Showing posts from June, 2018

The Cone Gatherers: A realistic parable of good and evil

Two men are up a tree, gathering cones. One sits uneasily, rheumatic limbs always waiting to ambush him at these uncertain heights. His companion is as comfortable as a monkey though the epithet is an uncomfortable one because he is deformed, a hunch back, and in the language of the time, 'simple'. Neil and Calum are two brothers and, as the Second World War rages, they labor on a Scottish estate. The cones are to provide the seeds, that can no longer be imported, to replace the forest when, in the Spring, it is cut down to aid the war effort. Neil, the eldest, is fiercely protective of Calum in his disability.

All might be tranquility in a peaceful rural scene but there is, as always perhaps, a serpent in this semblance of paradise. It is the gamekeeper, Duror. He is an outwardly upstanding man in a gathering state of inward crisis. His young wife, shortly after their marriage, developed an (unnamed) disabling disease and became bed-ridden and has slowly grown obese over mor…