If Only They Could Talk
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When newly qualified vet James Herriot arrives in the small Yorkshire village of Darrowby, he has no idea what to expect. How will he get on with his new boss? Herriot's books form the basis of the popular BBC TV series All Creatures Great and Small.
and the term finished yesterday. When he gets within striking distance he'll probably give us a ring. I wonder if you'd slip out and pick him up?' 'Certainly. Glad to.' 'His name is Tristan, by the way.' 'Tristan ?' 'Yes. Oh, I should have told you. You must have wondered about my own queer name. It was my father. Great Wagnerian. It nearly ruled his life. It was music all the time - mainly Wagner.' 'I'm a bit partial myself.' 'Ah well, yes, but you didn't get it morning noon and night like
long days in the open gave me a tan which . rivalled the farmers'. Even mending a puncture was no penance on the high, unfenced roads with the wheeling curlews for company and the wind bringing the scents of flowers and trees up from the valleys. And I could find other excuses to get out and sit on the crisp grass and look out over the airy roof of Yorkshire. It was like taking time out of life. Time to get things into perspective and assess my progress. Everything was so different that it
saying he always knew when the young vet was coming because he could see the cloud of blue smoke miles away. When the tiny Austin came back from the garage, Siegfried fussed round it like an old hen. 'Come over here, James,' he called. 'I want to talk to you.' I saw he was looking patient again and braced myself. 'James,' he said, pacing round the battered vehicle, whisking specks from the paintwork. 'You see this car?' I nodded. 'Well, it has been rebored, James, rebored at great expense,
eyelids quiver. A quick ripple of relief and excitement went through me. I looked up at the farmer and laughed. 'She's still with us, Dan.' I flicked her ear and her eyes opened wide. 'We'll wait a few minutes and then try to roll her on to her chest.' Within a quarter of an hour she was beginning to toss her head about and I knew it was time. I caught hold of her horns and pulled while Dan and his tall son pushed at her shoulder. We made slow progress but after several concerted heaves the cow
of smoke rose from the chimney of the all night transport cafe which stood there and as I slowed down to take the corner a faint but piercing smell of cooking found its way into the car; the merest breath but rich in the imagery of fried sausages and beans and tomatoes and chips. God, I was starving. I looked at my watch; five fifteen, I wouldn't be eating for a long time yet. I turned in among the lorries on the broad strip of tarmac. Hastening towards the still lighted building I decided that