Tuesday, May 29, 2007

One-Eyed Riley

The bantam cockerel is a little better, thank you. I wouldn't describe him as 100% fit but he's eating, drinking and clucking a bit - all signs of 'the will to live'. He definitely has a 'good side' from which all photographs will be taken in the future.

I've consulted both my brother ('poultry keeper extraordinaire') and the local vet. Both advise keeping an eye on him. (An unfortunate choice of words given the circumstances.) I would have liked some Treatment; to be doing or applying something - cream, ointment, eye-patch, anything, but apparently Nothing is the best course of action.

Anyway, as I was leaning over the pen, studying his plight I found myself humming 'To-ri-ooly to-ri-iley, what's the matter with One-Eyed Riley?' There must be some rubbish sloshing around in the deepest recesses of my brain for that combination of words to surface apropos of very little. It's a song.....a folk song??

Gradually over the last couple of days more words have surfaced and I can now sing a whole verse - which I won't bore you with - they are pretty dull. I have vague memories of learning this ditty at school. It niggled. I Googled. The words which swam before my eyes were not the words I hummed. They are not words for polite society or schoolgirls. Burly rugby players in baths and bars more like.

A little more research revealed that the song I learned figures in the first act of T.S. Eliot's The Cocktail Party. The play was an 'A' Level set text in 1970 and a book I slammed shut in June of that year vowing never to re-open it. I remembered sufficient to scrape through the 'modern' part of the English exam and then consigned it along with logarithms, algebra and 'Major Barbara' to some cerebral wasteland. Has it come back to haunt me? Will Bernard Shaw and EM Forster be along to rattle my cage next?

Suffice to say the cockerel now has a name: One-Eyed Riley. Bless.

4 comments:

Cait O'Connor said...

Funny story. I thought tur a lura lura (spelt all wrong) was an Irish lullaby of sorts?
Caitx

mutterings and meanderings said...

So pleased One Eyed Riley is a fighter. May he live to fertilise many, many more ...

Pondside said...

One Eyed Riley sounds like a feisty type of guy - a scrapper like the underdog-hero in a 40's movie. Great name!
Thanks very much for your thoughtful words yesterday.

lady macleod said...

good to hear your chick is better.