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Who's Been Eating My Yamato Nishikikis?
by Bill Naylor

“Koi carp aren’t cheap.”

“Assuming I’d received a sales call I was about to hang up.”

“The stork from your zoo, has gobbled all mine up.”

“But we don’t have any storks here.“

“Our pond lights change colour, and of an evening Madge and I like to sit and watch the fish, and guess which coloured light is going to come on next. But every night your stork appears. In the shadows with its wings outstretched, it looks just like a Terry- duck- tile." 

“We don’t have any storks at zoo. Not one.”

“He just wades into the pond licking his beak and starts stabbing at the fish, you would think he had a harpoon. I’m demanding compensation”

I was now chanting arms aloft “We aint got storks. We aint got no storks. What have we got? We aint got storks!” 

“Once we scared him while he was swallowing fish, and he regurgitated Yamato-nishikikis all over the decking. Did you say you haven’t got any storks?”

“I did happen to mention that in passing, yes.”

“Well what’s them vertical grey things on stilts near the entrance to the zoo?”

“Demoiselle Cranes.”

“Mademoiselle Cranes, that’s em. One of them is the fish swallower.”

“Impossible! They are clipped, flightless, grounded, unable to rise in the air and leave the enclosure, unless assisted by a tornado.”

The caller was passing on what I said to his wife, and then relaying her comments back to me.

“He said they are clipped Madge, groundless! …Its to stop em getting sucked up by  tornados. I’ll ask him. Our house backs onto the zoo, and Madge says with their long legs, your Mademoiselle Cranes could easily have jogged over here, nicked our the fish and jogged back to the zoo?"

“No way! A seven-foot fence rings their enclosure. And before Madge asks, they can’t jump or burrow, nor are they allowed out for the weekend."

“So it’s a sort of swan then. A fish eating swan Madge!”

“Forget swan! A heron is a water bird with a large dagger like beak.”

“More of a pelican then. It’s a pelican Madge, those birds you say have got a bag for life under their chin. I wish you’d told me this before. You’ve been wasting my time.” (I never thought I could chew a telephone book in half, but apparently I can.)

“Its almost certain the bird that ate your fish is a heron, from the nearby river."

“He said it’s definitely not a swan or pelican Madge. It’s a heron, from the nearby river. I’ll ask him. Madge wants to known as the bird came from the nearby river, would the Water Company pay compensation?”