Picture: Copyright: De Waal Venter.
I have written before about my fear of being caught in a situation where I have to sit still for any length of time without anything to read.
Yesterday saw me in that dreadful predicament, when I waited outside the doctor’s rooms for my mother in-law to finish her monthly check up and routine blood tests. I’d forgotten to take my current novel along and was getting extremely bored with the radio station. As luck would have it a chap appeared, delivering the weekly Caxton freebie; the Rosebank Killarney Gazette.
The body of the little paper was quickly worked through and I resorted to reading the classifieds. Slim pickings there too; second hand cars and weight loss clinics. Then my eye fell on something that has me quite flummoxed:
Lost in Cecil Avenue Melrose.
From 1st week in January.
083 762 xxxx
A Guinea Fowl? Now, I have thought about this all night. How much does a Guinea Fowl cost, as weighed up against the cost of a newspaper classified advertisement? Do they become tame, affectionate pets? Melrose?! Are you allowed to keep these birds in a suburb abutting the busiest highway in the country? And the bird has been missing for two months, if the ad is true he will be a long digested pot–au–feu* by now!
No, my inner conspiracy theorist is insisting on something sinister. I am sure it is a coded message; pirates or smugglers perhaps, maybe a gang of robbers planning a burglary at the home of a Mister Cecil Melrose? A mistress warning old Cecil that she is planning to let the bird out of the bag …
This will drive me insane; I am going to wait until 9am and ring that number and ask for the full story.
Watch this space.
Trivia for the day:
The name of the common species of guinea fowl, meleagris, comes from a story in Greek mythology. Meleager, prince of Macedon, was killed by his mother after murdering his uncles. Meleager’s sisters, weeping in grief, are turned into guinea-hens and their tears form the pearl-shaped markings found on the bird’s feathers.
* Recipe available on request.