My sixth form friends and I enjoyed saying ‘horned beastie’ so we applied the description to anything that might qualify. It provoked the parachutes of laughter that rewarded the slightest of quips.
For practical reasons, we were forced to extend ‘horned beasties’ well beyond the normal range of deer, rams or gnus which were in short supply in and around the ROSLA block. Typically, they were much smaller beasties, including some so small that we could barely see if they had any head ornaments to speak of. Antennae amply qualified, so the alarm call, ‘There’s a horned beastie on you!’, might be an alert for a wasp or an earwig (the alternative would have been truly alarming).
Were we fortunate enough to spot a lap dog wearing a wobbling headband – a red sequin ladybird bopper, say – or a teacher in a cow costume or a halloween devil, our delight at being able to deploy the term was beyond measure.
Perhaps because of those days, seeing a horned beastie that would qualify for the most stringent definition is always a thrill, even when the several of the best-equipped beasties you’ve seen for some time are walking towards you.
Luckily a very sturdy hedgerow stood between them and us, with a barred gate to see over. And they were more preoccupied with each other.
While this picture uncomfortably seems to presage battles over resources, water and power being callously weaponised right now, in the relative safety of the Lancashire countryside back in midsummer, this meeting of minds worked out OK.
No horned beastie was harmed. The others drifted away leaving the one with the ring in its nose standing triumphant over an empty bath.
Every tousle serenely stayed where nature set it – dangling over the eyes.
Inspired by Becky’s WalkingSquares