by Greg Duncan
Marmoney (hot water, marmite and
They sat patiently on the wall, eyeing the people passing by. The two of them often sat there in the sun as if they owned the place. Theirs had been a very rough and traumatic upbringing. They had not known their father and then just as they were beginning to understand the world, their mother disappeared. She just left one day and never came back.
For this pair, there was no social safety net; no relations to shoulder the burden of helping them. They had to learn to fend for themselves and learn fast. Being two of them, they helped each other and soon found how to survive in this challenging world.
Their life revolved around begging for food but often people would either turn away or try to frighten them. Nobody really seemed to care. Some sanctimonious parents thought it was quaint or educational to let their children feed them but the pair did not adopt any form of false pride; survival dictated they accept whatever they were given.
It appeared as if over time they developed a keen sense of opportunity. Although it was not possible to make out what they were saying to each other, you could see the pair would look at each passing person and assess if they could be a target and a possible source of food. One could almost hear them say: "Look at that couple, the one with the small child. Let's wait to see if they have anything of interest." And if the people had food then off the pair would go. With no warning they would swoop down, grab the fish and chips in their beaks, flick their wings with force and fly out to sea to consume their ill gotten gains leaving their victims cursing at the local gulls.
About the author
Greg Duncan lives in Dorset, England