Mystery Bird

Life is full of little mysteries. This week’s is very hard to explain.

I do very little cooking, but nevertheless my kitchen cupboards tend to fill with rarely used utensils. Time for a car boot sale thought I, and set about unearthing all sorts of forgotten treasures.

A basic juicer: abandoned when I upgraded to a top-of-the-range version similarly abandoned when I realised how much cleaning was involved in the process. Five novelty bottle openers: now I like a tipple, but one is surely enough. Which to keep? Hard choice between Japanese Kabuki actor (you stick the bottle in his mouth) or Bart Simpson (he says ‘Beer!’ and belches when utilised.) A patent spinning egg poacher which I found invariably produced a pan of stringy white gunge for one’s breakfast. Someone might be daft enough to buy that. After all, I was!

Further into the cupboard was a travel kettle with a built-in foreign plug, only practical if you are visiting Macedonia I seem to recall, and a whole hand-decorated tea set brought with great care all the way from Ecuador but never used for fear of lead poisoning.

Best of all, right at the back was a Fergie and Andy wedding tea tray. I don’t remember celebrating that particular royal nuptial, let alone buying the tray. Perhaps I was going through one of my ironic periods in 1986.

Ideal car boot material though.

And now the mystery. For there under the royal tea tray I spotted what I thought was a dead mouse. I was horrified, for though my cupboards are full of unused items, they are immaculately clean. On poking it with a wooden spoon (part of an unused set inexplicably bartered for in a Moroccan souk and naturally heading car bootwards) I found the object to be a perfectly preserved mummified bluetit!

The cupboard has a spring closure, my kitchen window is never open and there was no sign of a struggle. It looked for all the world like something that had fallen off one of Lady Margaret’s more elaborate feathery hats. But she’s never been near my house, despite rumours to the contrary.

I’m completely baffled!

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