Sunday, October 29, 2006

the death of a flying rat

if you check out noam's myspace blog this week you will see a record of her current rat infestation. the first rat that was killed was shot three times by the ratman before it fell. shot with poison pellets from a rat rifle it was.

i have been a vegetarian since 1975, and to this day find the snuffing out of any life a painful experience. the only exception to this would be mosquitoes (i have always believed that mummy mosquitoes tucked their babies up at night with the promise that one day they too would feast on friedlander) and london pigeons. ever since a trip up to town in the early seventies, when we visited trafalgar square, i have hated london pigeons. our kind parents paid their tuppence for a right guard lid full of bird seed, and we tried to feed the birds. you know those beards of bees that you see photos of every now and then when the news needs a little light refreshment? imagine a toupee of flying rats, whose talons got tangled in your naturally curly hair and then they tried to fly away.

nu, i don't like pigeons, and therefore rather enjoyed the following bit from a.a.gill in today's sunday times:

"It's all a bit hard to swallow

It’s a bird-eat-bird world. The pelicans in St. James’s Park are swallowing the pigeons and the usual swooning battalion of critter lovers is reaching for the smelling salts and the green ink. Pelicans should breakfast on fish.

Though I can’t for the life of me see the qualitative difference between the life of a haddock and a feral pigeon. We go to watch pelicans being fed fish in the zoo; how much more amusing to chuck them a flying rat. I think urban pigeon coursing would be an exciting day out and fun for all the family.

We’d start with a mad woman throwing breadcrumbs as bait while we hit behind trees with our trained pelicans at the ready. Maybe packs of them would go for foxes — riding after a squadron of killer pelicans coming out of the sun would be brilliant.

The pelican is the ancient symbol of selfless charity. They were thought to feed their young with the blood from their breast (they don’t) and the pigeon of course is cousin to the dove, harbinger of peace. Some might think that charity eating peace was an augury of some imminent catastrophe or perhaps it’s just an elegant bestiary metaphor for the end of the Tony Blair years?"

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