23 January 2011
15 January 2011
8 January 2011
The Pink Tufted Cuckoo
As nobody had officially sighted one for over twenty years, the pink tufted cuckoo, it was assumed, was no more. Bruce 'bird-snatch' Jones had taken on the position of proving otherwise, he had made it his life’s work to crawl through every bush, hedge row and heath in the country in order to find at least a trace of the elusive bird. Many a fellow bird watcher criticized his efforts as being futile but Bruce 'bird-snatch' Jones did not see it so, for Bruce, this all consuming pursuit, if successful, would be his road to Shangri-la. Bruce’s ambition was to go down in history as the man who single handedly resurrected the pink tufted cuckoo; he would build theme parks filled with aviaries, he would write books, travel the globe giving lectures and TV interviews, he would create a new fund raising charity exclusively for the bird. His name would become immortalized, at least in the world of bird lovers.
On a mild, chirpy spring morning a ten year old boy, who was later to be known as little Tim 'cuckoo- finder' Bucton, ambled into a small enclosure of grass and trees locally known as a park, just off hackney road, London, and took several photos of some of the many breeding pairs of pink tufted cuckoos to be found there. His father, being a keen bird watcher himself, instantly recognized the significance of the find; a press conference was arranged followed up by many TV interviews and magazine articles. While Bruce bird- snatch Jones’s face could still frequently be seen emerging stung and torn from the bramble ridden hedgerows of Dorset, Tim 'cuckoo- finder' Bucton’s name was being assured its place in history.
The locals of the Dorset village which Bruce had chosen as a base for his operations were very aware of his cuckoo hunting antics. They, too, regarded the obsessive nature of his quest with cynicism and mirth. When Bruce made his bi-weekly appearance at the ‘Dead Cuckoo’ they were already eight days aware of Tim’s London triumph and had prepared, for Bruce, an evening of gradated mocking culminating with the presentation to him of a recent magazine article in Country Life which included a full page image of Tim 'cuckoo- finder' Bucton sat on a park bench with a pink tufted cuckoo sat inquisitively upon his shoulder. Later that same night, Bruce was to be found on the steps of the 'Dead Cuckoo', head in hands, having been barred for aggressive and drunken behavior. The following day, he returned, by train, to London. Before entering his flat, Bruce stopped off at the small park situated behind his garden wall and beneath his bedroom window, but the park was closed. Tied to the gate was a laminated poster upon which was written an explanatory message which read:
Due to the recent rediscovery by tim 'cuckoo- finder' bucton, of the ‘pink tufted cuckoo’ in this park, The park is closed until further notice.
We apologize for any inconvenience,
By P Rich