Bird #3.

There is a knock at the door!!!

I look up in annoyance. The Baby has been a little difficult, I am trying to get him to sleep, and I have not yet put my trousers on. Nevertheless, a knock is a knock. It could be somebody interesting, perhaps with some good news or some free money. I trot through the kitchen to find out.

“Is this the place with the rare Gribledy-Grob?” demands the man.

I sigh deeply. For over a week, a rare Gribledy-Grob bird has been visiting the tree in the front garden, to eat our berries and to preen. It has attracted all sorts of birdwatching types, most of whom have been extremely friendly and good-natured. This one immediately comes across as a little eccentric.

If there is one thing that puts me on edge, it is eccentric people. I reflect that it is a good job that I have removed the notice pretending that I had put the Gribledy-Grob in a sandwich, as I stand at the door in my pants.

“I believe that it has flown on somewhere else,” I reply. It is true. There has been no sign of it since the previous day.

This seems to upset the man a great deal. “Are you certain?” he demands. “It’s not here?” He bends to one side, straining to look past me into the kitchen, as if I would have secreted the Gribledy-Grob in there.

“I am very certain,” I reply.

“This is [%my address and house number]?” he queries. “This is the address that I’ve got on my pager. [%my address and house number].”

I stare at the pager that he waves before me, in some annoyance. “Yes. But the bird has flown away.”

The conversation peters out at this point, and he takes his leave.

19 Comments

  1. Would have been far more effective if you were picking your teeth with a chicken bone and belching as you did…

  2. To avoid further disappointment for these bird-watchers, why don’t you catch, kill and stuff the rare bird and put it in a display case? Then the bird-watchers’ long journeys won’t be wasted.

  3. One should open the door with a small feather protruding from the corner of one’s mouth.

  4. You were wearing pants – I am so relieved. It can be chilly in your part of Norfolk in the mornings.

  5. I like Hamish’s idea. You could do it all subtly…

    Never fear, Z. My ‘part of Norfolk’ was well covered up.

  6. You could tell people that the bird has been arrested for illegal tree occupation and fruit consumption. And direct them to the local police / greenies , rspca or other busy bodies.

  7. Not to be creepy, but I’ve always wondered what the cottage looked like, and the pub, and the village shop. Last night I cracked the case.

    By triangulating some hints dropped in your book with the vague topographical clues found in the Diary’s “I go for a run” entries, I finally eliminated all the likely candidates and stumbled upon the correct neighborhood.

    “Slow” sign on the street where your car got totaled? Check. Tiny bus shelter? Check. Hilly bit rising toward the war memorial? Check. Churchyard, church, duckpond? All there!

    The final test was comparing the brickwork around the upper left cottage window from the bird sandwich picture you posted with the exterior of the house visible in Google street-view. An exact match!

    I’m not saying I should get a medal for outstanding detective work or anything, but I feel that Scotland Yard should be alerted just the same.

  8. Phew – for a moment I thought you were going to be creepy.

    I am #1 on Google for the rare Gribledy-Grob bird!!! Above even the RSPB!!! NB – birdseed manufacturers pls feel free to enquire re advertising rates oh here.

  9. To be prexact, you are first, second AND third!

  10. Dang! I could’ve just googled that Spackled Grackle, or whatever it was.

    Don’t worry, Jonny, my threat level is basically nil – too cheap to renew my passport. (Also, my last pair of night-vision goggles were damaged in a scuffle.)

  11. Pager? The frighteningly efficient Bird Watcher Intelligence System is run on pagers? Good lord! Next thing you’ll have the steampunk people knocking down your door in search of the fascinating Victorian avian enthusiasts and their quaint communication techniques!

    BTW – points given for addressing TWO issues raised in previous comments. Viz: pants or no pants (see Ivan, and can I say I believe we are all much relieved) and the possible communication methods of the Greater British Bird Fanatic Group. V clever.

  12. It will be back with a mate. They will have children in your garden.

  13. Hope you’ve been cashing in by selling light refreshments and souvenirs to twitchers?

  14. Guyana – the bird or the eccentric?

  15. Dammit, Debster has nicked my planned quickfire wit response…

  16. Debster, I was thinking, the bird, but now you have me wondering.

    That leaves the floor open for JonnyB’s planned, quickfire wit response [if he ever had one in the first place, let’s see how long he will take].

  17. Ermmm….aaaahahhhh… ummmmm…. *fakes seizure*

  18. A few days ago you thought that all twitchers were eccentric, Jonny. So quickly have you acclimatised to the idea of pudgy middle-aged men crawling around the bushes with binoculars that now they have to pound on your door at unearthly, pre-trouser hours (ie, in your case, any time before Noon) to earn that damning sobriquet.

    By the end of the week they’ll have you so well trained that they can all wear Big Bird suits and take turns on the Gribledy-Grob and your chickens without you batting an eye. Which of course is the whole point…

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