30.9.17 JACKANORY TIME...THE SKULL OF BOUDICCA
SKULL OF BOUDICCA (AKA BOADICEA
In the time of this story, a Norfolk farmer took on an extra field by rent. The field had never felt a plough so farm worker Billy go told to get on and plough it up and get on with it..
Now in the middle of this field there was this large mound. It didn’t worry Billy, he just ploughed on right over the top of it. Then he looked back where he had been and got a shock. He had only gone and ploughed up a whole lot of skulls! Though he did not know it, the mound had been an ancient burial ground.
“Blust me, thaas a rummun!” He said to himself, but the more he looked at what he had done, the more an idea formed in his mind…
After he had knocked off for the day, back he went to that field and shoved a score or more of the skulls in an old spud sack he found. Then he took them home and put them in his shed.
Come his week’s holiday, Billy shocked the village by announcing that he was off to London. He was later seen on the platform of Norwich Thorpe Station with a suitcase and an old spud sack full to the top.
He got to London and off he went again and booked himself into a hotel close to Heathrow.
Next morning saw Billy outside the airport with his sack full of skulls, waiting for the first air travellers to arrive.
First out was a large American-crew cut, square rimless glasses, lighting up a fat cigar, cameras hanging from his neck like so many seed pods.
Billy pulled out one of the skulls, put it under his coat and hid the rest.
“Excuse me, sir,” he said, sidling upto the American and speaking in a confidential tone, “but I wonder if you would be interested in buying something special to impress the folks back home?”
“Whatcha got?” said the American.
“Well, I’ve got a unique archaeological find here and don’t know what to do with it, as I shouldn’t have it!”
“What is it?” replied the American, instantly interested so speaking equally confidentially.
“This!” said Billy, and opening his coat gave a quick view of the skull.
“Gee, what is that?” said the American, beginning to sniff a bargain.
“Well you see,” whispered Billy, all the time looking over his shoulder, “I work where the ancient Iceni tribe once lived. You heard of Queen Boadicea?”
“Who hasn’t?” replied the American who prided himself on his British history.
“Well then” said Billy, “this skull, this very skull,” by now whispering into his companion’s ear, “is the skull of Bouddica herself!”
“What?” said the American, already picturing himself showing it off back home in Hogsnout, Arizona, “You mean that his is actually…?”
“Oh yes” confirmed Billy, Bouddicca herself!”
“What’ll you take for it?” was the immediate response.
“Hold you on for a minute, old partner,” but I have to be careful. I don’t know if I should really even be thinking of selling. Afterall, this skull is a big part of Britain’s archaeological heritage.”
“I’ll make it £500.”
“Done,” said Billy and off went the American with his trophy.
Over the next week, Billy amassed a small fortune selling the skull of Boudicca left, right and centre to so many people that they merged into each other to the poin the could not remember one from another.
Then came the last day, and all Billy had left was one small skull. So there he was, looking for his final victim, and found him. Unfortunately it was the American to whom he had sold the first skull.
Totally unaware, Billy launched into his patter…”Excuse me sir, interested in buying something unique to show off to the folks back home…I have here the skull of Queen Boudicca…”
Of course the American recognised him at once, but didn’t say anything. He just let Billy run on until he could hang fire no longer…
“You sir, are a liar, a cheat and a swindler! A week ago on this very spot you sold me this big skull that you swore belonged to Boadicea and now you are trying to pass off this little skull as her’s as well!”
Billy had to think fast.
“Yes of course, sir. You see the big skull was Boudicca’s when she was a woman, but the little skull………..that was hers when she was a girl!
That is my story and now it’s your story.