Thursday, 2 December 2010


Dec 25

My dearest darling Edward,

What a wonderful surprise has just greeted me! That

sweet partridge, in that lovely little pear-tree; what

an enchanting, romantic, poetic present! Bless you, and

thank you.

Your deeply loving


Dec 26

Beloved Edward,

The two turtle-doves arrived this morning, and are cooing

away in the pear-tree as I write. I'm so touched and grateful!

With undying love, as always,


Dec 27

My darling Edward,

You do think of the most original presents! Who ever

thought of sending anybody three French hens? Do they

really come all the way from France? It's a pity we have

no chicken coops, but I expect we'll find some. Anyway,

thank you so much; they're lovely.

Your devoted Emily.

Dec 28

Dearest Edward,

What a surprise! Four calling birds arrived this morning.

They are very sweet, even if they do call rather loudly -

they make telephoning almost impossible - but I expect they'll

calm down when they get used to their new home. Anyway, I'm

very grateful, of course I am.

Love from Emily.

Dec 29

Dearest Edward,

The mailman has just delivered five most beautiful gold

rings, one for each finger, and all fitting perfectly!

A really lovely present! Lovelier, in a way, than birds,

which do take rather a lot of looking after. The four that

arrived yesterday are still making a terrible row, and I'm

afraid none of us got much sleep last night. Mother says

she wants to use the rings to "wring" their necks. Mother

has such a sense of humour. This time she's only joking,

I think, but I do know what she means. Still, I love the rings.

Bless you,


Dec 30

Dear Edward,

Whatever I expected to find when I opened the front door

this morning, it certainly wasn't six socking great geese

laying eggs all over the porch. Frankly, I rather hoped

that you had stopped sending me birds. We have no room

for them, and they've already ruined the croquet lawn.

I know you meant well, but let's call a halt, shall we?



Dec 31


I thought I said NO MORE BIRDS. This morning I woke

up to find no more than seven swans, all trying to get

into our tiny goldfish pond. I'd rather not think what's

happened to the goldfish. The whole house seems to be

full of birds, to say nothing of what they leave behind

them, so please, please, stop!

Your Emily.

Jan 1

Frankly, I prefer the birds. What am I to do with eight?

milkmaids? And their cows! Is this some kind of a joke?

If so, I'm afraid I don't find it very amusing.


Jan 2

Look here, Edward,

This has gone far enough. You say you're sending me

nine ladies dancing. All I can say is, judging from the

way they dance, they're certainly not ladies. The village

just isn't accustomed to seeing a regiment of shameless

viragos, with nothing on but their lipstick, cavorting

round the green, and it's Mother and I who get the blame.

If you value our friendship, which I do (less and less),

kindly stop this ridiculous behaviour at once!


Jan 3

As I write this letter, ten disgusting old men are

prancing up and down all over what used to be the garden,

before the geese and the swans and the cows got at it.

And several of them, I have just noticed, are taking

inexcusable liberties with the milkmaids. Meanwhile the

neighbours are trying to have us evicted. I shall never

speak to you again.


Jan 4

This is the last straw! You know I detest bagpipes!

The place has now become something between a menagerie

and a madhouse, and a man from the council has just

declared it unfit for habitation. At least Mother has

been spared this last outrage; they took her away yesterday

afternoon in an ambulance.

00 I hope you're satisfied.

Jan 5


Our client, Miss Emily Wilbraham, instructs me to

inform you that with the arrival on her premises at 7:30

this morning of the entire percussion section of the

Boston Symphony Orchestra, and several of their friends,

she has no course left open to her but to seek an injunction

to prevent you importuning her further. I am making

arrangements for the return of much assorted livestock.

I am, Sir, yours faithfully,

G. Creep

Attorney at law.