Twelve Moany Days by Val Portelli

‘A partridge? I’ve got fifteen people coming to Christmas lunch and you bring me a partridge? Are you totally mad? It’s just as well I’ve bought a twenty-pound turkey, a joint of beef and something for the vegetarians.’

‘Two Turtle doves? Where do you think you’re going to keep them? Can you imagine the mess? There’ll be bird droppings everywhere. As if I haven’t got enough to do cleaning up every day.’

‘Three French Hens? I suppose they’ll be useful for the eggs, but you’ll have to build them a shed or something. I’m not having them wandering around ruining my roses.’

‘Are they supposed to be Colley birds? Blackbirds, that’s what they are. You know they’re the first ones to start singing. What with them and the thrushes and the robins, waking me up in the morning singing their stupid heads off, it’s a wonder I ever manage to rest.’

‘Five Gold rings. At last you’re getting the idea. What do you mean I can only pick one of them?’

‘Six geese he brings me now. I suppose you’re thinking of digging up my lawn to build them a pond? If you’d given them to me before, it would have saved me buying a turkey.’

‘Seven swans. You do realise they belong to the Queen? If anyone finds out you’ll end up in the tower, and good riddance too.’

‘Eight maids a milking. Where are we going to put them all? Anyway, all the milk comes from the supermarket. It lasts much longer in cartons, and the maids aren’t much use without a cow, are they? And no, I don’t want one of those either.’

‘Nine ladies dancing. What kind of a house do you think this is? I’m not having females prancing around my living room and that’s an end to it.’

‘Ten Lords a leaping. They’re all as bad as each other, these politicians. Only interested in themselves. Not a thought for us poor, hard-working women, slaving day in, day out. I’d like to see them manage on what you give me for housekeeping.’

‘Eleven pipers piping. Good grief. Whatever next? It’s bad enough having to listen to bagpipes on New Year’s Eve, without all that row.’

‘What on earth is that din? Go and tell those drummers to be quiet, or I’ll report them to the council for noise pollution. George! Did you hear me George? Why are there thirteen of them? There should only be twelve.’

George had hoped she’d be happy with at least some of the presents he’d bought her for Christmas, but he should have guessed she’d find something to complain about. Ever since he was a child George had always wanted to play the drums. Banging away happily as he followed the other twelve, he was pleased he’d decided to treat himself for a change. Leaving the Bah Humbug way behind, he called out ‘Merry Christmas’ to the enthusiastic crowds cheering on the merry band.

© ValPortelli/Voinks November 2017

Val Portelli is a very popular contributor to the Autumn Chickens website.

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