A snapshot of country life,
with Parsnip,
an inquisitive pheasant.

Parsnip, at work (2020)

'At The Races' (2020)

It was day four of racing at Cheltenham.

Parsnip had backed several winners so far and the Bollinger was now in full flow.

The next race was The Gold Cup, but would his luck continue?

Only time would tell...

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What a Player (2020)

They said it couldn't be done, but a pheasant called Parsnip proved them all wrong.

He took countless titles and broke many more hearts, riding Snippet, his favourite pony.

Over deeply-filled glasses of port in the private member's clubs of Mayfair, with wry smiles and stares into the middle-distance, they would talk of his natural speed, grace and elegance.

His physical prowess was tempered by a rare kindness and vulnerability.

The polo world would not see another like him, not for a very long time; his razor-sharp focus never faded, or dimished.

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'Drink, Don't Drive.' (2020)

Sense and sensibility for Parsnip.

'Pheasant Shoot' (2020)

Parsnip wasn't having a good day.

Consistency is the key and Parsnip was at least consistent...at missing. 

'Gun Dog' (2020)

A commission, for Lewis.

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'The Artist, at Work' (2020)

He was so happy, working in the studio.

Parsnip would often get lost in a world of creativity.

'Scotch & Cuban'. (2020)

As his birthday approached, he had time to take stock of his life.

He was happy. Very happy.

'High Society, Narcissist.' (2020)

Friday night had arrived, and it was party time!

Laurent Perrier rosé was his celebration tipple of choice.

However, before things got too crazy, it was essential

that everyone online knew Parsnip was having an amazing time.

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Selfie 2: 'Rather Dashing' (2020)

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'High Tea' (2020)

"A strong cup of 'English Breakfast'.

Parsip couldn't start the day without tea. It was only civilised."

'Summertime.' (2020)

Staying at home this summer, Parsnip missed the sun of Ibiza, but he was used to the random downpours.

He escaped to an online world.

'Status Update.' (2020)

He always swore he'd have an early night, but that just meant more time in bed, with his phone. It was slowly killing him, but he was addicted.

'Intrigue, in the Library' (2020)

"William. This is why I brought you here."

Parsnip, with a flick of the wrist, pulled down on what appeared to be nothing more than a well-worn copy of Joseph Conrad's 'Heart of Darkness'.

However, the book levered downwards and a secret panel opened in the panels of the old oak library. He motioned to the new opening in the facade, from which a faint glow and icy breeze emanated. The chill woke my senses.

"Please, after you..." he said, urging me forward. "

'Rhubarb Thief' (2020)

"The midday sun made the temperature almost unbearable.

Parsnip was really feeling the heat, however that could have been more to do

with the award-winning rhubarb he'd just stolen.

The long arm of the law was closing in."

"He sought the shade and protection of a nearby, abandoned barn.

Was it really worth it? Only time would tell."

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'Self-Isolating' (2020)

Daisy, Parsnip's main squeeze (or rather, he was Daisy's, such was their power dynamic). They discussed their life playbook. She had big plans. Big. Huge.

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'In Hiding' (2020)

The sting of a rather strong Tequila Sunrise had hit Parsnip hard. His mind was foggy, his cares temporarily evaporated. He was, unsurprisingly, in hiding after fleeing what the press would refer to as “Southern England’s largest single heist of award-winning rhubarb in a decade” and he would come to be known by the unflattering moniker “The Fruity Bandit”. Regardless of unchosen appellation, the pheasant was tired. He used what little battery he had left in his burner phone to check updates on the incident and his profile in the news (vanity and narcissism would likely prove his undoing). As he floated in a self-imposed sensory deprivation, the sound of the water from the pool was his only connection to the real world. The percussive splash of cool chlorinated waves, as they passed the event horizon of the infinity pool’s edge, hitting a ledge below, became The Tell Tale Heart of Parsnip’s current situation. Regrets? Guilt? Perhaps...
How long would he hide out? As long as necessary, he naively thought. He realised that his plan thus far was not without flaws: witnesses left behind and a far from watertight alibi.
So, perhaps he should have been using this time to think. But no, forethought wasn’t really Parsnip’s style. He was a renegade, a wildcard; living in the moment was his M.O. and, to be fair, that approach had afforded him a good lifestyle to date, thank you very much.
Seriously though, with a chest freezer full of rhubarb and no earthly explanation for it’s presence, he was living on borrowed time. The time for making crumbles had passed.
However, under the hot sun, minutes melted into hours...and later that afternoon, piercing the almost perfect silence (save for the aforementioned waves and a welcome, light breeze coming off the Sierra Nevadas, shaking the trees), there was the sound of footsteps on the gravel driveway...

All content ©2020 William Charlesworth