It had been a difficult few months. Marshall, Grumpy teenager and his friend, Purple Mask quad biker, the school girl and one hand Charlie had struggled with lockdown and home schooling. Isabel and Sunflower lady did their best to help out but they all needed a bit of fun to look forward to.
It wasn’t just the Greenman Festival that had been cancelled. Poor Betty and Harry had been planning their wedding for months and everything had been in place for the ceremony on the Village Green on May Day. They had ordered the hay bales from Folly Farm and Duck Lady had found a may pole and was going to teach the young scarecrows to perform but then came lockdown and that was that.
Now summer was drawing towards autumn and everyone was feeling a bit sad that they hadn’t been able to get together with their friends during the best hay making weather.
But unknown to anyone else, Crowman and the Fairy were busy planning a special socially distanced wedding and party for all the scarecrows before they retreat to their winter homes.
While the rest of the village had been joining together for the Bramley Show, animals were lining up hoping to be Bramley’s favourite pet and humans were busy making cards and cakes, Crowman was busy planning the wedding. Following government’s relaxing of meet up rules, he had booked Clift Meadow for the ceremony.
But Betty and Harry didn’t know about the plans. They were positioned on their drive smiling at passers-by’s but elsewhere, things were revving up. Isabel was in charge of the flowers and with the help of the Floral Society she made the bouquets and garlands. The bakery was making a giant flower and seed cake, big enough of all the scarecrows and Grumpy teenager and his mates were tasked with providing the music, which frankly the older scarecrows were a bit worried about.
Tractorman was lined up to bring the bride and groom from Silchester Road to Clift Meadow and the bridecrows and pagecrows would join the procession and walk beside them. Harry had wanted Fred to be his best man but due to unforeseen circumstances Crowman had to find someone else. Bud was willing of course but Crowman didn’t think he would get past the Bramley Inn. Referee was needed for crowd control as was Builder, so everything was pointing to Wurzel. Now he was a lovable scarecrow, but he needed to have his sensible head on if he was going to be responsible and look after the ring. Of course, Aunt Sally insisted on being maid of honour and she cleaned her dressed, reapplied her make up and adjusted her hat. Jacob’s opened late for 2 nights so the scarecrows could get their straw trimmed and One Stop provided bottles of Dandelion and Burdock for the party – the scarecrows’ favourite drink!!
The eve of the Bramley Show arrived. All the Bramley people were excitedly waiting to see the results of the scarecrows, pets and photos competitions but scarecrows had other things on their minds.
At 10pm, while the rest of Bramley were busy with BBQs and watching TV, the scarecrows were on the move. Tractorman started up his tractor and made his way into Bramley, somewhat noisily as he had been stuck on hay bales for a couple of months. He collected Fiona who was still trying to find to find her dad. Sadly, Freda and Frank were a bit tied up and so he left them behind at the bus stop. Scarecrow, Litter Lady and Pirate joined him and processed down Sherfield Road. Crowman sent his crows to call for One Hand Charlie, Referee, Bramley School Girl and School Boy and Little Girl and they joined the procession. Captain America and the Cyclist followed on, while Superman had flown down to the A340 to collect the Little Scarecrow and carried Marshall and his mum to wait for the tractor at Bramley Corner. Isabel was already on Clift Meadow with Sun Flower Lady and Duck Lady decorating the field and they had provided lots of corn dollies for the littlecrows to play with. Bramley Magazine Lady was ready with the latest edition to hand out.
Purple Face quad biker had promised to collect the cake, but he couldn’t believe it!!!! When he stopped his bike to load it on to the carrier at the back, it wouldn’t start! It was vital he got the cake to Clift Meadow before the wedding party arrived. Fortunately, Mekanix was doing a late night renovation and could him help out. The bike repaired, Purple Face turned right but the level crossing had closed. While he waited, he could see Bud sitting outside the Bramley Inn with his mate. Five minutes later, the barrier was up and very slowly Purple Face made his way down the Road, balancing the cake carefully. He revved the engine and shouted to the drinkers to hurry up but they just raised their glasses and cheered! It was all Cruella and Winnie the Witch, who had been rescued from the tree for the occasion, could do to control all the puppies who couldn’t be left alone and they yelped and squeaked in excitement on their way down the road. Bill the gardener and Fisherman, who had left his line and hands behind thank goodness, were making their way to Clift Meadow. At the village green, Purple Face turned right but “ Disaster darling”! He turned too sharply and toppled over! The cake was on the road and a group of unfriendly crows were laughing and hovering in the hope of a late night treat. But when they saw Purple Face they thought again. Bill and Fisherman helped pick up the cake and between them they carried it to the Meadow.
While all this was going on, shouting could be heard, Well not shouting but a high pitch complaining. Aunt Sally was very annoyed that she wasn’t allowed to ride on the tractor. She believed that the Maid of Honour was the most important person next to the happy couple. Her legs were stiff and she was getting all hot and bothered. Wurzel, who was wearing his best and sensible head, hobbled along, trying to sooth her but she wouldn’t stop talking and in the end he just hummed a little song to himself and tried to remember where he had put the ring!
By now the tractor had arrived to collect the bride and groom and how excited they were. It proved a bit difficult to climb onto the tractor’s trailer as they were very stiff from being stuck at their gate for so long but with a push and a shove they made it. And the wedding procession moved on down the Street, led by Green Man. The children and their parents from the bug station followed the procession and Florence Nightingale was there with her lamp and first aid box, just in case! The four Naturally Yoga people were there too encouraging those who were stressed and over excited to breathe and stretch and handed out muesli bars!
And so Betty and Harry were married! Wurzel had found the ring, a beautiful gold band found in the farmers field by a magpie and Grumpy had chosen Betty’s favourite song “And I will always scare you” for their first dance. There was a lot of cheering and weeping (mostly from Aunt Sally who had always wanted a wedding of her own), followed by dancing and lots of eating of cake, though Wurzel preferred Aunt Sally’s baking to be honest.
And so at midnight, the day of the Bramley Show had arrived and the scarecrows started to make their way back home. It was time for them to get ready for the winter. They said their goodbyes and wished each other “Happy Harvest”. Some would be back next year, some might not. Tractorman made several journeys to help those who were too tired to walk home. Bud and his friend never made it. They were still outside Bramley Inn, cheering and waving as their friends departed. The only ones left on the Meadow were Builder, Golfer, Robot and Litter Lady. She was overseeing the cleaning up of straw and crumbs, which the crows had been only too happy to help with.
2020 was going to go down in history for many things but in the back of everyone’s mind was “What really happened to Fred’s legs?”
If you have enjoyed these stories, look out for further adventures next year.