Again as with most of the lockkeeper cottages along the canal there were always the usual hens running around. I remember – when I was a young lad of about thirteen – Patsy Crawley who owned the grocery shop in Canal Street, paid me two shillings to take his big Labrador dog for a walk.
I always enjoyed taking big Snipe for his walk: the pay was good and the towpath being so convenient to Patsy’s shop, it was the ideal place to walk him.
Normally everything went well as I walked the dog along the towpath, but this particular day I wasn’t paying attention. I was probably daydreaming or something like that, because I forgot to put Snipe back on his lead as I passed by the second lock.
The result of this oversight on my part was predictable; Snipe spotted the hens and give chase. The hens scattered all over the place and one luckless bird ended her days going over the side of the lock into the seething waters below.
To say that Mrs Fearon was not best pleased would be to put it mildly! She was furiously angry. The enraged lady threatened all sorts of retribution on dog and me. I was so frightened of her that I wouldn’t pass her cottage on the way back from our walk and I returned by way of Hickeys Loanan instead.
… towpath: Hickey’s Lane …