Runt

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“Bugger”, says Scruff. “Bugger”.

He’s back to his old intemperate self.

“What’s got your goat now?” I say.

“How am I supposed to get to the top branch now?? You know how I love the top branch. Someone took the tall ladder away and replaced it with THAT RUNT!!”

His wing is pointing at the little ladder against the weeping myrtle.

“Excuse me,” I say, “but you can’t expect the gardener to consult with magpies every time he shifts a ladder.”

Scruffy has that evil look in his eye.

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“Besides”, I add, “has anyone ever pointed out those two appendages, one on each side of your body? They can get you places.”

“Sarcastic snob!” he snaps. “I use them all the time like you your legs. Aches and pains. I prefer to hop up rungs.”

“Have it your own way,” I say, but my heart goes out to him all the same. “I know what you mean,” I add. “I’ll speak to the gardener.”

I notice a little spring in his hop.

Waterlogged

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The rain has begun.

I park the car close as possible, then dodging the drops, duck into the library.

“Ahh,” says the librarian, “we’ve been wading through your requests and look what’s washed up.”

It is like Santa handing over a present.

“Ahh, ‘Waterlog’”, I say.”The perfect book to read in the bath,”

“Just don’t drop it,” he says.

I should have seen that coming but Steve is quick, very quick.

“Thanks,” I say and we have a brief chat on the merits of reading in strange places, like baths.

“Have to go”, I say. “The rain’s getting heavier.”

By the time I get to the car, the book and I are waterlogged.

Steve would have appreciated that pun.

Now I don’t have to worry about dropping it in the bath.

 

Jump

 

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It’s Milly’s birthday today.

It is?

Yes. But what do you buy a cat who has everything?

A parachute.

A parachute?

Yes. The next time she gets on the roof and can’t get down all she has to do is jump.

 

The First Word

 

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What’s the first word you’re going to forget? The first word that’s going to slip through the sieve in your brain?

The name of your partner, child, grandson?

With me it was an item of food.

A breakfast food we eat once a week on Wednesday. I knew it began with ‘c’ and that it was a French-sounding word like ‘croutons’ but it wasn’t that.

I could have asked my partner but I didn’t want to embarrass myself.

I did not want to acknowledge that ‘the forgetting’ had begun.

 Then after a week it came to me in a flash, like the click of a thumb. I wrote it down on a pad with a marker pen just in case but I needn’t have bothered.

Now I enjoy my croissants that little bit more.