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.

Me: Who?

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.

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