Many years ago my parents had a country hotel. We had several animals ranging from miniature Shetland’s and Falabella’s through to a retired cart horse. We had two dogs, a three legged cat, peacocks, rare breed ducks, geese, chickens – I called them Mexican racing chickens because those little buggers never laid a single egg! We did have a cockerel too – those chickens were cranky buggers.
You’d think we had enough feathered friends wouldn’t you? Oh noooo. Not with my mum in charge! We went over to friends one day who had recently decided to get into rare meat farming. It was all the rage at the time and they had Ostriches and Emus. Mother had a fit of jealousy – pet envy is an ugly thing. She mentioned she’d love one longingly and, sending a sucker, they said oh we have one that isn’t really happy with the others, if you want, you can have him. We’ll even bring him over for you.
Let this be your warning. If anyone is desperate to offload a beast – they are not doing YOU a favor. Oh no, they’re doing the favor for themselves! They arranged a delivery date and home we went.
Surprisingly by the time the delivery day rolled around mum hasn’t picked a name so I decided it was going to be Gladys regardless of if it was male or not.
He turned up in a horse box. I don’t know why mum was calling him a little darling because he was piggin’ huge and vicious!
He bit both the delivery guys and she made excuses saying he was nervous. She thought it was hilarious! This would have been about 1990 – 91. I’d won a goldfish at a funfair in 1976 and the bloody thing wouldn’t die! He’d got quite big and lived in an old water tank outside near the stables. In the interests of honesty and disclosure here I will admit I often didn’t think about him from one week to the next. Dad fed him when he fed the horses then Mum fed him when she fed the ducks so it’s no wonder he was so big! He must have been 6-7 inches long.
Anyway Gladys caught sight of a glint of gold and swooped into the tank.. AND ATE MY PRIZED GOLDFISH!! I was quite pissed off because OBVIOUSLY once it was eaten I really loved that goldfish and was heartbroken.. (aka ever the drama queen!!)
Mum naturally thought it was hilarious. When Captain Beaky then bit Dad it was my fault for frightening the poor darling. He bit my brother the next day and my ex brother in law. Mum thought that was hilarious too. He bit one of the dogs and she didn’t bat an eye. Then he bit her.
That was when he lived up to his name. She called the emu farmers back and we were all ‘Glad ‘es gone’ the next day!
The moral of the story is: If you’ve only got one friend don’t bloody bite them!