The Odd Bird (by Fonzo Bunting)

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She is an odd sort of a woman. She claims to be romantically involved with eccentricities such as sipping books and reading cups of tea. Who ever heard of such preposterous things. Lord knows I wouldn’t want to associate with her ilk lest I chance upon her making love to a kettle or serenading a garden hose.

When invited to one of her cheese-cake and apple-pie gatherings, I obliged merely out of propriety. Good luck is said to befall those of us who indulge the whims of a single woman, even such a one who bets her afternoons on the untested temperaments of newly formed acquaintances.

I maintain a safe distance from her person at all times and attempt to blend in with the furniture. If I feel her eyes upon me, I tilt my head in a perfunctory nod and feign a smile. She spins her hours away with doodles of birds and herring-bone-stitch panels, things that wouldn’t fetch a dime in the local market. Yet she carries on as if nothing is the matter and she belongs here as much as I do. She most certainly does not. Her air of nonchalance and ongoing bohemy with the other womenfolk seem to convey to me that she considers herself a worthy member of this neighbourhood, almost as good as me, nay even better, as is also evinced by her disregard for the refinements that usually accompany a lady of these parts.

How could the output of a noble college professor be compared to the fecundity of thread-work and art that a child could produce if let loose with charcoal sticks and a blank sheet of canvas. The delectability of her cakes and the crispness of her tongue are not sufficient to assure me of her sanity.

I shall be on my guard.”

Mr. Fonzo Bunting. (Professor of English at the Royal Academy of Letters.)

7th Dec. 1955.