Last time on a sheep’s tail: Marty boarded a train heading for Bournemouth’s bright beaches, but after falling asleep and technical problems with the train, Marty is not sure where he is anymore…
The platform was full of men in grey suits, looking at their watches and grumbling into their coffees. Marty stepped tentatively from the quiet carriage into the crowd. Between the crisp sleeves and cufflinks, he managed to catch a glimpse of a sign saying ‘Winchester’. So that’s where he was!
Wondering about how he was ever going to get to Bournemouth, Marty located a nice guard in a high-vis jacket.
‘How long until the next train?’ he asked.
‘Might be a while, lad. We’ve got signal failures up and down the line.’
‘Oh,’ said Marty, ‘whatever shall I do?’
‘Don’t worry lad, you’ll get there in the end. But in the meantime, why don’t you head into town and enjoy the Hat Fair,’ sighed the guard, ‘that’s what I would like to do’.
Marty had no idea what a Hat Fair was, but it had to be better than waiting at the station all day. So, he skipped into the city centre to find there were people everywhere, performing magical acts in the middle of the streets. The Hat Fair wasn’t about selling hats at all, it was a festival!
Entranced, Marty stopped outside the front of a massive church to watch some of these magical acts. He loved the performance where a fish jumped into a bowl of water, which sat on top of a man’s head, whilst he was riding a massive unicycle.
Marty donated his last bit of change to the act’s collection hat and in doing so, got talking to the fish, who was called Sheila. They sat down for a nutritious picnic of grass and algae, to exchange stories about their travels.
‘I want to go on an adventure,’ Marty baaa’d. ‘But after I make it to Bournemouth, I won’t have enough money to carry on travelling.’
Pulling out a Friday add paper, Sheila showed Marty an advertisement for a job at the University of Winchester’s Library, for a position as a mascot. With a job, Sheila explained, Marty could earn enough money to go anywhere in the world!
Wow, thought Marty, a job would be an awfully big adventure!
And so Marty brushed his fleece, wrote out his application, went for an interview and got the job!
Marty has been hard at work promoting the Martial Rose Library ever since. And every morning as he bounces past his fellow sheep on the roof of the Stripe, he feels like he could stay in Winchester a little longer after all.