This and the greeny-white splodges . . .
Lucky it wasn't a first edition but sadly a historic book, however. When I went to examine the debris further, I discovered my 'birth plan' - that we had taken in the misguided theory that it would be used - to the hospital on the night of 17.1. 2008. This - above - was the book that Mark had been carrying about with him that evening (containing the plan), thinking he might do a spot of reading between contractions, presumably. The book had got lost in that weird, time-warped parallel universe of the Birmingham maternity ward, along with the cheese and pickle sandwiches, incense, opera/Indian music CD's, water sprays and all the other well-thought out accessories to a happy, pain free natural experience. Ha.
The only thing that went according to 'plan' was the staff presenting us with a Tupperware lunch box containing the placenta after all the excitement had died down. Well, I hadn't stated Tupperware, but someone had obviously removed their salad or whatever and replaced it with . . . part of me.
So much for the water birth, the music, the non-intervention etc, etc. Sorry I digress from the parrot story somewhat. But perhaps without the book-destroying beast I never would have found the plan, (also largely eaten).
I used to keep budgies when I was a child; they too were masters of book-munching. All of my favourite paperbacks of that time, mostly Gerald Durrell, had an interesting serrated edge to them.
In case you might be wondering what happened to the contents of the box . . . Mark heroically planted it under a crab apple tree at three in the morning in our front garden.
I understand that some people have a party, cook the 'thing' and serve it up, perhaps with some fava beans and a nice Chianti? phe phe phe . . .