Fantasy Bob had innocently purchased Edinburgh's Evening News in order to read a much praised interview with Fraser Watts the ever popular captain of go ahead cricket club Carlton. He was sure that Fraggle would have a few choice remarks which would inspire FB for the coming season. However, hardly had he opened the newspaper but Mrs FB's eye (trained to pick up any reference to horses at superhuman distances) lighted on the sensational headline 'Satanic Link to Horse Attack' and FB's chances of an evening's quiet contemplation of Fraggle's incisive thoughts had gone.
The story urged all horse owners to be vigilant following an incident in West Lothian in which a horse had its mane and tail hacked. This is the second such incident within a week - another prize pony had its forelock vandalised at the weekend. Such attacks are undoubtedly distressing to the owners of the horses which have been attacked - apparently such forced haircuts mean that they cannot be entered in competitions where the quality of the horse's grooming matters. It is also distressing to the horse - FB would take exception to having his forelock forcibly docked - not that he has any forelock left to dock, but you take the point. Horses in FB's experience are nervous enough at the best of times and would therefore make indifferent close fielders. And such attacks give them even more reason to spook and limit their effectiveness in the outfield too.
As a horse owner herself, Mrs FB feels the distress keenly. She also senses the threat, and even though her horse stays far from where these incidents took place, and even though there is no indication that horse owners are under threat, Mrs FB is now on red alert. She has heightened her state of security so the 7 iron that is customarily kept under the bed has been exchanged for a 3 iron.
The Evening News' article was not clear on what the Satanic link might be, and the headline might reflect an excited journalist's speculation more than any underlying appearance of the Prince of Darkness. But as Mrs FB says you can't be too careful with this Satan chap.
Cricketers are thankfully not open to such attacks - few of them being left by their owners in fields overnight. Cricketers, generally, have also evolved to the point that they no longer have tails. In FB's case the progressive disappearance of any forelock also renders him less susceptible to such attack. So Satan has had to develop other ways of getting at them. How else could leg spin bowling have come about?