19 Oct

CANARY photo:  canary.jpg

Griselda Entwhistle scowled, and her scowl turned her face blacker than black as she gazed at the headlines in her daily paper.
“When I was Prime Minister,” she groaned to herself (and she had been as important as that, believe it or not, and had actually done many good and noble things whilst holding that exalted position) “when I was Prime Minister the sods wouldn’t have dared to do things like this!”
“Now what’s got your goat, hag?” croaked a hung-over Henrietta Blackboil, possibly the only true friend Griselda had unless you count the Thomas the Greek who supervised diluted nightly drinking bouts at the Crown and Anchor, the only pub is Swanspottle.
“Shut your face, Blackboil,” replied Griselda. “It’s the politicians,” she added, “the things they get away with! Look here! Its says it in black and white in the Daily Spook. Even our local man, Gangle Gloatypig, is up to it! Seems he’s had his house painted yellow, all four stories of it at an astronomic price, and expects us paupers to pay for it with our taxes! He’s claimed for goodness-knows how many tins of canary yellow paint and a small army of yobs with paintbrushes to apply it – and look, a plug-in device that works from electricity!”
“Who are you calling a pauper, hag?” screeched Henrietta. “I’m no pauper, not me, not ever, you stupid old witch!”
“Yes you are, then!” cackled Griselda. “The only reason you call on me is to beg a crust seeing as how you’ve supped your entire month’s pension at the Crown and Anchor in one blindingly drunken night! That makes you a pauper, all right.”
“I’ve got some yellow paint in my shed!” announced Henrietta after a few moments of thoughtful silence.
“You haven’t even got a shed!” sneered Griselda.
“Yes I have, then!” snapped Henrietta, wincing as the volume of her own voice tore shreds off her brain.
“You mean that pile of rotten wood and old timber you burnt last Halloween?” mumbled Griselda. “The pile of matchwood that turned sort of dirty yellow when a tin of something unearthly exploded under it?”
“I could sell that paint to the honourable Member for Brumpton,” mumbled Henrietta, dismissing her friend’s attempt at reality. “Might get enough for a pint or two after closing tonight…”
“I’m off,” decided Griselda, ignoring the optimism that invariably accompanied Henrietta’s excursions into make-believe and fantasy. “Are you coming, crone?”
“Piss off!”
Griselda sneered, picked up her uplighting lamp standard, flicked the shade away with a practised hand and, holding it horizontal, mounted it. Her knobbly bottom looked far from comfortable, and she sighed as she settled down, wriggling for greater comfort which, apparently, didn’t come. But not to be discouraged, she sneered again at Henrietta and zoomed aeronautically out of her lounge window.
She knew the way to Brumpton, all right. This was a journey she could have done with her eyes shut, so she shut them and settled down to a steady ascent into the wide grey skies.
“Damned politicians,” she muttered to herself, “reckon they can line their own pockets and we’d not notice! Bah. And Gangle Gloatypig’s the worst of the lot!”
Brumpton was not a huge distance away, and she didn’t have time to work out many of the most painful ways she could punish the politician when the haze above the snarling, strangled roads indicated that she was almost there, and she started a measured descent.
It didn’t take long for her to arrive at the only yellow house in the whole of Brumpton. It was more than yellow, it shone as if it had been crafted from burnished gold.
She landed in an adjacent garden, behind a mulberry bush, and peered through foliage to see what was going on next door.
The house was certainly yellow, the colour of a child’s image of the sun, but there was something else there too.
The Member for Brumpton, a fat man with a fat face and fat arms, stood with the aforementioned arms folded and a fat smile on his Gloatypig face.
“That’s it, lads!” he encouraged a team of seemingly dissolute workers who were struggling to turn a large handle on what could only be a generator. And that handle was connected in such a way that a buzzing, humming sort of sound came from the machine, and wires led from it to a spraying device that was coating the house with the finest possible coat of gleaming metal.
“Gold,” breathed Griselda, “he’s going to live in a gold-plated house, like a bloated bird in a gilded cage!”
“That’s right, old woman,” a fat voice whispered into her ears. It was the Member for Brumpton himself who had seen her land and come to investigate what an old woman flying on a lamp standard might mean. “Now sod off and leave me to burnishing my lovely home!”
“You’re lining your coffers!” breathed Griselda. “You’re making sure that you’ll have endless wealth when they kick you out! You’re getting filthy rich by robbing your constituents! All you’ll have to do is peel it off the brickwork and sell it on the Internet when you get the sack. Gold will always have a disproportionate value, you scumbag!”
“What if I am?” sneered the fat man with his fat voice. “You’d do the same, if you could!”
Griselda knew too things. She knew that she was quite a selfish person and she knew there was no way she would swindle the Brumpton public in the way this ogre was.
“They say there’s honour amongst thieves, but there’s apparently no honour among politicians,” she said quietly.
“Too true!” he sniggered.
“So it’s time for you to be taught a vital lesson,” she concluded, and before he could think of an adequately witty reply she had muttered “by the devil, he likes yellow, so let him be a canary!”
And all of a sudden a distressed and fat yellow bird fluttered inadequate wings and rose, slowly, into the air before the effort all became too much for it, and it landed in a pail of golden paint next door.
© Peter Rogerson 19.10.14



  1. slpsharon October 19, 2014 at 6:18 pm #


  2. pambrittain October 19, 2014 at 9:42 pm #

    I love this. She’s not so bad after all. Wish she’d clean up all the town’s politicians just like that.

    • Peter Rogerson October 20, 2014 at 8:25 am #

      A few years ago I wrote a novel (“Spellbound”) in which she became the British Prime Minister!!!

    • Peter Rogerson October 20, 2014 at 11:23 am #

      There are a few round here I’d love to see Griselda sort out…

  3. barbod2014angusbelle October 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm #

    Oo, that’ll teach him!!!

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