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Sunday, 24 July 2016

animal hotel


When I was a child I took over the old chicken house in the pit and turned it into an Animal Hotel.
I kept the mice and the hamster and other odd animals like tadpoles in it - dreaming of it to be a hotel where any animal could stay.



Sadly I never got any guests - but NOW I have my very first. A jackdaw called - Jack.

Someone rang me up and said they were going on holiday and could I look after their jackdaw that they had rescued from the centre of the A34 when it was a fledgling. I was delighted. After all, now Quigley has gone I had a spare room with en suite bathroom. He arrived with his own room as it turned out - a magnificent parrot cage and I've supplied the en suite by means of a dog bowl full of water which he delights himself in by stamping up and down and getting his wings all wet then spending ages preening and cleaning his feathers. Like Quigley he demands to be fed by hand but unlike Quigley, when he's had enough, he'll take the last morsel of food and store it in a bowl clamped to the side of the cage. I've looked in and it does appear empty now which tells me one of two things.
1. He CAN feed himself and is pretending he can't.
2. There's someone else in the cage with him.

Anyway he's very chatty and if I talk to him and tell him how beautiful he is he answers with a series of chirrups, squawks and grunts.


Last month a fox took one of the ducks - I had had five and when I put them to be  I only counted four. Last week I went to put them away early and there were only three. I looked everywhere and assumed the fox had had another - even at 5 o'clock in the afternoon. I feared it was going to be like Agatha Chistie's  book - Ten little Indian boys and that day by day the numbers would be reduced.
Anyway the next day after I'd let them out and came back I saw there were four ducks after all. The answer was that one of them had made a little nest lined with my plant labels and some feathers, laid seven eggs and was sitting firmly on the nest. The nest was hard to find as it was extremely well hidden. The mother to be  is very sweet and is there the whole time, seldom moving. She must be so bored. I've left some food and a pile of magazines nearby. I don't put her away at night or her eggs would get cold so I'm praying the fox doesn't find her. Indian runners don't normally sit on their eggs as the light levels aren't right so I've no idea if these will hatch. We have to wait twenty eight days to find out. At least she's not a small elephant or we'd have to wait two years.
 Nancy seeing if she can hatch one
 and Beezle. As Beezle and Wittgenstein would say "If people never did silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done."
 and Pixie.


Rosa Chandos Beauty 
 I'm having a bit of trouble furthering the new story I am working on and asked Beezle, whilst he was sitting on his egg, if he could help. But he says he's busy ghost writing the autobiography of Red Rum. I told him Red Rum was dead and it would have to be a biography as who will they think had written it if the horse was dead. He told me that obviously a ghost would have written it. Then he told me to write my own story and stop bothering him.

Pixie's interesting fact is:

A race horse's name can have no more than eighteen characters including spaces and punctuation.
I told her that was a bit like Twitter and she said how could she possibly know that - her paws are much too big to work the keys on a smart phone even if I had one.



The Jackdaw.


There is a bird who, by his coat
And by the hoarseness of his note,
Might be supposed a crow;
A great frequenter of the church,
Where, bishop-like, he finds a perch,
And dormitory too.

Above the steeple shines a plate,
That turns and turns, to indicate
From what point blows the weather.
Look up -- your brains begin to swim,
'Tis in the clouds -- that pleases him,
He chooses it the rather.

Fond of the speculative height,
Thither he wings his airy flight,
And thence securely sees
The bustle and the rareeshow,
That occupy mankind below,
Secure and at his ease.

You think, no doubt, he sits and muses
On future broken bones and bruises,
If he should chance to fall.
No; not a single thought like that
Employs his philosophic pate,
Or troubles it at all.

He sees that this great roundabout,
The world, with all its motley rout,
Church, army, physic, law,
Its customs and its businesses,
Is no concern at all of his,
And says -- what says he? -- Caw.

Thrice happy bird! I too have seen
Much of the vanities of men;
And, sick of having seen 'em,
Would cheerfully these limbs resign
For such a pair of wings as thine
And such a head between 'em.