4 Jul 2012

And Then They Found Him….

This starts a long, long time ago with a tale recounted to me by a friend.

The tale begins almost at the first day of school, age five, and a friend of his. They started and stayed together through school days and as time passed my friends friend, at every opportunity, expressed to one and all who would listen to him, his one and true intent to become an explorer. I was told this kid proved to be, as most of us, to be academically average but, sadly, common-sensically dumber 'un a brick and quickly earned the nick-name Hopeless Higgy.

Hopeless Higgy was continually informed, whenever the explorer thingy came up, that he would make a rubbish explorer as, even on day four of starting school, when the last grown-up had stopped escorting even the dumbest kid to and from school, assuming that any five year old who needed showing something more than three times and would be daft enough to fall for the old guy at the school gate asking if anyone'd like to see some puppies, wasn't worth the effort, he still needed directional assistance.

At the end of the school day when all the kids turned out, and after varying periods of play and exploring, when hunger finally took hold and home was the place to be, Hopeless Higgy never made it home without help.

Time passed yet more so until came the fateful day when Hopeless Higgy informed his folks that he was going to test his exploring prowess by attempting to find the source of the bindweed in the much neglected back garden.

With some trepidation his folks watched as Hopeless Higgy set off on his quest, armed only with a pocket knife, complete with horses hoof stone extractor (It was a long time ago), a bag of plain potato crisps with the salt folded into a little blue paper wrap and a Dan Dare pretend cardboard compass.

And that, not totally surprisingly, was the last time Hopeless Higgy was seen. After several hours fruitless searching it was assumed he'd taken a wrong turn in the undergrowth, wandered into a neighbouring garden and become hopelessly lost. As usual.

The search was scaled down shortly after dark, then, over the next few days scaled back further to the occasional call from the back door, "Higgy!! Time to come in now! Your tea's getting cold!!"

And then, lo and behold, after almost fifty years, I turn on the news and, unbelievably, he's been found!! At least they're ninety nine point lots more nines recurringly, sure it's him. It seems Hopeless Higgy had only made it four gardens down from his starting point and had survived all this time by foraging for berries, raw vegetables and old tea bags.

One has to admire the tenacity of the searchers{?} who never gave up hope on the Hopeless Higgy mystery but one must also wonder what his surviving family are going through away from the usual on-camera stuff of, "It's wonderful that Higgy's been found. We never gave up hope!" to the more likely, "Damn! Who's going to have to look after the hopeless old dribbling loony now then?"

Me? All I wonder is, when Higgy was found, how did it go down? I hope and assume it followed in the time honored explorer finding manner of a handshake and, "Ah, Higgs Boson I presume?"

Quote; Albert Einstein.

"If I could remember the names of all these particles, I'd be a botanist."

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