6o, my car thermometer recorded; at least the recent rain had stopped – but it might be slippy underfoot. A Plymouth Pilgrim, a squaw and a turkey, aka Prancer, Vixen and Dasher, and also co-hare Jack, greeted the gathering hashers and entreated us to give thanks in the traditional transatlantic fashion (we thank thee, hares, for our daily trail...). Fellow American Sinbad was also dressed in role as a brave.
We welcomed back Tumble Tot, fit again after her fall on our last trail, and 2 new runners, Leisha and Courtney. Courtney, Vixen emphasised much to her embarrassment, was a virgin (or was it Leisha who was embarrassed?). In keeping with the Thanksgiving tradition, the hash calls for today were to be “gobble, gobble” in place of “on-on”, and “on basting” for “check ahead”. So off we set northwards into the forest, gobble-gobbling and basting away.
The pace was fairly quick and the pack was getting a bit spread out so the front runners called an impromptu regroup – an opportunity for a photo stop. We were ready to press on when we heard Dr Blood and Splasher just arriving. Apparently Dr Blood had taken no account of the possibility of a slippery trail and was finding it hard keeping upright on his Crocs! - Splasher having saved him from a certain besmirching on at least one occasion.
Our game bird, Dasher in his turkey costume was, by now, feeling the heat (of the oven) and decided to moult his tail and head feathers, passing them over to his long-suffering mother, Vixen, to carry. The trail continued further eastwards into Charlton Forest and the pack started to string out again but this time we came to an official regroup, so we did... except for Bambi who sloped off a little way. A few seconds later we heard him tooting on his horn from behind a nearby bush, brazenly announcing the nature of his diversion – surely worthy of consideration for the hash*it?
There are deer around in these forests; many of us had a sight of them at one point or another on the trail but they never hang about for long. I saw my group crossing the trail in a line at about this point as I was climbing to the brow of a hill. The other side of the hilltop was a quick descent (to a muddy bottom) followed by another rise. Half way up the rise I was caught, with Bambi, Pancsi and Two Ferrets Fighting on a 4-way fish hook... back through the mud, and being passed by a gleeful Dasher at number 5. But the hare, Prancer, had baited this perfectly, having laid a second fish-hook, for 1, a little further up the hill expressly to catch his energy-rich son.
At one junction we met up with Leisha and Courtney who had been following their own trail and they joined us for the on-in, back to the cars at around 12:15: a well judged trail.
In the circle Bambi regaled us with a few stanzas of Longfellow, and paraded the costume bearing Yankees before awarding the hash*it this week to Dr Blood for a-slippin’ and a-slidin’ around in his Crocs.
On-on to the Partridge in Singleton where we gathered in our own side-room for some well earned refreshment.
On On! Kinky.