His house was the furthest from the river and it did Jeremiah good to know it was so.
“I hate the water, hate the water, hate, hate, hate, the water,” was his little song that no one ever paid any attention to.
It was also obvious was that when you brushed close to Jeremiah that he also did not like soap. But he had the biggest of hearts and all of those who lived in Dirty River Mansions would not have a word said against the gent. Not a single utterance.
The house that was furthest from the river had three floors.
Jeremiah had started as a child with his family on the bottom floor, a place given to them on the death of Jeremiah’s grandmother. The process was to wait until the occupant above you died and then you would move into that property. The only way you could jump straight to the top floor (the best of them the rooms with a spectacular view over old London town) was if the occupants of floors two and three perished at the same time. That was very rare, very rare indeed. So rare that the last time it happened Queen Victoria had been smiling on that day. Not due to the occupants of Dirty River Mansions quietly dying, but rather because Prince Albert had told her a particularly amusing story.
Jeremiah was now on the top floor with all the respect that a position like that deserved. However in the years that it had taken him to be raised to such a lofty height, it had also seen an increase in his overall size. It was an irony to those like Jeremiah, that when one was on the ground floor, one tended to be young and skinny. The opposite being true for the top floor in the building; it was a struggle to get up and down the creaky wooden stairs and Jeremiah found it all so much easier to stay where he was.
This meant that when any one wanted to see the ‘great man’, then they had to go to him. It gave Jeremiah the impression of being an oracle for the great and good of Dirty River Mansions and its surrounding areas.
“Go and see the Great Jeremiah,” would be the advice on market day if someone uttered a worry or a complaint.
“My feet are hurting,” Oh go and visit Jeremiah, he has so many potions, he will help you.
Of course none of it was in any way true. When people came to see Jeremiah they tended to be carrying the answers deep inside themselves. ‘If only they trusted their hearts and minds’ thought Jeremiah, ‘they wouldn’t be in such a hurry to come and see me’.
Although Jeremiah loved the company, he just felt that a lot of people’s time would be better spent doing other things than visiting Dirty River Mansions.
So one lovely warm day, he walked all the way to the door at the bottom of his house and put up a piece of paper in his very own handwriting.
If you have problem – do you have an idea in your head or your heart on how to solve it or make it better?
If ‘YES’, then go and try it. If it fails, then come and see me.
Jeremiah was half disappointed and yet a little pleased with himself when no one turned up to see him the following week.
bobby stevenson 2016