|It was a stormy Christmas night, and inside the tiny cottage on the Yorkshire moors, an elderly couple sat around a roaring fire. Suddenly there was a knock at the door. The old man answered it, and found a very bedraggled man, exhausted and shivering.|
"Thank God you're in," said the stranger. "I've been walking for hours. I'm lost, and the snow is so deep. Can I rest here for a while?"
"Why certainly," replied the old man. "Come and sit by the fire."
The stranger gratefully accepted the invitation. As he walked in to the lounge, he saw the old lady, and beside her an attractive 19-year-old blonde.
"I'm Walter, by the way," said the old man. "This is my wife Mary and my daughter Ida who's come to stay for Christmas."
After a glass of whiskey, the old man said, "Well, it's getting late, and I suggest we all retire. I'm afraid that all the beds are taken, but you're welcome to sleep on the sofa."
The young man said, 'Thank you' and lay down.
About an hour later, Walter was lying in bed, and turned to his wife, and said, "It's a very cold night. I'll see if that young man would like a blanket."
So he went into the lounge, and asked, "Would you like a blanket, young man?"
"Oh no, Walter I'm fine."
"Well, what about a hot water bottle?"
"No, no, there's really no need," he replied.
"Alright, then, how about having our eiderdown?"
"My God, you certainly know how to look after strangers," he gasped. "She's been down twice already."
eiderdown - a quilt filled with down with small, soft feathers from the breast of the female eider (sea duck)