The old man in a dirty hooded raincoat, was trudging along slowly, bent with the effort of carrying a large burlap sack on his back. Phlegm laden cough racked his entire body at intervals, releasing puffs of vapor from his mouth. The miserable weather spell didn’t seem to let up. It had been grey skies with chilly winds and rain all week long. He paused at intervals, gently laying down his burden to catch his breath, and proceeded again. He had a long way to go to the railway station, at the village outskirts. No vehicles were about at this hour, that he could hitch a ride on.
The milkman, on his morning rounds earlier than usual, made him out through the thin mist, a solitary selcouth figure along the sleepy village alley. He was surprised to see anyone about at this early hour, given the hostile weather. He wondered idly whether it could be one of the tradesmen from the town here to sell his wares at the Sunday Village Fair. They seldom wandered the streets this early, and most pushed carts with their wares to the Village Market. This one seemed quite old, by his gait and definitely seemed to be carrying a load. He should enquire to ascertain the nature of the stranger’s presence at this hour, but he was already pressed for time. Thirty more deliveries to be made and he had to make it sooner than his usual speed. He had promised his son a treat trip to the Fair, and he couldn’t afford to be late. He dreamily rode past the old man his mind imagining his son’s excited face when he would buy him his first pull-along toy at the Fair today.
The old man slid down his hood and a rasping chuckle ensued. What an irony it was, the only person he should encounter be the one, whose most precious belonging was in his possession now! Collecting this last one from this obscure village had been a cinch he mused.
Saturday Word Play 8: Selcouth
Selcouth-(Archaic) Uncommon, Strange
#SaturdayWordPlay -Weekly word prompts of forgotten words, being revived by my friend Aditi Kaushiva, the brain behind this interesting initiative!
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