Sunday, July 04, 2010

A detour

There I was, minding my own business in downtown Trelystan, pinning a poster to the 'village' noticeboard when I was hailed by an urgent looking and very lost lady.

Did I know where the pony-trekking centre was?

A quick think - and I swear that one could hear all the cogs whirring in my head - and erm, yes. I did.

Giving directions though was a different matter - this lady and the two excited girls giggling in the back of her car didn't seem up to taking extra information on board. They were late for a pony-trekking-party date. Late, late, late. It was all getting A Bit Too Much.

Would I take them there? Well I would but my car was seriously short of fuel and while I thought I might just about coast down the hill to Welshpool a 12 mile detour (and yes, these poor souls had gone round and round in so many circles that there were THAT far off target) wasn't possible.

Could I come with them - and she'd drive me back to my car?

So it was that I hopped into a car with three strangers and led them off down the lane which runs along the side of the Long Mountain - a lane so skinny, narrow and underused that one seems to be entering a lost world. We glide between long grass and wildflowers on the roadside and glimpse hidden bosky valleys through gaps in hedges hung with honeysuckle and roses. We agree the landscape is beautiful in these parts.

We found the pony trekking centre - which also had holiday cabins and an idyllic view over the Rea valley. The excited little girls rushed off to their pony-trekking-birthday-treat and their mother, good as her word dropped me back at my car. She was a lovely lady and I hope one day we'll meet again.

It was only afterwards when I started to think about the strangeness of this interlude that I wondered about the wisdom of disappearing to goodness-knows-where in a stranger's car. Not really from my point of view; she didn't fit the profile of the average axe murderer and I don't think I'm white slave material, but what about the two little girls and all those lectures about 'stranger danger'? What messages were given to them about caution and judicious behavior regarding strangers when mum whisks someone she has only met moments ago, off in her car? I hope she talks it through with them. Perhaps the message that not all strangers are potentially dangerous is a good one too.

11 comments:

rachel said...

Er... the few glimpses we've had of you in person suggest that those little girls could trust their mummy to judge by looks alone who was safe to and trustworthy, as well as kind, and who was not. Of course, you, rather than mummy, may have turned out to be the local mad axe-woman....

Pondside said...

I'll go with your second thought - that it's a good lesson on 'relying on the kindness of strangers'. Too much of what we do today is regulated by fear.

Wipso said...

How lovely that in this day of not trusting anyone that you were able to help this lady and girls out. Bring back the good old days I say :-) After all you do look a pretty trustworthy sort :-)
A x

Cait O'Connor said...

You did the kindly human thing and were a fine example to those children.

Twiglet said...

Yep - I agree with Wipso - I would trust you to take me on a conducted tour of the locality - well done you!!
But my verification is....
inane way!!!

Friko said...

ah mountainear, a sweet, kind and innocent lady like you couldn't possibly be an axe-murderer, except possibly under great provocation at the WI.

As for getting into a stranger's car to show them the way, that was sweet and kind and innocent of you, proving my point.

This is a rather circular argument, but I'm sure you know what I mean.

Nikki-ann said...

This is all assuming she made it back to the pony trekking centre after dropping you off... she may well be still driving sound the countryside looking for it again!

elizabethm said...

I love that you did this and agree that it may say something about the kindness of strangers which is a good counterweight to our society's paranoia. I also love the phrase "downtown Trelystan". It's only two houses and a cat for those who don't know!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

We can't bring them up to be frightened of everyone .... though , if you think about it , this Bogey Man mentality isn't new . I'm ancient enough to remember Ladies Only carriages in trains . Men , the beasts , couldn't all be trusted !
The two little girls will have learned that , when they're with Mum , reliable and normal people can certainly be talked to and that Mum can be trusted to get them somewhere , even though it's tricky .

snailbeachshepherdess said...

its Ok - it was one mum to another - mums do those sort of things - they are trained to think on the hoof and cover every eventuality!

Calico Kate said...

What a good samaritan you were and how sad that you needed to think about the strangers bit at the end of your post instead of just being able to enjoy the excitment of the children and the passing friendship of a stranger. How great you were able to help and make those little girls day! They'll be saying forever after do you rememeber that day we got lost....
CKx