Friday, 1 July 2011
Live Parrot Sketch
You know that feeling when you come round the corner of your street and find the whole place full of police and fire engines? Maybe you didn't turn the gas off? OK - no smoke in the air, perhaps it's merely an escaped amazon parrot. Normally such an event would not come to mind - unless you live where I do.
The cat lady, who I explained is also the dove lady, is actually above all the parrot lady. In 2010 a number of violent storms swept across France around Bastille Day (July 14th). Somehow an aviary was damaged and Cookie, a red amazonian parrot, escaped. Seemingly, Madame had reared the bird after it had been born with a beak defect and could not feed normally. For a couple of days I had heard the occasional sound of what I thought was a parrot. I knew that feral parakeets had taken up residence in Southern England and I always imagined that they had been introduced in order to combat the feral children that colonised much of the UK tabloid press.
As I rounded the corner I came across a knot of sapeurs-pompiers with a couple of Gendarmes. Various ladders led into trees. The cat/dove/parrot lady was going through her normal range "My little man, my flea - oh please - oh-my little flea". Regular readers will begin to recognise the pattern. A chief fireman was briefing the men "The suspect is wearing a red beret. He answers to the name Cookie." He said drily. The Gendarmes nodded wisely. Radios echoed from inside vehicles. Squawks filled the air as a parrot rose gracefully from a conifer tree and flapped off across the rooftops. Personnel emerged from the tree. Madame set off in the same direction whilst ladders were retracted and replaced on fire engines.
I expected that Cookie's career as a fugitive would not end well. Everyday Madame roamed the town with binoculars calling the bird. Several hundred cigarettes were smoked. All hope had faded as a fisherman on the banks of La Charente spotted the bird and threw a net over it. News reached the local radio station France Bleu La Rochelle and the miracle was complete. I have told you before that she is almost certainly some kind of angel although I've lost my Observers book of angels.
Just a note on the DSK situation. I do detect that in France there is a feeling that the humiliation of such a French figure is a blow at the National pride - a kinda cultural swipe at the Gallic gonad. I guess that many travelling world controllers are making their own beds just in case.
Emma thinx: NYPD? Bof! - blow that job.