Now - I fondly remember Disney's Jiminy Cricket and hadn't realised that The Tales of Pinocchio were actually written in 1883. Had you? Thank goodness for Wiki. The Mazzanti illustrations aren't quite that of the round faced friendly green cricket that we've come to know and love.
Fortunately when I went back to check on him an hour later, he'd merrily hopped off.
Now. There are times, usually when I'm recounting these random tales to my colleagues, when it feels as though I inhabit Gerald Durrell's world. I never know whether it's a case of us truly being surrounded by a fantastic menagerie, or if it's just that others don't notice. We don't live in the heart of the countryside, but we are fortunate enough to back onto the gardens of some larger houses who, in turn, back onto the grounds of some even larger houses. A faraway tree is a plot away and appears to provide a home to owls, magpies, crows, blackbirds, woodpeckers and numerous other critters. Mr M has stumbled across deer on the way back from the gym - neighbours have them trundle through their gardens, and Miss P's tick issue a while ago (her new anti-tick collar is AMAZING!) proved that point. We've not yet come across the grass snakes or adders that apparently enjoy the gardens of the houses opposite us, but we are used to rehoming toads. Miss P and the mousetraps in the garage help with the small rodents that scurry about. And, I must confess that there are times when I want to throttle the machine gun squawking of the parakeets - similar in pitch to the piercing scream of a car alarm. Maybe it is just us, but I wouldn't change it for the world.