Commonplace: Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm

“No matter. There have always been Starkadders at Cold Comfort Farm.

Well, let it rot…You couldn’t have a farm without sheds (cow, wood, tool, bicycle, and potting), and where there were sheds things were bound to rot…Besides, so far as you could see form your bi-weekly inspection of the farm account books, things weren’t doing too badly…Anyway, here you were, and here they all stayed with you.

You told them you were mad. You had been since you saw something nasty in the woodshed, years and years and years ago. If any of them went away, to any other part of the country, you would go much madder. Any attempt by any of them to get away from the farm made one of your attacks of madness come on. It was unfortunate in some ways but useful in others… The woodshed incident had twisted something in your child-brain seventy years ago.

And seeing that it was because of that incident that you sat here ruling the roost and having five meals a day brought up to you as regularly as clock-work, it hadn’t been such a bad break for you, that day you saw something nasty in the woodshed.”

~ Stella Gibbons, Cold Comfort Farm, 1932


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