She was a gypsy, a traveling gypsy, and she found a horn.
‘Leila! What have you there?’
She was so scared she dropped the calloused horn and ran back to the caravan.
‘He frightened me and I dropped it’ she told grandmother Mary, who grinned her toothless grin and said ‘Better he has it than you. Just watch. Just listen’.
Days went by and Leila saw him with the horn in a leather pouch tied to his belt. Sometimes he drew it out and blew it, bragging, as if baiting her. He had it and she didn’t. At such times she turned on her heel and walked back to grandmother Mary. She tried not to show, not to let him see she was bothered, but he knew and grinned.
‘Where shall I put it, Leila?’ he said and tried to let it go, but it would not leave his hands.
He put it to his mouth as if to blow it.
It sucked the life out of him.
Polly Robinson © 2012