Me: Have you seen Mutley?
Nell: He’s playing cards with Jonathan. Why?
Me: Just checking.
Nell: We had an interesting visitor this morning, by the way.
Nell: There was a knock at the door and when David opened it he found a small seagull in a grey bonnet and cloak carrying a basket in its beak.
Me: How strange.
Nell: Yes. It was very shy and rather wet.
Me: Oh dear.
Nell: David said it didn’t have the look of a Beefy but as you never know and they are masters of disguise he called Malcolm and Timothy to get their advice.
Me: Good idea.
Nell: They decided it better come in as it was very cold and its pamphlets were getting wet.
Me: Very wise.
Nell: Anyway, it turns out that the small seagull is called Susan and is collecting for charity.
Me: Which one?
Nell: The Small Society for the Protection of Birds.
Me: I thought it was the Royal Society.
Nell: No. This one is focussing on misunderstandings.
Me: I’m not sure we need to get involved in arguments between birds.
Nell: No. Misunderstandings about birds. Not all cuckoos are imposters, not all parrots answer to Polly, not all swans are arrogant.
Me: Graham Swan proved that by saving Gladys.
Nell: Yes, and not all seagulls are Beefies. Susan’s family have been dreadfully misunderstood. Her father is scared to go fishing for fear of attack.
Me: How awful.
Nell: After a few of Malcolm’s macarons and a cup of Earl Grey, Susan is beginning to relax, however, and is staying for lunch. We’ve put her basket next to the fire as there is nothing worse than a soggy pamphlet.
Me: I agree. It sounds like Malcolm might not need Linda.
Nell: Stop jumping to conclusions. Susan is a seagull in distress and Malcolm is a caring flamingo. Let’s just stick to the facts.
Me: Yes. Sorry.