On pooh, Lord Vernment and the lessons to be learnt from Credit-upon-Sink. A medieval story

Once upon a time, there was a small hamlet named Credit-upon-Sink where the Lord Vernment ensured safety and security from strangers. Live was kind, and the banks of the river Sink, fertile.

Lord Govvy, as he was known in the valley, would collect taxes from villagers based on the number of seeds planted every season by the hamlet’s farmers. They were years of mild and gentle weather so it was easy, even for a bourgeois ex-city dweller to work the land and make a profit even after paying the seed-tax.

The newcomers

People from all around the county heard of the opportunity that Credit-upon-Sink’s microclimate represented, so ever greater numbers of blacksmiths, goldsmiths, barristers, architects and glassblowers left the cities for the promise of golden plough.

They brought their savings and started to purchase lots off the hamlet’s farmers who, having discovered that using animal dung for their fields, they could get up to 20 crops per year more than before, so leasing or selling part of their family land would allow them to purchase more cows’ pooh as fertiliser, now renamed manure.

Universal right to happiness

All was well, and the Lord Govvy was happy, he was the envy of his neighbours, specially when meeting at the Lords Council to do Lord and Council stuff.

Every time he looked at his tax revenues, he pride himself of his great idea, taxing on seeds, not on final crops. The use of manure was brought in by farmers from Wallstreetshire “Letting the Wall-es in was one of my best decisions!” Lord Govvy thought for himself. However, Lady Vernment, was at first a bit of a problem, complaining about the disgusting manure smell floating about their homely castle.

It wasn’t difficult, once the increase in yearly crops started and the multiple seed-tax revenue started to pour in, to make Lady Vernment forget the odour while giving gifts like foreign eau de cologne for her nose, Eau d’Education pour tout le Monde and Agua de Councilflat where the last word from the East. He even got her two new maids, Teevee, Sokar and Beengo to keep her happy.

Life was good and the old farmers who grew up with Lord Govvy, Rebsius and the overweight but young Hubosia (secretly love child of the Lord), not only made the most of the boom, but they were taking on ever more manure, since some of the smartest apothecarists and leatherworkers just arrived in town, promising to increase crops to 40, 50, 100 times with the use of new manure types. Goat pooh, sheep droppings, and even tortoise faeces!

The outcast

But one farmer was left behind. Lloyd Steebes refused to use manure, sell land to the newcomers or hire any extra labourers. All would be well, but the Lord had been receiving the same seed-tax revenue from him for the last ten warm years.

When every farmer followed Rebsius and Hubosia’s decision to plant every single seed (minus seed-tax) and double the number of manure for every crop, boring “Lloyd” as they grew to call him, paid 1/10 the the lord, kept 1/10 of the seeds to feed his old and manure-allergic family through the winter and planted 8/10 every season.

One spring night, Lord Vernment visited Steebes land. He tried to convince him of the increase of crop yields through new bull-manure technology, but Lloyd Steebes replied that he could see the fortune’s of his neighbours, but he had to carry the burden of an old and manure-allergic extended family. As a widower, he had to take care of his, and his wife’s old parents.

The brown, flat earth with the green shots of young wheat spotted the land in contrast with the surrounding hills of manure, green with common grass that levied heavy seed duties but fed the hordes of cows, sheep, goats, alpacas and exotic elephants that produced the precious manure.

Somehow, it seemed like somewhere along the way someone forgot that the manure was the means, not the end. But tax revenues kept coming in, and Lady Vernment got used to his presents, gifts and by now only wanted to spend time with Teevee, Sokar and Beengo.

The end

It was the summer of the 11th year when all started. Rebsius just purchased a huge landfill in a foreign country. The sun and the heavy rainstorms seemed never to stop and the stink of manure in the air made breathing a challenge. The choppy hills, soaked on black water, first drowned the little seeds. The cattle in the hills started to die. The lucky ones of starvation, the rest had a slow and painful death after poisoning themselves when drinking manure-rich contaminated water.

You could taste in your mouth the putrid sour-sweetness of corpses and manure. All there was to be seen was upside down hoofs in a black landscape, where there used to be miles of green hills,

Slowly first and promptly shortly after, those who came from the cities left again for them. It was when the last drop of Eau de Bigbro touched Lady Vernment’s fat neck, that she realised that her maids where her only friends and the odour was filling her nostrils like water. The hills of the now village, just a mount of shit and death.

Promptly she run to complain to her husband and together they started accusatively pointing at Rebsius and Hubosia. For all times sake, Lord Govvy took over Rebsius’s lands and visited Lloyd Steebes one night.

Some say it was a shotgun marriage. Some say that Lord Vernment claimed back taxes from Steebes or marry Hubosia, but everybody knows that Steebes had promised to take care of his and his late wife’s elders.

Lloyd Steebes didn’t see it coming, but somehow, the Lord married him Hubosia and as there was no more me, but we, they first planted Steebes saved seeds for the next year in Hibosia’s dead land. Nothing grew, cattle died fast, so they brought over to his fields the elephants, the walking manure factories.

It didn’t take long before the elephants ate every single wheat seed and bale.

So

  • The Steebes elders died due to their delicate state and allergies.
  • Lloyd Steebes has moved on to a different town, to start a new life and wonder how on earth he ended up married with Hubosia after so many years struggling to stay away of shit..
  • Lord Vernment is wondering why his wife keeps blaming him for her having no perfumes and dressing her and her friends, Teevee, Sokar and Beengo, with cheap garments.
  • Lady Vernment and her friends, sneaked one night and threw stones to Lloyd Steebes’ former farmhouse.
  • The surviving cattle are roaming in the forests, defecating here and there, making everything in their way, greener and healthier.”

.calvin

PS. Are you sure that it wasn’t Lord Vernment’s fault?

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