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A young gypsy boy with bright red hair clutches his pet guinea pig close to his chest at an encampment in Surrey. 

1973
Gypsy boy and guinea pig

 

We’ve travelled a long way together

my pig and me.  We’re both of us ginger.

That’s what they call us – stay there

don’t you come no closer.

 

We always look after each other

my pig and me.  I’m like his brother,

like his father and mother –

don’t you come no closer.

 

We’ll stay for a while.  Later,

my pig and me, we won’t be here.

Then there won’t be another

don’t you come no closer.

 

 

© Richard Westcott

Picture 10197262, photograph by Tony Boxall, 1973

 

 

After hanging up his stethoscope a few years back, Richard Westcott now listens to himself talking, rather than others. Presently working on a sequence exploring Suicide, he seems to be better at getting a commendation here and there than being published, but keeps trying. And stays alive.