Next up is Mrs Dolittle's column. As you can probably guess from her pseudonym, Mrs Dolittle talks to the animals. Not for her, however, the time-honoured tradition of talking to an animal by vocalising speech sounds, waiting for it to meow, bark or squeak, and then cooing "oh, he thinks he's people!" No, Mrs Dolittle communicates with animals psychically. She meditates quietly and tunes into what animals are thinking. She goes into a trance to tap into your pet’s thought processes. She brain-rapes them, essentially. Let's not sugarcoat this.
This month, Mrs Dolittle is forcibly inserting her mind into a hen.
Or rather, several hens, starting with Henry who tells Mrs D about how wonderful it is to submit to her partner, the cockerel Bertie (who , Mrs D notes with with stunning insight, 'is rather cocky'). 'The hens accepted that their cockerel was the boss,' she says admiringly.
She moves on to a broody hen, Francine, sitting on a clutch of eggs, who has a 'feeling of relaxed purpose’. Mrs Dolittle asks her if she’s bored and gets the reply ‘Not boring at all. Youngster to hatch, very important.’ So charmed is Mrs D by this ‘wonderful experience’, she tells us she will communicate with her whenever she is stressed.
Through Mrs Dolittle, C:IF is promoting its sly anti-feminist agenda that women should submit to their men and will never be happier than when fulfilling their maternal duties. C:IF wants us barefoot and pregnant and chained to the wall of the barn.
Ignoring this misogyny, I pressed on. There is a lack of chickens in south London so I chose to commune with an animal more commonly found here: a squirrel. Specifically, Ceiling Squirrel, who lives in our loft and likes to scrabble around noisily in the evenings.
Earlier this evening, I sat back on the sofa, closed my eyes, and waited. Sure enough, within minutes there was a tell-tale pattering and thumping overhead. 'Hello?' I thought very hard. 'HELLO?' Nothing. I wondered if Ceiling Squirrel had heard me and was translating my thoughts into Squirrelese and forming a response. This could be slow. This could be like using chat rooms on a dial-up connection in 1995. From up above, nothing but the sound of tiny paws scuttling around. Thump. Bang. Clamber, scramble, tumble, CRASH.
'I wish you would be quiet, Ceiling Squirrel!' I thought loudly.
And suddenly, Ceiling Squirrel came though. 'No, you don't,' he psychically replied, 'because that would mean I was dead. Then you'd have to deal with my stinking rotten corpse. FUCK YOU. I’m going to fuck shit up in here until the end of your tenancy.'
I ended the connection. No-one needs a squirrel cursing directly into their brain. Some people may see this exchange as me projecting my thoughts about our loft-dwelling pest. I assure you, it is not. Ceiling Squirrel spoke to me. There is no real evidence for this, but it is a fact.
I need to tell the landlord about the You Know
What in the You Know Where. (Shh. He can hear you.)