Sunday, 28 November 2010

Away in a Manger

There is a knock on the back door, which is unusual because any visitations from the back garden are generally preceeded by the crashing open of the door, the letting in of an icy blast of chill air (at this time of year anyway) and a chorus of 'COOOOO-EEEEEEEEE!!!!! Any cake to be had?'

I open the door. I can see why knocking was the only option available to the knockee, who is Mrs Miggins. She is dressed in at least three Winter jumpers topped with a huge scarf, and thus her wing stretch ability is limited. Actually, she can't move her wings at all, and has had to attract my attention using her beak.

I check the garden thermometer. Minus seven and a half degrees.

'Morning Mrs M,' I say. 'What can I do for you?'
'It's about this here Orangery that Andy has installed,' says Miggins. I glance behind her and see Mrs Pumphrey and Mrs Slocombe installed 'neath in the Orangery, their toes er...well, toe deep in the straw I strewed yesterday. Mrs Pumphrey is practising her American Smooth for the Strictly Come Dancing semi's and Mrs Slocombe is singing thus...

'Good King Whatsisface looked out, on the beast of Bodmin
Lots of snow lay hereabout, some robins they were bobbing,
Brightly shone the moose that night
Though the frogs were cru-el,
Then an aardvark came in sight
Boasting of his toooo-oooo-ellllllll!'

...she sang.

'That's not the right words and you know it,' I call to here. She waves back. At least I think she's waving - it's difficult to tell when she's wearing mittens.
'It's your fault,' says Mrs Miggins.
'How so?' I say.
'They are thinking the Orangery is more like a stable,' says Mrs M. 'Especially since you strew the straw. She's cranking up for Christmas.'
'I'm expecting a visitation from the Angel Gabriel,' shouts Mrs Pumphrey, mid-rondez.
'I'm just waiting for the one with the gold,' shouts Mrs Slocombe. 'Bring me grapes and bring me cheese, but not too much, they make me sneeze....' she continues singing.

'I suppose they do look a bit Nativity-esque,' I say. 'So which part are you playing in all this? The Virgin Mary? Ahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!'
'Watch it,' snaps Miggins, 'or I'll invite you out to play the cow.'
'I apologise,' I say. 'But what do you want me to do about the Orangery/ Stable/ Manger issue? It's dry, it's warm, it'll be good to shelter in from the snow the Met Office keep promising. And you've got to admit that you love the straw that I strew.'
'Well, yes, we do,' says Miggins. 'But could you have a word with Andy and ask him if he can make it look a bit more, well, Orangery?'
'Like painting it orange?' I say. 'Ahahahahahahahahaha! Blimey, I'm on fire today, aren't I?'
'Hmmmmm....' says Miggins giving me a bit of a look. 'I was thinking more along the lines of installing a wood burning stove, some comfy chairs, a few angora throws and a cocktail cabinet. Possibly a toasting fork.'
'I'll see what I can do,' I say. 'Anything else?'
'Yes,' says Miggins. 'Roll me back to the others, will you? I can't move. My feet have frozen to the ground.'

No comments: