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Torfaen Tales

Odd Shaped Balls

Part 5 of the K-Nine Stories

K-Nine was wandering quietly along a narrow path between the canal and a large playing field when suddenly he was hit on the side of the head by a strange oval shaped object which had the name “Gilbert” written on the side.

“Sorry butt” said a deep voice to his left.

K-Nine turned towards the field and saw a huge gentleman dressed in a black and white stripey shirt, shorts and boots lumbering towards him.

“Are you alright ?” asked the man, examining K-Nine for any signs of exterior damage.

“Affirmative” said K-Nine after checking that his antenna had not been bent by the impact of the strange object.

“Our new fly half’s a bit suspect with his touchline conversions” explained the man as he picked up the oval object from the canal bank.

K-Nine nodded in agreement, although he didn’t really have a clue what the man had just said. “Are you Gilbert ?” asked K-Nine.

“No butt” said the man “The name’s Dai Jones … I’m the captain of the New Bridge Zebras”.

K-Nine was puzzled … “Then why does it say Gilbert on your missile ?”

“Missile, what missile ? … oh you mean our rugby ball” laughed Dai.

This confused K-Nine even more. According to his data banks, Rugby was a medium sized market town in Warwickshire, England and a ‘ball’ was a spherical object or entity ! The man then explained to him that “Gilbert” was the name of the company that made the ‘ball’, and it was an unusual shape because it was designed for passing from one player to another. This partially satisfied K-Nine’s curiosity, although he still couldn’t figure out why they spent so much time kicking a ball that was designed for passing !

The man returned to the rest of his team on the field and K-Nine spent the next forty or so minutes watching the second half of the game and trying to understand the rules. He figured out that the aim of the game was to try and get the ball over the opponents line at the far end of the pitch. That seemed reasonable enough, but why were the players only allowed to pass backwards as surely it would be far more efficient to pass the ball forwards. He was tempted to call Dai over to tell him it was “Illogical Captain” but he decided to keep quiet on this occasion. At the end of the game, all the players shook hands with each other and then disappeared into a wooden hut at the far side of the field. “How very sporting” thought K-Nine “You don’t get that in many games these days”.

K-Nine then continued with his journey alongside the canal. Suddenly he heard a loud shout of “Cerys, come back !” and he turned to see a black and white dog hurtling towards him …..

by Nigel Daft

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