That’s amore than I’d hoped for

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All is now well in the world. The world of quails, that is. And to be more specific, the Shoogly Towers quail – poor elderly Joan who suddenly found herself alone after the timely demise of Darby, her elderly, male companion.

As a friend’s septuagenarian grandmother remarked, shortly after the demise – which I suspect was timely in her eyes, as she always spoke of her marriage in practical terms, like a job or task that had to be done – of her husband: “It’s come to this, then. I’m one the widows of Hyndford Street, meeting up for a coffee and Scrabble every week.”

Poor Joan, being a quail, didn’t have the option of coffee or Scrabble, just wandering about an empty pen, going to the same corner hour after hour to call for Darby from the last place she had seen him.

What total love and devotion!

The Romeo and Juliet of the coop!

Anyhoo, I had appealed through the pages of this esteemed organ to see if anyone had an elderly, replacement Darby and could find it in their hearts to sell him to us, or to take Joan to join him in a love nest.

The response was underwhelming. Tumbleweed. Distant monastery bell. Camera pans out on a polar bear, head down, battling through a snowstorm in the white wilderness. Lillian Gish alone in the tiny dustbowl cabin, getting battered by the insanity-inducing wind raging across the barren prairie. You get the picture.

I was beginning to lose hope.

Then, suddenly, a rescuer arrived! No white charger required, just a phone charger. Joan’s saviour came via a Facebook page on my phone.

It’s a closed group, but they let me join, so there’s hope for all of us.

It’s a great page, called Poultry in the Scottish Borders. It’s a brilliant group of friendly, helpful folk that concerns itself with just that – poultry in the Scottish Borders. Fantabulous. Do join if you are a) into poultry, and b) live in tbe Borders.

I happened upon a post (get me, I’m down wiv da kidz) from the Lovely Louise who had a large flock and had been selling eggs, but was now downsizing her poultry habit back down to a manageable hobby level.

The reason for this change of heart? She kept the eggs and honesty box in her porch, and some thieving toad had taken all her eggs and her money.

Did she have any quail amongst her downsize-ees? Yes, she did. Were they elderly? Not quite vintage, but not at the awkward teenage stage, either.

Off we went, and a few pounds lighter and a few minutes later (the Lovely Louise was very local), we had our new Darby in a shoebox in the car.

He is an Italian quail, so slightly smaller and a different colour to Joan.

But being Italian he should be genetically programmed for romance. And they do say love is blind.