Copyright is held by the author.
THIS IS the deal, see. One minute you’re the star of their YouTube channel, “Mr. Muggles on Parade,” and the next minute you’re a nobody. You won’t know it’s the End of the World until . . . until they place a hand firmly on your shoulder and grab your entire body.
Then they abduct you.
Fight them, fight them! Try to twist away before they stuff you into the plastic crate! It’s the Palanquin of Death! Scratch and howl; let them know that under no condition . . . well, perhaps a Kitty Treat . . . or two . . . will soften the blow. Yes, your minions will bear you away in the Palanquin of Death to a new kingdom.
“Oh Mr. Muggles,” they say, “It’s spring, we’ve bought a luvverly new house. With a lovely garden.”
Now you can watch the minions do everything in their power to placate you, especially if you stay inside the plastic crate for hours, wailing, gnashing your teeth, perhaps soiling the old rag of a Pink Floyd T-shirt. Wait until they get out the Kitty Treats, let them lure you out to your newly transplanted fortress of feline delights: your basket, your comfortably hairy cushion, your favourite William Ashley bowl. And look, the minions have placed your climbing tower in front of a big window so you can look out and see your new demesne. Best of all, your minions will come and go, and, if you are cunning, you can dart your way out into the Great Outdoors, the new unconquered realm with a vast pillowy toilet, plenty of chewable green grass, and best of all, a hunting ground a-flutter with hopping twittering live-action Kitty Treats.
Up, up. The sun is up. I am hungry. The flock calls. Here I am! I am here! Hey! I am Peck, Peck is here! New place to dine. Come right on over. Early bird gets the, you know, best perch on the giant plastic thingie.
Move over! Move over! Crazy squirrel.
I’ve seen his type before. He hates me. He hates us, hates anything with feathers on it. I know it. Tough luck, Squirrel! I eat and eat and eat. Crazy squirrel runs back and forth, up and down. Watch out!
Giant booby coming through. Takes down plastic thingie, fills with seed.
I take off. I sit in tree until giant booby leaves.
OK now. All clear. Seed, glorious seed! Yoo-hoo, everyone: seeds on ground!
Nobody listens. I stare. I point with beak. I call out again.
Everyone is loud. No-one cares about seeds on ground. Except me. Peck cares.
Friends jostle each other for best perch. Am I the only one who sees? I drop from branch. I land on ground. I peck the seed. I, Peck.
It’s fine on ground! Sunny on ground!
Sunny, sunny, yes, except for one shadow —