Monday, June 3

Death of a Clergyman

Webbeforum Parchement discussion for all committee members of the Listershire Annual Fowle Reporte:

Potential inclusion of Obituary for the Reverend Bandwell Fumblefinch


As you will be aware, publication of the latest Annual Fowle Report draws near and yet we are still traipsing around for articles. Our tactic over the past few Reportes, to pad out with more and more obituaries, has paid dividends thus far thanks to our ageing membership (so much so that our executive intends to mimic the Northern Marshes and introduce an Obituaries webbe-page to our Society's ether-site). However, it cannot be long until someone spots the reduction in matters ornithological therein. Indeed Doctor Walter Cressbeds, writing in this month's TUKOGBANI Birds, has talked of the growing "grey literature ghetto of local fowle reports".

By coincidence, I had just looked again at articles received, in relation to a request from one K.T.Baptist to accept that Fumblefinch, following his mysterious disappearance, is no longer with us. To me, the Reverend merits inclusion, and of course if we do later discover this to be premature on our part, we can always use up space in the ever popular and most humorous errata section. However, we may already be top-heavy in the 'those that have left us' element for this issue. As a reminder, the present list of articles accepted for publication reads as follows:

1) An Obituary: Horace B'stard-Luvchild
(favourite gamekeeper of Lord George Ash-coloured-Arrier, Horace's link to the county being his mother, once maid to the Lord, who had to move for reasons unknown away to this county shortly after Horace's birth where upon arrival she changed her name and opened a chain of pie shoppes.)

2) An Obituary: Captain Robert Merlyn Puggewashe
(born and birdered in the county until he moved away to school at the age of three. A contemporary of Franklin, Ross and Sabine in the quest for the North-West passage. This obituary carries an account most moving of his party's shipwreck and subsequent deprivations, starvations and ultimate descent into madness and cannibalism on the remote Isle of Porteland)

and how fortunate to have two for the price of one(!):-
3) An Obituary: Doctor Ffobres Ffynche-Splittah
(the childhood friend of Puggewashe and ship's naturalist for the ill-fated voyage on the Suppressed Discovery, chosen for his theoretical work upon 'Northwestern Passage Redpolles' but instead to be the discoverer of the Greenland Arctic Siskin, the Hoary Siskin, the Mealy Siskin, the Icelandic Siskin, the Greenland but-not-Arctic Siskin and the Lesser Siskin. However, shortly after being severely flummoxed by a hybrid swarm of Kumlein's and Thayer's Seagulls, the nigh-moribund Doctor was pecked to death by a cloud of 1,000 Spotted Flycatchers)

4) An Actual Article: Azure Tytte in Little Ticking: a new species for Listershire (Geo. Bristow).

5) An Obituary: Galileo Gallinago
(the Italian scientist who lived in Listershire for all of ten days of a fortnight's holiday once, famous for his proving that rarity acceptance always revolves around the level of prior chumminess of any claimant with the relevant committee)

6) An Actual Article: Does the Ostriche show inter-specific and intraspecific variation in vigilance, management of predation risk and development of anti-predation behaviour in Listershire? A short review. (Doctor Walter Cressbeds)
(to save fellow committee members concerning themselves with such matters by actually reading it, the abstract result was: No:- it does not, as there are none present in Listershire)

7) An Obituary: Gregory Gobshytte
(commoner of the county, but one that actually bothered to send us a list of his sightings from an afternoon's stroll among Listershire hedgerows once, the 27 species detailed therein making him the second-highest contributor to our files in that particular year)


I must now ask you, by return, to vote on whether Reverend Fumblefinch should be declared dead to this Ornithological Society, and whether we should include his obituary in our next Reporte.

Samuel Peeps-Stints

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The tombstone of nearly-departed Maffew Smyff, ornithologist and doctor who will be missed