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Thu, 13 Jun 2013
THE THREE HORRID MEN

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A gentle reminder -- that the most precious things in life 
cannot be built by hand or bought by man.

THE THREE HORRID MEN

By G Dewi Roberts



     Once upon a time there were three horrid men who lived all alone in a small grey house.
And they lived all alone because no one else could bear to live with them. And that was because they were so HORRID.
They had the most dreadful manners imaginable. If they travelled on a tram, they always took the number of the conductor and reported him. And sometimes they even reported the driver too.
If they went to a restaurant for a meal they always reported the waiter to the manager and they often used to complain that they hadn't had what they had had, and that they wished they'd had what they hadn't had
And if one of them left a tip on the table, one of the other two ALWAYS picked it up and put it in his pocket.
They used to take turns to do that.
Shop boys hated taking orders there. because they got into such terrible trouble if there was anything wrong with the order. They had their ears tweaked at the very least and they often had their ears boxed. And of course they were never given a Christmas Box.
To put it plainly these three men were probably the MEANEST men in the world.
      They had electric light in the house but they never used it because candles were so much cheaper.
And although there was much water laid on in the house when they went to live in it, they had it laid off, so they wouldn't have to pay the water rates. Instead they had water butts all round the house to catch the rain water, because, there was no charge for that.
      They all wore suits made of thick black corduroy, with black leather cuffs to the sleeves and black leather patches on the elbows and black leather seats to their trousers.
They were not satisfied with their suits if they did not last fifteen years at least, and if they did not last fifteen years then they refused to pay for them. And of course they changed their tailors once every fifteen years.
     They were mean with other things such as coal. When it was cold enough to call for a small fire, they would go for a brisk walk in the sunshine to get warm that way. When a good fire was really necessary they used to have a small fire and shiver over that. Then when it was SO cold that all the sensible people had the biggest fire that their grates would hold, they didn't light a fire at all but stayed in bed all day.

CANDLE      Every night they would count the money they had made on three wooden tables in their room, three plain white wooden tables.  On each table was a single candle and each of the three horrid men sat at his own table counting his money. They used to run their money through their fingers because they used to love the sound of it.  When they had finished counting it and playing with it, each one poured their money into a stocking, blew out his candle and went to bed in the dark.
      Each of the horrid men slept in his own iron bed with his own stocking inside the coat of his pyjamas, and that was because they didn't even trust each other.
When the time came to paint their house, after they had waited for years and years till nearly all the paint had dropped off. They would borrow a blow lamp and a ladder and burn off the paint that hadn't dropped off right down to the bare wood. Did they paint it again? Oh no they polished it all with elbow grease for that didn't cost anything, they really were the most Horrid Men.

     One day they all came down to breakfast in a VERY BAD TEMPER. Their breakfast that morning was egg and bread and margarine, one egg between the three of them of course. They took it in turns to have the tops, middles, and bottom. Well this particular morning the egg turned out to be BAD, and that put them in a worse temper than ever and they ate their bread and margarine savagely.
They were very cross about the egg, and they boxed the ears of the grocer's boy that morning. It was their own fault really , it was a pickled egg and it was kept far too long in the larder. What made them cross to begin with was the fact that they hadn't slept very well.
One of them complained about it, and it turned out that they had all tossed and turned all night long, and when you have a long stocking full of money inside your pyjamas coat it is a very serious matter to be tossing and turning all night.
They came to the conclusion that it must be the beds, so they all went up and looked at their mattresses. They were wool mattresses and they had had them thirty years. Well six months later they were still sleeping badly and a year later they were still tossing and turning. So they decided at last that they would call a man in to look at them and to put matters right.

     The man came. He was a new man in town and had only been there a week or so and he didn't know how mean the three men were, nor how impossible it was going to be to get any money out of them.
So he came to call quite cheerfully. He looked at the mattresses and shook his head over them, there was nothing he could do but re make them.
The three horrid men told him that he had better start at once and remake them. They didn't mind giving the order at all because they had NO INTENTION  of paying him for his hard work.
      On the first day the bed man got to work and he managed to make a bed and a half. So that night the youngest of the three horrid men had to sleep with the second horrid man in the bed that hadn't been touched. They slept back to back each hugging his stocking hard, as each one was afraid for his own stocking and they ended up not sleeping a wink all night.
But the eldest man slept MOST COMFORTABLY , in fact it was the best sleep he'd had in twenty years.
The next day the bed man finished off the other bed and the half, and that night all three horrid men slept beautifully.

      Many months later the bed man called at the house to ask why they hadn't paid their bill as he was getting anxious about it.
Now he had been living in the town quite a while and many people had told him about the three horrid men and he had been foolish to to do anything for them. So he had just called round to ask would they mind paying him for the work he had done.
It was quite late in the evening when he knocked at the door and all three horrid men where sat at their table with their candle counting their money out. When he walked in and told the eldest what he had come for he stopped counting and laughed at the top of his voice. It was a nasty, sharp, brassy laugh, and it sent shivers down the bed man's spine, look he told them he really couldn't wait any longer. It was then the second horrid man stopped counting and he laughed loud and long, it sounded like tearing calico. The sound of it made the bed man go cold all over.
The third time he asked for his money the third horrible man stopped counting, then he laughed as though his sides would break. His laugh was the harshest laugh of all, like the sound of an old cart whose wheels had never been oiled. When he stopped laughing the three horrid men poured their money into their stocking, blew out their candles and went to bed leaving the poor man standing there in the dark.
The men didn't care there was nothing there worth taking, they had all their money with them.
The bed man stood there for a moment wondering what he could do, he fumbled in his pocket for some matches and lit the three candles and sat down to think.
     At last he had an idea and taking the three candles upstairs with him, he marched to the bedroom. He put the candles by their beds so he could see them and talk to them. Two of the three horrid men immediately turned over an blew out the candles but he quickly snatched the third one and held it in his hand.
Then he spoke to them.
"Did you know I can make suits?" he asked.
"No" said the eldest gruffly.
"Not ordinary suits," said the bed man calmly, "I make the WARMEST suits that were ever made."
"What?" cried another of the three, poking his head out of the clothes.
"In fact my suits are so warm that they keep out every breath of cold. The people who wear my suits are always warm."
"That's an idea!" said the one who had just spoken.
"What's an idea?" said his brothers together.
"SAVE COAL!"  said he simply
"But the suits we have are fine, we haven't had them long."
"The suits you have will do fine." said the bed man "it's the lining that matters, and what you put inside it. I'll come tomorrow and show you."

      The following day the bed man arrived with a huge pile of Kapok. Then with his big scissors he cut open the lining of their coats and their waistcoats and trousers and he then asked the men to put on their suits again this time with the lining open and he began to fill the waistcoat lining with kapok, sewing up the lining as he went. The men said it was beautifully warm. Then he filled up the sleeves, they said it got better and better, their coats only just fitted tightly over their waistcoats. Next came the trousers, he rammed the kapok down hard with a round ruler, and gave the trousers a knife edged crease. He took great care  to fill the trousers as TIGHT and as FIRM as he could.
The three horrid men were as warm as toast and tremendously pleased, especially when they thought of the coal they would save.
The bed man finished and without bothering them any more he went home forgetting to ask for the money they owed him, which pleased them even more.
   They had already eaten their dinner so they went out for their evening walk in the park, which was FREE of course. There were chairs there too but they cost twopence to sit on so they just walked on by. They never ate any tea and by the time they arrived home it was supper time and they were ravenously hungry. They hurriedly fetched their bread and cheese and water and put them on the table.
Having done this they drew up their chairs and looked at one another in astonishment.  They looked at their feet,they looked at each other and then they looked behind them.
They then found that a shocking thing had happened;
THEY FOUND THAT THEY COULDN'T SIT DOWN.
The bed man had stiffened them up so well with the kapok that they couldn't sit, they had to eat their supper standing up, which was very annoying for they were very tired.  Then they lit their candles and putting their stockings on their little tables they had to count their money standing up. This was terribly annoying especially when any of the coins rolled onto the floor as not one of them could bend down to pick them up. They had to leave everything where it was and got to bed. Alas when they got there they found that they couldn't undress. They ended up sleeping all night with their clothes on, very cross and very disgruntled.

     The following morning they were up very early and made their way to the bed man's cottage, all the townsfolk stood in their doorways laughing as the three horrid men marched past them, they looked as stiff as pokers and marched like wooden dolls.
Of course when they knocked on the bed mans door the first thing he asked for was the money they owed him and without a quarrel or noise they paid him there and then. Of course the bed man took pity on them and removed the kapok from their suits and I'd like to add that from that day on the three horrid men became nicer people, but.......WELL, WHAT DO YOU THINK?

REMEMBERED BY SELIGOR AND WRITTEN BY G DEWI CLARK. ONE OF MY OWN COUNTRY MEN.




     

Posted 18:59

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