The bird in the house signalled death, I just didn't know it would be mine. I don't know if it came down the chimney – Peter always said we should get one of those wire baskets for the top but you'd never catch him going up a ladder – or if Penelope Peaches – our chocolate point Burmese – brought it in. Either way, it was up to me to catch it and put it outside.
The poor thing was beating it's head against the French windows trying to get out. I threw the door open irrespective of the cold it let in and used a copy of Variety to shoo the thing toward freedom. It glared at me with a beady black eye. Do all birds have beady black eyes or am I guilty of cliché? Whatever. I managed to get the bird into the garden but not before it had pecked my hand. I pulled the door closed and it just sat on the patio, staring. I should have known something was wrong then. Hitchcock had nothing on this little dupek.
The fever came within an hour, closely followed by the vomiting and diarrhoea. I tried to clean it up but after the fourth or fifth bout I stopped caring, even when I saw the amount of blood in the toilet bowl. When hunger got the better of me I ate the first thing to hand. Poor Penelope Peaches. Peter will be furious.
Unless I greet him with a 'welcome home' kiss.