Saturday, 21 March 2009

All Creatures Great and Small

Cornflower has been discussing comfort reads and asked for suggestions. Recently I've been listening to audio tapes of James Herriot's All Creatures Great and Small, read by Christopher Timothy who played Jim in the original TV series. It's absolutely wonderful and very funny, if you don't mind a bit of graphic veterinary description. Life was hard work, but simpler and gentler with straight forward values in those days, it seems.

To make you laugh, here's a story of modern Yorkshire animal life -
My friend Antonia has a keen hunting cat called Monty. Early one morning Monty arrives in her bedroom to present her with a live fieldmouse just as she's leaving for the station. ‘No thanks, kind thought,' says Antonia. Monty drops the mouse, loses it, prowls around, then pats insistently at Antonia’s trousers, unwilling to leave her alone. Short of time, she ignores him, drives to the station, parks her car and gets on the small local train, waiting for it to depart from the terminus.
But sitting in the carriage she’s uneasy. There’s a strange tickly scrabble around her legs in their thick tights. Slowly an unpleasant truth dawns on her. Monty’s mouse must have hidden in her trousers and - horror - it’s still there! Antonia leaps out on to the platform and jumps wildly around. Fortunately the mouse drops out and disappears. Presumably it didn’t want to go to Leeds after all.


Jan Jones said...

Oh, that's so funny! Much, much funnier than when my cats lost a live mouse and it turned out to have hidden itself in my shoe.

Nan said...

That's a wonderful story! And I dearly, dearly love the Herriot stories. I'd like to have lived then and there. Have you read the biography by his son? It is sitting on my shelf waiting for me.

JJ Beattie said...

Brilliant story. I love love love the James Herriot books. Having read them all several times, I left them in boxes in my roof in the UK when I moved to Bangkok. After I had been here several months, I had to go out and buy them again because I just can't bear not to have them to dip into. Perfect comfort reading.

Susie Vereker said...

Thanks for your comments. Shall look out for the Herriot biog, Nan.