Category: Wildlife

Llamas and Bureaucracy – A Crisis in the Making

Still, I suppose you know what llamas are like. Most people these days have at least some familiarity with what was once regarded as exotic wildlife - at least in places far from their natural habit – through the medium of the TV nature documentary. Although, even these days, there are still some people who are surprised by the llama’s natural antipathy towards any form of bureaucracy. Many wildlife programme-makers have been somewhat lax in this regard, and not just with llamas. Often, they prefer to fill their programmes with sweeping panoramas of herds migrating across the great plain in…

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As I Was Saying Only the Other Day

Maybe it is not always that simple, especially when you think about all the other things there are to think about, such as…. Well, we’ll leave that to one side for the moment while we get on with whatever it was we were about to do. That is the trouble. As you get older, you start to forget about… whatever it was I meant to say here… probably something about memory. It usually is these days, or so I seem to recall anyway. That’s the trouble with a bad memory, remembering just how bad it is. After all, it could…

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Reality is Not What it Used to Be

‘Is it real?’ I asked. ‘Ah.’ Professor Wilheim thrust his hands into the pockets of his lab coat. ‘That is an interesti-‘ A puzzled frown crossed his face. He withdrew his right hand from the pocket. He was now holding about two-thirds of a cheese salad baguette in his hand. He sniffed it, prodded it with a finger and took an experimental bite. ‘Is it real?’ I repeated. The puzzled frown was back as Wilheim stared at the now slightly smaller baguette in his hand. ‘It tastes real.’ ‘Not that… that.’ I pointed. The dragon looked up at the sound…

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Open-Air Orgies And Their Drawbacks

Spring is now upon us and I trust you all (both of you) have your sexual arousal spatulas fully-oiled (with turbo-weasel spleen oil) ready for the new season’s round of orgies. It will not be long now before the open-air orgy scene begins in earnest*. Although open-air orgies seem to embody so much of the rural idyll, they, like most Arcadian fantasies differ in the reality a good deal from what you urban ‘sophisticates’ so naively imagine. Most obvious, I suppose, is the danger of exposing your nether regions and intimate delicate parts in the general vicinity of several forms…

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Ancient Pagan Rites

Deep in the deepest, darkest, heart of the Little Frigging Woods is one of the oldest still living trees in the area. Consequently, over the years - before Christianity came along and spoilt it - this ancient tree and its immediate environs became the scene for many a pagan holy rite. As they knew how to do the religion business properly in those far of days of yore (and mine), it was the scene of many, many naughty goings-on and situations of extreme moistness in the very epitome of bacchanalian extravagance not seen again on these shores until the drug-fuelled…

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Al Fresco

Al Fresco, our farmhand has been helping out the dairymaids yet again, down in the upper lower pasture. As far as we can tell, he seems to have been mostly helping them out of their underwear, judging by the number of discarded pairs of knickers and errant bras hanging from the horns of the cows when the rather pleased-looking dairymaids eventually bring them in at milking time. Al Fresco himself - who, it has often been said, makes our carthorses feel inadequate and our donkeys feel underdeveloped - does seem to prefer the outdoor life. Not for him the traditional…

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Country Pursuits

Of course, back in those days, electronic badgers were almost unheard of. Those of us who could get them used clockwork weasels. But, for the majority of contenders, a field mouse operated by foot-pump was the best they could often afford. Back in those days, of course, the sport was completely unregulated. People, therefore, turned up at the meets with whatever they could afford or cobble together themselves. I recall such things as a water-powered hamster, a cocker spaniel adapted with the pedals from a Raleigh racing bike, a hot-air stoat, a steam-powered water vole and a push-along duck. It…

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Trilobites under My Auntie’s Deckchair

Fallopian Designateddriver was yesterday announced as this year’s Beige Award for Fiction Prize winner for her novel Trilobites under My Auntie’s Deckchair. The book concerns the coming of age of a young girl during the Great Postage Stamp Crisis of 1952. It was a time when Great Britain was still emerging from the rationing of WWII, and there was a severe shortage of gum for the nation’s postage stamps. The novel’s protagonist, Celery Stirfry, is stranded on a holiday with the Auntie of the title. Due to the postage stamp crisis, she is unable to send back any postcards to…

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The Beast of the Fog

Something crawls out from the realm of possibility. The fog lies deep, solid over the sea. There is nothing to see except the still water with muted waves lying below the greyness of the heavy cloud. It is as though the clouds have real weight, pressing down on the sea, ironing out the waves to nothing more than a suggestion of movement. Hella has her hands raised towards the thick bank of fog. Whether she is warding it off or entreating it to come closer is hard to tell. Her eyes are closed in concentration. Her arms, stiff with tension,…

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Her Map and Her Destination

Another day, another time, movement towards something that lies beyond the horizon of knowing. Dawn had a map of the route she could take across the lands and the seas. A route sketched across lands that were mainly guesswork and supposition and seas that were just blank expanses, apart from the imaginary monsters. She did not have a map of the time the journey would take. No sketches, outlines, or features of what each new day of journeying would bring. She had known, though, when she left the ordinary world behind, that this world was different. This was not the…

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