Classic Canaries 3. Seed for Sale

Not without misgivings he sets off down the road. Passing the park, he his hailed by the village policeman, a jovial and stout individual of unmistakeably rustic countenance.

Constable: “Mooarnin’ Mr Bikle zur, and a where are we a scurryin’ so faaast today then? Not yur giro day whilst Thuurzday oi believe.”

Bikle: “Do Do Codstable, just poppig to de pet shop, doticed dat I ab low od seed today of all days. Dod’t wadt dere tubby’s rubblig durig de judgig dow do I?”

Constable: “Oh yus the biird show, oi’m looking forward to seeing them lovely little chaps of yourn again. Wouldn’t be at all zurprised if oi find moiself pinning a rosette on you again! Mind you zur, the old village pet shop’s closed down.”

Bikle: “What? Closed dowd? Dat’s dot good dews Codstable, what will I feed by darligs?”
Constable: “Oh oi wouldn’t worry zur, there’s a new place opened next to the church hall, oi’m sure they’ll ‘ave yur needings.”

Bikle: “Ho dat’s a relief. I’ll be od by way ded. Buch obliged I’b sure.”

Following the officer’s advice he arrives outside the Church Hall, and sure enough, right next door is a large shop, its frontage emblazoned with gaudy illustrations of exotic, unusual and in several cases, frankly menacing animals. Bikle walks inside to find the place is practically empty except for one covered birdcage and a rack of shelving which covers a whole wall and appears to be exclusively stocked with top of the range canary seed. As he approaches the counter, a short figure, wearing a raincoat despite the summer weather, and with sunglasses and trilby pulled down low bustles hurriedly past him. There is something familar about this figure, but before he can try and remember who it reminds him of, he is distracted by the approach of the proprietor, a tall hard faced man in a camelhair overcoat.

Mr Cutler:  “Oo mornin’ young feller, welcome to Cutler’s pets, what can we do for you? Big chap like you, probably something manly like a pit bull eeh? How about a python? Ladies love a man with a python innit? Shall I wrap it up or will you take it as it is?”

Bikle:     “Do do, just deed sobe cadary seed.”

Mr Cutler: “Canaries is it? Well you do surprise me. Not exactly a rugged pet is it your canary? Not really what you’d call macho innit? Still, if you’re not ashamed of it, and after all why should you be? Takes all sorts innit? Boring place if we were all the same eeh? Canaries, well I never, still can’t be helped. Seed is it? Call it a tenner? Shall I wrap it up or will you take it as it is and walk about with it on display, not that anybody’s judging you, fifteen quid’s my last word, won’t take a penny less. Ok twenty. Here it is, pleasure doing business with you, well not so much a pleasure, more of a slightly nauseating experience innit, but still, I’ve got me thirty quid out of it haven’t I? What was it you wanted again? Canary seed? Ooo weeh, that’ll cost you, no market for it y’see, have to order it in…”

Bikle eventually manages to purchase a package of canary seed, and £50 worse off is about to leave the shop, when he hears a melodic chirp from beneath the cover of the solitary cage.

Mr Cutler: “Ho dow wait a bobent, dat sounded like a cadary id dat cage. Bind if I have a quick peep?”

Mr Cutler: “Ooh eeh weeell…”

Bikle: “I dow, I dow, I dow, it’ll cost be.”

Mr Cutler: “Oh it’s not that sonny, it’s just, well, bit scraggy really, not strictly the very finest of canaries, doesn’t really reflect well on the shop innit…”

Bikle: “Oh just a quick look, I’b sobethig of a badiac whed it cobes to cadaries you dow.”

Mr Cutler: “Well seeing as how you’re my first customer, go on then, have a shufti.”

Lifting the cover Bikle sees a canary the likes of which he has never dreamt. Shiny intelligent eyes, sleek fluffy feathers the colour of freshly opened buttercups. As if on cue, it parts its beak and trills a melody of heartbreaking…sweetness. He is transfixed.

Bikle: “How buch for dis bird bister Cutler? He’s a little biracle! Wid dis beauty added to by flock dobody will have de rebotest chadce of beatig be at de bird show! He bust be bide!”

Mr Cutler: Looking unsure. “Well, oo see, it’s not really on sale as such.”

Bikle: “Dabe your price bad, dis bird has got to belog to be!”

The merchant seems torn. Eventually he grudgingly gives in to Bikle’s passionate entreaties.

Mr Cutler: “Go on then. A fiver, and I’ll throw in the cage.”

Bikle forks over the money and decamps rapidly clutching his prize before Cutler can change his mind. Muttering happily to his new pet, he walks merrily back towards his flat.

Published in: on December 2, 2015 at 4:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

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