I loved this eager old man stuck up a mountain, starved of company, starved of news.  And in the age of fake news, his closing clause made me laugh.

‘Once near the top of Mt. Kedros in Crete, a white-bearded old shepherd had shouted to my guide and me to join him at his fold a few hundreds yards above the path.  He set out cheese and bread and yoghourt with an air of suppressed excitement – he had not been down to his village for months – and when all was ready, sat down, put his hands on his knees and leant forward with jutting elbows.

“Now!” he said. “News!  Tell me some news – any news,” then, throwing his hands in the air with a laugh – “whatever you like – even if it’s lies.”‘

Source: Patrick Leigh Fermor, Mani: Travels in the Southern Peloponnese, introduction by Michael Gorra, New York: New York Review of Books, 2006 (1958), p. 236

Photo credit: Ben_Kerckx at pixabay.com


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