Spiral Notebook: Fancy a bite to eat?
Somewhere in the lower field, a cockroach crowed.
Murray yawned. It was a short step from his bed to the kitchen which overlooked the lower field.
He was drowsy but he was brought to wakefulness by the attentions of Rex and Felixia.
Rex would leap upon the bed, lick Murray's face and indicate his eagerness for breakfast.
Felixia was more sly. She would find an aperture in the covers and slide in, clawing her master's leg until he could bear the pain no longer.
Then again Felixia was feisty for a naked mole rat and her frequent duels with Rex made her crabby.
While the elephant bacon sizzled on the griddle and the ducklings bubbled in the pan, Murray stared at the sunrise. There was work to do.
His herd of horses, muck spattered but docile in the barn, were heavy with milk. He had separated out the foals only a week earlier and he reckoned that at market he could fetch a tidy sum, such was the metropolitan craze for foal fettucine.
Rex scratched at the back door. He was a working skunk, loving the challenge of rounding up the meat cats that spent the night in the upper field.
In fact Rex had won rosettes at the county show where he had commanded the arena. Murray himself was a mean wrangler of badger, riding his stag with a mix of dexterity and violence.
He loved the show - the duck baiting, pin the club on the seal, the monkey shy, the cow dressage.
Puppy hunting was banned now, of course, but the local meet slipped through a loophole, smearing a fox in puppy grease and chasing that instead. Everybody hates those finger-lickin' vermin.
Murray decanted rhino horn from its tortoise housing onto his rabbit blood pudding. He needed a quick libido boost ahead of his big dinner date with Molly that night. Molly would have no truck with his usual diet.
She was a raregan, only eating animals from the IUCN Red List Of Threatened Species.
Her inexplicable faddiness ruled out his usual dating fall-back: peacock and ham soup, cocker vin with dolphin potatoes, followed by instant whippet.
So now he had been forced to ask George to see if he could land him a couple of tiger/prawns - she loved that surf and turf combo. Maybe a mild chinchilla con carne or something otter. Not PoodleTM.
She didn't drink alcohol so it would be washed down with a nice Oranu-Tango or sparkling Terrier water. Then koala coffee and marzipanda snaps by the open fire.
She was a devil to cook for, all those fads and emotions.
The things we eat and don't eat, laughed Murray to himself, mugging a meerket for its shoulder meat. Made no sense. There ought to be a system.