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1 Mar, 2022

The Scholars’ Path

The Scholars’ Path image_AlbanLow

Long listed for the WALKING HOME writing competition run in January & February 2022

Prose Runner up

Jack Pedersen reads The Scholars’ Path

The Scholars’ Path

The sun is setting and this means we only have an hour to go until last light. I can get us back as I’ve been walking this route since I was a bairn and even a thick haar wouldn’t scare me. The start of the path isn’t obvious but there are waymarkers for those boys and girls who know where to look. It’s a tangled rocky landscape and the misshapen stones loom large and frequent. As we ascend we pass below a crag and climb until we can look back and see a view of our school. 

The sun is beginning to play peekaboo behind the mountains—its bright orange rays turning the sky to fire and brimstone. As the eldest, I link arms with wee Margaret and John. I practically drag them home every day but the twins need special attention otherwise they are apt to go running off into the hills and get lost. I know because I’m the one that has to stay out in the dark damp cold and find them when they do go missing. 

We cheerfully say hello to the sheep—we pass many on the pathless moorland—and they bleat back at us. Margaret begins to sing a song and John joins in; their lullaby drowned out by the chattering burn as we head down the shadowy hill to home. It is boggy underfoot but mother will have our shoes dry by the fire ready for the return in morning. 


Read more from the Long List of poems and stories submitted to the WALKING HOME writing competition. Watch winning authors reading their work on the video of the Write About Walking Home showcase event that took place on Sunday 25 September 2022.

Itching to write something yourself? Submit a piece to our Shorelines project, and invite your friends to read it aloud. Join one of our creative writing workshops or keep up to date with all our competitions by signing up to our curated newsletter here.

APA style reference

Harradine, H. (2022). The Scholars’ Path. walk · listen · create. https://walklistencreate.org/2022/03/01/the-scholars-path/

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fat man’s folly

A narrow gap in a drystone wall or rock face ie one a fat man would be foolish to try to get through. A number exist in the Lake District bearing that specific name but it is also a general term in Cumbria for any narrow gap.

Added by Alan Cleaver

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