Note: This is posted “as is”, no editing or proof reading involved, as part of the 30 Shorts In 30 Days project. During April I will be attempting to write and post a new short story everyday.
Before televisions became the centre of entertainment, with everybody sitting at home on a Saturday night, people had to make do. If you were to ask any old person how they used to entertain themselves, you can be sure of many tales of what they used to do as a kid, and many recounting of how kids today don’t know how good they have it.
One of the most overlooked sources of entertainment though was the village police station. Cities and large towns tended to have people coming in to report burglaries or the odd violent crime. But the village police stations tended to have a different class of crime, mostly people reporting strange goings on. Although usually those strange goings on were things like cows falling over (caused by bored teenagers), crops lying down in circles (caused by bored teenagers) or the occasional smuggling (caused by bored adults). But every now and then something would crop up, and it was usually the village idiots and gossip-mongers, who were often the same people, that would turn up at the station with wild tales.
“A weird looking bird you say Mrs Fry?”
“Yes sergeant, it looked like nothing else I’ve ever seen. Horrible creature it was.”
The sergeant looked kindly over his desk at the woman making the report. Mrs Fry was known to be a little slow on the uptake of things, and prone to what the patient called ‘flights of fancy’.
“And where did you see this bird then Mrs Fry?”
“It were over near Mr Matthews farm it was.”
“Over near Mr Matthews farm? Right, I’ve made a note of that Mrs Fry. As soon as young Jacob comes back from his patrol I’ll get him to pop over and see what he can find,” the sergeant said, thinking that he wouldn’t bother wasting anymore of anyone’s time.
As Mrs fry left the sergeant screwed up the piece of paper with his notes on and threw it into the bin.
“Sergeant? Are you there?”
The sergeant looked up and saw the vicar coming in through the door with a rather worried look on his face.
“Ah vicar, what a pleasure it is to see you. And to what do I owe this?”
“Well, it’s a bit strange, but walking across the village green just now I saw a flock of dodos.”
“A flock of dodos vicar?” The sergeant asked, subtly taking a sniff of the air. The vicar was known to imbibe more than the odd glass of communion wine, and with a pub on either side of the village green it didn’t take a detective to work out where he’d been, and where he was going.
“Yes, most bizarre looking creatures.”
“These will be those extinct creatures, these dodos?” The sergeant asked, just to make sure the vicar had realised what he was saying.
“Oh yes, absolutely. At least, I thought they were, but then I came across that flock.”
“And where are they now?”
“I couldn’t say, they were waddling off towards the village pond.”
“Right, thank you vicar, as soon as young Jacob gets in I’ll get him to pop out and have a look.”
As the vicar left, a second screwed up ball of paper entered the bin. An hour later the sergeant thought that a third sheet may be joining it as the door to the police station opened.
“Ah sergeant, I’d like to report a bit of a break in at the farm.”
“Mr Matthews, I was going to be calling on you tomorrow,” the sergeant greeted the new comer to the station. It seems that a few odd looking birds have been spotted near your farm.”
“Ah yes, that’s what I wanted to talk to you about. Looks like some hippies got in and released all the turkeys.”
“The turkeys? One witness seemed to think they were dodos.”
“The extinct sort?” Mr Matthews asked.
“Indeed, the extinct sort.”
“Well, can’t say as I’ve been farming dodos sergeant, although there may be good money in it if you could get hold of some, but just turkeys. Mind you, the ones that were released were my breading stock, ex battery farmed ones, so they do look a bit odd.”
“How so?” the sergeant asked.
“Well, they were cramped up in cages all their lives, not being able to move got them a bit deformed. And your turkey’s a funny looking animal to start with,” Mr Matthews explained.
“Is that so?”
“Yup, ugly creatures really. Still, I thought I’d best let you know, we’ve got the staff out rounding them up now so hopefully there’s no harm done.”
“And the break in?” The sergeant asked. “Do you want me to come out an investigate that?”
“Oh no, no need,” Mr Matthews replied hurriedly. “I doubt they’ll come back, and it’s no sense wasting time and money. I’ll just get a bigger lock on the door.”
“Right you are then, well thanks for letting me know.”
Outside the police station Mr Matthews turned to the man who had accompanied him into the village.
“I think he bought it Jerry. A couple of sightings already it seems, but I could also see a couple of balls of paper in his bin. I reckon he’s apt to ignore it.”
“Good. I’ll join the rest of the lads rounding up the dodos, you get to work convincing everyone else they’re just odd looking turkeys. And tomorrow we’ll help you sort out a better fence.”