousness he knew then that the ghostly spectre would claim him. Henry’s ale addled mind had tricked him. The ghostly white spectre turned out to be a sheep. Sheep were commonly used in churchyards to keep the grass down. This one was happily doing that when Henry had disturbed it.

Have I Gone to Heaven?

The next morning the Rector of Yarpole was heading to the church when he heard moaning coming from an empty grave. Not one to be deterred he found Henry languishing at the bottom looking worse for wear. Henry starting speaking gibberish, telling the rector that he used to be a tailor. He rambled on that he was pleased to meet an angel and looked forward to being in heaven. The rector curtly told him to get out of the grave as he had a funeral that very morning. He promptly left Henry to it.

Apparently not!

As Henry’s focus and faculties returned he realised that he was still the little tailor of Yarpole. Relieved not to be dead after all. Henry returned home a changed man. His close shave had refocused him. No longer did he seek out the high life but went on to live a long and rewarding life. Glad once again to be highly respected and known as The Little Tailor of Yarpole.

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