Tuesday, June 11, 2013

The Legend of Spyri and Gympi (5)

The Legend of Spyri and Gympi - Part 5

Looking back over his shoulder, Gympi gave one last glance at the hospital where he had spent the last few weeks of his life. His legs still hurt, and he had the feeling that they never would stop hurting. Even Dr Stonehed had just shaken his head and apologised for being unable to do anymore for him. Ideally, the legs should be surgically broken and realigned again, but there was neither the time nor the bed space for Gympi to remain in the hospital anymore.

Once the area had been retaken over by his own countrymen and secured, Gympi was promptly forgotten. Another pair of crutches had been given to him and he’d been told that someone would come shortly to take him to where another hundred or so war orphans were being looked after. Gympi didn’t want to go there. He wanted to go home.

After quietly teaching himself to deal with the constant pain and how to walk gingerly with his new roughly made crutches, Gympi decided to head out. It seemed impolite of him to not thank the Alison or Dr Stonehed, stealing from the hospital rations, after all they had done for him, but they would have tried to stop him. Gympi was going home. Nobody could stop him. Not even his own two crooked legs. Not the long distance between Murnabeem and Herrick. It was going to be a long journey home.

Never mind that, he liked travelling on his own two feet. He was sure that travelling was all he’d ever wanted to do before the war anyway. A stirring breeze whipped stiffly through the almost bare branches of the trees, creating a haunting melody. A song sprang unbidden to his lips and he wondered where the song had come from. He’d never sung it before and yet it seemed so familiar.

“Sun a-shining in the sky,
Looking down on happy flowers,
Watching laughter,
Bathed in warmth,
Singing, dancing,
Wind a-breezing through the trees,
Tickling leafy boughs,
Oh, that life would ever be,
Full of joy and song.”

Gympi shrugged and smiled to himself despite the pain. He was going home. Maybe not to Herrick. Thistlowood had seemed much nicer and had ever so many more hiding places around it than Herrick. Anyway, it was closer.