“How is my fluffy?” I ask Mum when I call to let the parentals know that have made it to my Office. If I don’t call, they just assume that am Still In Bed or have snuck off to the gym.
“He’s a very naughty boy,” Mum says, in her Teacher Voice.
“What has he done?” I say, crossing the road back to the Office. Have gone out for a small walk to make this phone call. Obviously am not calling from the Office. Have Important Work to do.
“He caught a bird – a baby robin – and a mouse and when I was driving home, I saw him strolling down the road about half a mile away. So I stopped the car and called his name,” Mum says. “He just looked confused: he recognised my voice but couldn’t see me. So I got out of the car, picked him up, put him in the car and drove him home and…”
“Poor baby robin,” I say, feeling sad. “Have you spoken to the vet?” I say. “About the poo that’s stuck in his furry trousers?”
“I have,” Mum says. “And they said that they might have to cut off a bit of his fur if it’s too thick for him to get through. He’s meant to be able to clean himself, after all.”
“Darling fluffy monster,” I say. “Give him a cuddle from me and tell him I’ll see him soon.”
I’m standing at the corner of the road where my Office lives. A couple of men are gesticulating and arguing outside the bookmaker’s, cans of Stella in their hands. It’s eleven o’clock in the morning. Need to get back in there and get on with my Important Work. It’s unsettling weather today: grey and muggy.
In the park at lunchtime, a pigeon comes to sit with me on the grass. Is nice to have some avian company. That’s him in the attached photo.
Have purchased four artichokes in the market. Seb is coming to see me tomorrow and we can have some then.
Happy Monday everyone!
*1965. By Donald E. Westlake. A “comic crime caper”.