The Short Humour Site

Home : Writers' Showcase : Submission Guidelines : A Man of a Few More Words : Links

Writers' Showcase

Pigeon Pie
by Jilliana Ranicar-Breese

Moroccan pigeon pie is a sumptuous spiced poultry pie using swuab pigeons enriched with ground almonds, sugar and cinnamon encased in crispy filo pastry. As a discerning individual, when Abdessamad, the son of the restaurant ‘Gout de Meknes’ owner, invited me to sample his mother’s B’stilla, I salivated just thinking about the taste.

I was in Morocco having been invited to a traditional wedding by the bride herself, Jihane. I had met Jihane briefly in Antalya, Turkey on holiday with her mother. Born in France, Jihane lived in Saint Tropez but her religious Muslim mother came from Meknčs and still wore the veil. When I asked Jihane if she had a boyfriend, she told me she was getting married in November. I wished her good luck and, surprisingly, she invited me, a complete stranger, to her wedding in Meknes.

I go where I am called in life and believe in Happenstance. I announced I would come! She was a lovely person and I loved fascinating Morocco having been twice before. Back in Brighton I began researching riads in the Imperial Cities of Meknes and Fez and got very excited, visualising in my mind, souks filled with colourful handwoven textiles, kaftans and jewellery.

I discovered the charming traditional Riad Ritaj in Meknes on the Internet and immediately became friendly with the owners Said, his younger brother Omar and adorable sister Salma on arrival. Omar wanted to buy me a kaftan for the wedding and take me shopping in the nearby souk. Not wanting him to know that I’d already bought a suitable hand embroidered kaftan from Fez beforehand, I told him I admired Berber jewellery. However I did fall in love with a traditional Berber orange necklace and he was happy to present me with it to commemorate my visit to Meknes, the magnificent Imperial City. Today I wear it with pride and think fondly of him and his charming generous hospitable family.

After the glorious wedding where the ravishing bride Jihane changed her bejewelled gowns five times, I stayed on a few extra nights at the riad. I was thus introduced to a French speaking tourist guide who escorted me, not only to the souk, but also to the ancient synagogue and cemetery after the wedding.

Back at the intriguing souk with its labyrinth of alleyways, the guide inveigled me into an antique shop filled with wondrous tempting Berber jewellery. I desisted so he then lured me, obviously on a commission, to the adjoining ‘Gout de Meknes’ restaurant for a mint tea.

On entering his friend, Abdessamad Benzineb grabbed my hand and boldly kissed it, with his lips touching my fingers. Not too many men have kissed my hand and usually slobber but I find it delightful and old fashioned nevertheless. However, he lingered a fraction of a second too long, squeezing my fingers and gazing into my eyes with a leering smile. I knew what was on his mind. Lust! He then invited me to sit down on the back wall sofa propped up with sumptuous colourful cushions, presenting his visiting card and called one of his staff to bring mint tea for us both. My guide immediately tactfully vanished on cue and I was alone with this young frisky puppy. He gazed into my eyes,saying I must come back on Monday to taste his mother’s wondrous pigeon pie. How could I resist such an invitation? It was clear it was an seductive invitation, especially when he told me he was attracted to older women and quite naturally asked me my age! Mon Dieu or should I say Allah! Looking for a foreign Sugar Mummy no doubt!

Tea was poured from a height to aerate it from a traditional silver plated pot into enamelled glasses perched on metal saucers. I told him about Jihane’s wedding, but he seemed more interested in telling me about an older Italian lady in her fifties who came from Rome to visit him every year for her erotic pleasure with him! He then gave me the menu of what he provided front and back, in and out, up and down et al. Then he fished out of his hand tooled leather wallet a photo of the poor defenceless headless naked woman in the shower, full frontal with her abundant dark pubes. A sight to behold, without her knowledge and permission for sure. My guide came back and we agreed I would return for the promised Pastilla on Monday the next day.

However on Monday, I had other fish to fry with my guide and so my he escorted me back to the restaurant on Tuesday especially for the promised complimentary pie. When it finally arrived all alone on a large decorative beautiful ceramic plate without any vegetables, I tucked in with gustatory anticipation but it was not good. In fact I only ate half, saying I’d had a large breakfast in my riad and was not very hungry. Perhaps it had been made Monday and served up on Tuesday.

Young Abdessamad was nowhere to be found when the bill came on a silver plated platter. A bill? I was most indignant and insisted I had been invited. Abdessamad was in the antique shop probably hiding from me knowing his pie investment had not yielded growth. I complained about being given a bill especially as he knew I was a senior Tripadvisor reviewer and would be reviewing his restaurant. He mumbled he had invited me on Monday and not Tuesday and the bill must have been issued in error. My guide dragged me away at the pivotal moment.

Did youthful Abdessamad really think he would get me in the shower for a pastilla? Allah!

Written 5.11.18 in Brighton and begun in Lucy Corkhill’s Evolution Masterclass.