The farmer sat at the wheel. Behind his glassy cab some trick of the light gave him a greenish tinge. He wore a green cap – unless it was another trick of the light, and looked like he'd just bitten into a lemon. His nose twitched like an animal that smells something bad. Then he opened the door of his cab. When he stepped onto the grass I realised it was nothing to do with the light: his skin definitely had a greenish ogre-like tinge.
I was paralysed with fear. I lay in the gorse and nettles and tried asking the ground, fairly politely, I think, to open up and swallow me for a while. My body was so tense; it was as if I was made of wood. My heart swung on a pendulum. It's beating was very loud. If this carried on any longer I would turn into a grandfather clock. That would give the green farmer something to talk about. 'I found this here grandfather clock worrying my sheep...'
Time ticked on. I think that twenty years must have passed before the farmer grunted and clambered back into his cab. Oh what blessed music it was to hear the Massey Ferguson as it drove away and disappeared from view. From that moment on, the Massey Ferguson Concerto would always figure pretty highly in my list of Desert Island Discs.
We stood up. Leaves and grass in our hair. It was a Walt Whitman kind of experience. My body stopped impersonating a grandfather clock. The nearest sheep stopped regarding me as if it was Socrates and started doing sheep-like things again.
The tower still stood on the hill.