Things that go bump


By Jos Biggs

IT WASN’T so much a bump as a Skribumsch.

I had only just closed my eyes; I opened them again so as to be better able to hear but all was silent. Must be the wind rattling a shutter, I thought, and resumed my pursuit of sleep just as Sheep 26 scampered out of view of my mind’s eye.

During the wee small hours I awoke. I thought I had heard Skribumsch, but if it was a ghost, then it was a one-Skribumsch ghost. Silence reigned, so I sank back into the slumber of the blameless.

In the slightly larger small hours I woke again – Skribumsch! I tutted sleepily and heaved myself out of bed to close the bedroom door.

I know that ghosts are supposed to be able to walk through doors, but I thought that a closed door might give it something to do as well as making it plain to it that it was not welcome in the bedroom.

Normally the bedroom door remains open, and all animals on trust not to disturb the hallowed sleep of the humans. However, Her Royal Highness Sayyida al Hurra, Queen of the Mediterranean, has decided that first light is the time for all humans to be out of bed and serving cat breakfast.

I shut the door securely, thus excluding all ghosts and 4 legged interlopers and returned to my slumbers.

Skribumsch! Was it a ghost that couldn’t take a hint or was it a cat without a conscience? I favoured a cat, cartwheeling against the door. Although Her Royal Highness’s behaviour is normally so aloof as to make Queen Victoria look chummy, she does like to jump up at closed doors then perform a cartwheel in mid-air before landing back on her feet – I’m not aware that Queen Victoria ever listed this as one of her preferred pleasures!

I slid out of bed and opened the bedroom door to give her a piece of my mind, when another Shribumsch diverted my attention to the wardrobe! I sidetracked, opened the wardrobe, and there! From within my summer tops out flowed Her Royal Highness Sayyida al Hurra, Queen of the Mediterranean!She sashayed past me, all sleek black fur and dignity, but on her way to the door she paused, waved her tail in a most regal manner and looked back at me withher citrus green eyes full of rebuke. ‘About time, too.’ She said as she glided past me to her breakfast place in the kitchen.