Rumpold  slitskin

Life is a short, warm moment
And death is a long cold rest.
You get your chance to try in the twinkling of an eye:
Eighty years, with luck, or even less
                                                  Pink Floyd

Everything that happens to us from good to bad is but a moment in life. It may seem very obvious when looked at in the hard light of print, but nonetheless it is something greatly overlooked, subjugated if you like by the queued requirements of daily living.

The moments make up the whole, moulding the character of the individual in ways that are mostly beyond our ability to control, although we may influence them in some ways. No moment is ever unimportant. They are more than just spokes of a wheel, more than the wheel itself, more than what the wheel is attached to . . .

There are moments that we might wish to run or hide from or to even deny—like awakening to the realisation that the industrialised world cares nothing for educating people  beyond making use of  their education to serve the industrial machine.

..... under composition

The above introduction was written by  Elmo Maheeny. It was intended as the introduction to his first piece for this website. Unfortunately, when he had completed the third paragraph, he took to staring at the screen of his PC for hours on end with a puzzled, vacant expression as if searching for something. He was last seen kneeling among piles of crumpled paper atop the Old Man of Coniston with both hands flung skywards.

I was asked to fill in for him in his absence and so I present:

The Strange and Sad Story of Charlie and Missie

Charlie joined newsmedianews way back in about 2003. He was accompanied by his mate, a white canary. Their visit was at first intended to be temporary, but things changed.

They soon settled into their new environment, seemingly content that their large cage was was always open, permitting them to come and go as they pleased.

Then one night Charlie’s companion passed away, leaving him alone and forlorn.

A new companion was needed and at the local pet shop, amongst the many canaries, was a solitary young white female who caught the eye of her respective buyer with such a longing look that less than one hour later she was ensconced in her new digs at newsmedianews, gingerly exploring her new territory.

I don’t know if they had different names to start, but they became known as Charlie and Missie, the newsmedianews canaries.

It took Missie some considerable time to venture out of the cage, despite Charlie’s apparent efforts to entice her out. When eventually she tried to leave the cage it became obvious that she had very little experience of flying and had probably never left the confines of a cage before.

She crashed into furniture and on one occasion into a wall, falling behind a large armchair.  Charlie seemed to become frantic, flying around the chair, sitting atop and looking down behind and then going behind the chair. She refused to move and had to be rescued and returned to her cage.

From that point, whenever she ventured out of the cage, Charlie would be close to her as if being her mentor. It wasn’t long before she properly found her wings and was flying about trouble free.

One hot summer day, a sink in a corner of the room was filled with hot water to wash the crockery, but the telephone rang, interrupting the process. During the brief telephone conversation a loud splash was heard from the sink. Somehow Missie had fallen into the hot water and was unable to get out. She was carefully rescued, dried and returned trembling to her cage. For two whole days she sat in the nest in the cage, Charlie almost constantly besides her like a nurse. She had been lucky—the water had been very hot.

Weeks turned into months, then years, and the two seemed to get on well together. Then newsmedianews moved from Ireland to the UK. Charlie and Missie were smuggled by jeep into the UK in their cage, hidden beneath a thin blanket while on the ferry crossing the Irish Sea. They enjoyed a drive through Snowdownia and Wales and across England to Essex and their new home.

Within two weeks disaster struck. The two were taken in their cage out into the garden in the sunshine to have their cage cleaned out. The entrances to the cage had been closed so they could not fly out into the open garden. A piece of board slots into the upright pillar at the front of the cage and closes off a section, forming two compartments. Charlie and Missie were ushered into the small compartment and the divide put into place.

But the board had not been firmly pushed back to the rear of the cage—a small gap had been mistakenly left. When the base of the large section of the cage had been taken out for cleaning, Charlie squeezed through the small gap and flew from the cage into the branches of a large tree some 20 metres away.

He sat in the tree for the best part of an hour. The cage and Missie were left out in the garden, with Missie sealed in and the door to the empty section open, with fresh food and fruit within. But Charlie declined to return and was seen flying away across adjoining gardens and disappearing from view.

Despite being called, and the tweeting of Missie, Charlie did not return and a little after darkness fell, the cage and Missie were taken back indoors.

For two days, the cage with Missie was put into the garden, but Charlie did not show. For reasons not relevant to this tale, the cage was broken up and Missie was transferred to a much bigger enclosure built into a corner of the room, one that had been built for parakeets.

Then circumstances led to another move to a different part of England and it was not possible at the time to take Missie, so she was left in the care of others at the house.

Less than two months later, it was reported that she had died. I am convinced that she died of a broken heart, having been first abandoned by her mate and then left alone with strangers. She had seemed so happy at newsmedianews.

And that dear reader, is the story of Charlie and Missie, heroes of newsmedianews.

—————— †——————

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