We have a yukimigata or snow viewing lantern set in our pond. We also have a gooseberry bush growing amongst the pebbles on the bank. One early Autumn day I spotted that a beautiful orb web linked the two. In the middle was a large-bodied spider of the sort with brocade for a back. How on earth had it created the web?
Did it swim across to the lantern on its little island pulling its silk behind it? Did make a raft? Parachute in? Persuade one of the koi to give it a lift? Or ping off the goosegog branches like a catapult? I wish I could draw the spider’s methods.
A mild- mannered budgerigar gains a new cage -with the legend Killer Budgie on it. He finds he has a roulette wheel – at which he excels – winning enough money for his mistress to indulge his mistress’s other passion: horseriding. They go out on the pony together – what happens next?
3. Tiddles the Seagull
There’s a rustling in your fireplace. You look up into the chimney and find a fledgling seagull, covered in ash. You put him on the roof for his mum and dad to find. The wind blows him off again. You rescue him again and feed him cat food because that’s what you have. He likes it. He makes friends with your pet cats and sleeps in their basket. He grows and flies away. So sad. Then he returns with the missus and nests on your roof six months of the year. There are more baby seagulls.
4 My name is Jack.
Oh dear, the ball’s gone. I must fetch it. I must fetch it for my kind master. Oh, look , there it is. I will jump down and get it. I will jump and fetch the ball.
This is a big jump. This is good grass down here. I am pleased. I have got the ball for my master. I can hear him calling. I must fetch the ball for my master. This is a big jump. I will try again.This is a very big jump. I will try again. I can hear master calling me again.
This is too big a jump. I will sleep.
I do not like the cold. I do not like the rain. I do not like the dark . Where is my master?
There is a light. I am pleased. It will be my master.
It is not my master. I am sad. The light has gone away. I am sad but I will wait. My master will come for me. I will sleep.
The sun is up. I am awake waiting for my master. I do not like the wind. I do not like the rain. When will my master come?
There is another man. He is near me. He is not my master. Perhaps he will take me to my master?
He is a nice man. He takes me with him up the cliff. I am happy.
There is my master. I am very happy. I am so very happy it makes my tail ache.
Why does my master cry?