I do not know what I am going to do with that man. I know I have said that before, but this time he has truly lost his marbles.
Do you remember I told you about my Christmas gift – that sweet little partridge and the lovely pear tree? Well, I told all the guests at Emma Woodhouse’s dinner about it – I was the envy of the town. The next day I was going to sit right down and spend the whole day learning the proper care of a partridge; I was, that is, until there came a knock at the door. Imagine my surprise when the deliveryman handed me yet another partridge and its own pear tree. I know some pets fare better with a companion so I assumed that is what this was and had just been delayed (oh I don’t know what delays a partridge, maybe it was finishing its taxes.) But then the deliveryman hands me a second crate in which there were two doves. They are lovely things; turtledoves, if my ornithological encyclopedia is correct. So I had 4 birds now and still no bird knowledge. They were odd gifts but at least they weren’t yet another subscription to Crewel Monthly Newsletter.
But they didn’t stop there:
The next day brought another partridge, 2 more turtledoves and this time three beautiful hens with serious attitudes. I put the hens in the barn at once since Thornfield’s bird quota had long since been filled and those petulant things marched right back into the manor and demanded coffee. Just as it looked like it would be chicken for dinner, the next day brought more fowl and 4 calling birds.
To date I have 8 partridges with pear trees which, by the way, do not grow well either inside or winter, 14 turtledoves, 18 French hens, 20 calling birds, 18 geese who cannot contain their reproduction and 14 swans trying to turn my guest bath into their own personal Piscine Molitor.
(I also have about 20 gold rings but those I am quite fond of.)
Thornfield is a mess; you can’t go 2 feet without something swooping down and scaring the tarnation out of you. Mrs. Fairfax seems to have a turtledove permanently tangled in her bun – I can’t figure out if it is the same one or they are just lining up waiting for a vacancy. There are geese running about, squawking at volumes I didn’t know possible and woe betide if you are walking behind one that decides to drop and lay yet ANOTHER egg in your path; I have just about broken my neck tripping over one of those things. At any given moment, there is a risk of being run down by one of the household staff escaping a pursuing swan. The hens have set up an impromptu bistro in the drawing room where they sit about smoking and insulting my drapery (I told Cook I will lock her in the pantry if she sends out one more plate of pastries to them but she has such an ego and they keep sending them back half-eaten with their notes.) However, honestly, it’s the calling birds that have me in the worst state. I have 20 of them flying about to every corner of the manor looking for the others. And once they find each other, they nod and fly to another corner. I know they don’t understand the King’s English but I can’t help but yell at them, “She’s right there! You can see her sitting there on the railing. Why do you keep calling her? Go over and talk to her, you fool!”
I won’t fib, I have inquired as to the location of Mr. Rochester’s gun closet’s key more than once.
Oh for pity’s sake! That twit Grace Poole just opened the door’s bell again – will she ever follow a simple set of instructions? What is she leading in to the foyer? Are those cows? Do I see cows walking on my Tabriz hall runner? Oh, I am going to need the salts for certai… who are those women? Who invited these milkmaids over? What are these trollops doing making themselves at home in my sun room? WHY ARE THERE CATTLE AND TROLLOPS IN THORNFIELD?
Those gold rings used to be Mr. Rochester’s saving grace… now it looks as though they will be my defense fund. Please excuse me; I need to go see to thi…
Oh in the name of all things Holy – SHE’S RIGHT THERE! Do I need to pick you up and carry you to her? Stupid bird…