Animal Magic by Charlotte Bennie


“Really, I ought to have a parrot as well as Miss Pupkin,” I said to Wullie while attempted to differentiate between fivers and tenners in my wallet.
Now, Wullie is an honest chap and he quickly sorted out exactly how much I had to give in return for worm and tick stuff for our house mouser, scipio Africatus.
The annoying thing is, I’ve an app on my phone which purports to identify banknotes. Bank of England, those Euro things, American dollars. In fact, a range of currency diverse enough to satisfy most globe trotting blinkies. Unless, they decide to trot around Scotland, Because it disnae work on the infinite variety circulating up here; Clydesdale, Bank of Scotland and the Royal Bank.
I assume this annoying glitch also applies to Bank of Ulster, Isle of Man and any other local currencies lurking in corners of the UK. However, this isn’t my subject, but it did set several hares running through my brain.
What if, instead of using a series of apps on I Phone or desk top, we blinkies had a range of assistance animals? Let’s face it, how reliable is a computer? The reason I’m typing this is that the moment, the internet has gone on strike. Again! No obvious reason. Mid afternoon. No adverse weather. The washing machine isn’t on. Although, in a garden down the street, I can hear the insistent, mechanised buzz of a man cutting his grass.
Yes, as well as miss Pupkin taking me around the town and into the shops. Once in a shop, the parrot perched on my shoulder would identify labels then the denomination of notes as I stood in the check out queue. Shouting all relevant information into my lug. True, everybody within earshot would know which ice cream I preferred and just how much I had in my wallet, but, I could have a parrot who shouted in Latin. After all, apart from lawyers and the clergy, who else in the town will understand it. And, no, I don’t think Boris has ever been seen shopping in our local Co op.
Another useful assistant would be a horse with alittle pannier, to accommodate Miss Pupkin. This would increase my range of journeys to surrounding villages. So, even without 3G, I’d manage without the phone’s GPS.
And, finally, what about one of those beasties which loves digging, and refilling holes? A badger, or prairie dog, for instance. This wee furriness would pad along beside Miss Pupkin and, whenever I stumbled because of a hole, or Miss Pupkin had to take avoiding action because of a hole or missing toby cover, this creature would spend a few moments, busily reparing what the Water Board and the Cooncil ignore.
Only thing. Such a menagerie would need a safari park to house it and the different food required. And what about all those allergics? Bad enough, keeping Miss Pupkin away from them. How would I cope with such a divers selection?
No, on reflection, I’ll just stick with Miss Pupkin. Perhaps someone could tell those app providers to develop that currency identifying app properly?

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