The Amazing Adventures of Salt and Vinegar
A perfectly round boulder had rested atop Ridge Hill since as long as the residents of Ten Acre could remember – it was known as the Giant’s Marble. Long had it stood its vigil over the village, but for how much longer was the question on everybody’s mind…
The thaw after the winter of 1963 revealed that the Marble had cracked its bedding and looked precariously close to plunging towards the village. Villagers had taken to tiptoeing around in fear of disturbing it. The finest minds from Ten Acre assembled to develop a plan of action. The situation was dire, as the boulder’s predicted path could take it straight through the school, several houses and the village square. Edna Vinegar sat in silence for a few minutes before announcing in the lightest of whispers “I have a solution to this! It will require tiptoeing, light-footed genius and plenty of vinegar!” The audience listened intently to her as she explained her plan.
Next morning, the sun rose on two individuals slowly creeping up Ridge Hill. Mr Sebastian Salt, the long serving Mayor, had volunteered himself for the task, and Old Widow Vinegar’s stubbornness and knowledge of the plan had convinced him to take her along too. About halfway up the hill, Mr Salt’s right foot snagged a bramble and sent him tumbling landing heavily on his side. Edna gasped in shock; they both peered up at the boulder above them. The Giant’s Marble, all 20 tons of it, appeared to wobble precariously on its bed of chalk. A terribly flat future filled the minds of Salt and Vinegar in those agonising few seconds before the boulder gently settled back into place.
The last few yards to the top were a blur to the intrepid pair. Between them, they had brought up 40 jars of vinegar and started pouring them behind the Marble, following Edna Vinegar’s exact instructions. The ground bubbled and foamed as the vinegar hit the chalk soil, slowly dissolving and softening it, and after scraping away the residue, they had soon enough created a depression leading right up to the boulder. After a few minutes, Edna confidently walked up to the Giant’s Marble, raised her arm and flicked it with her outstretched hand. She smiled as it slowly rolled backwards, safely away from the edge of the hill into the uninhabited valley behind. Mr Salt and Mrs Vinegar descended Ridge Hill to the applause of the relieved villagers.