All right, I'll be the sucker, what is all this about the Giraffe?

In July 2002 a giraffe entered the Village entirely of its own volition as far as anyone has ever established, and after a little while Beetle enquired

Please, could you (would you!) explain how that giraffe got into the Lundy? And how are we going to get it out again?

The Firedrake responded:

Depends. Do you want it still to be in working order, or would giraffe steaks suffice?

but ppint was more forthcoming:

- i can relate as to how; but that's the easy bit of your enquiry:
- i'd come to the lundy out of opening hours, between the end of lunch and the start of supper times, to look at a volume some slightly misguided, but evidently well-intended fan of the bb's had sent her (iiuc), in an understandable confusion should he (i presume) have gone purely by its title; Hudson at Bay. which is in fact an account of the early days of the Hudson's Bay Trading Company, and nothing whatsoever to do with any particular known Hudson of the, or any, canine variety and, after inspecting the said tome and confirming that it did at least appear to be genuine, and therefore of great historical interest, and a volume therefore potentially of collectable - and even auctionable - value, despite the poor condition of its binding, attempted to leave by the great front doors to the courtyard of the lundy: it being by then about time for the bb to open up the shop and my being headed out, it seemed sensible for me to offer to open one half of the great doors that lead into the old coaching yard, that is now part public bar overflow, and part stout wooden garden-table-furnished for the al-fresco enjoyment of meals, it being a pleasant summer's evening.
- i couldn't.
- after several minutes spent first trying & re-trying, and then puzzling out the massive hinges' workings, to reassure myself that the doors did indeed open outward as i remembered, and not inwards, presumably to leave more clear space within the courtyard for its former & original operations, i returned in through the back - well, side, really - door & passed through the public and lounge bars, calling out to the bb that it was only me again, to the great single front door which is, as you may recall when you stopped to think about it, all of eight-nine feet high, and wide enough for a woman in crinoline to pass through without disturbing her attire, having first of all called out to whoever the stranger outside blocking the courtyard doors might be to move out of the way, but having received no reply. i did then shout out that i would go and open up the front door, and see whether i could help them - but didn't await any possible reply to this. and when i came to unlock the front door, initially i couldn't open that. either; though this door opens inwards, as is commonly the case with house doors, there appeared to be a heavy weight against it, causing the lock to jam.
- i called the bb, and together we were able to push the great door more firmly closed, enough so that the old lock would turn, whereupon a substantial portion of a giraffe fell in through it, into the entrance vestibule, and on into the lounge, where its head had knocked open the door that must have been just ajar, and not firmly closed.
- it not being possible to see very clearly out thro' the main door, i went back around to the courtyard doors, which now opened easily, and was able to ascertain that, insofar as i am any judge in such matters, there did indeed appear to be the rest of the giraffe outside the lundy.
- the bb requested my aid in removing this unexpected giraffe from her front vestibule, so i walked back around and attempted to push the seemingly unconscious beast back out; alas, its head, neck & fore-quarters were so configured that the best i could manage was to fold the head and neck up out of the lounge; the various appendages and limbs stuck out sufficiently far, to foul against the inward-opening doors, making it impossible to expel the unconscious beast in this manner.
- it being some thirty minutes after this curious affair had commenced, and with the imminent prospect of the arrival of summer customers expecting to be able to enter by the front doorway, and to enjoy the lundy's excellent evening fare unaccompanied by a giraffe, i then suggested to the bb that i attempt to manoeuvre the beast inwards, instead of out, to leave him, her or it - i hadn't inspected - in the middle of the largest downstairs room in the inn, which fortunately is the uncarpeted, stone-flagged public bar, where local customers could be relied upon to not ill treat it (or so i thought) - if, indeed, they noticed and gave much thought to it at all.
- so, an amount of heaving and shoving later, we had a cleared, cleaned and tidied entrance vestibule, a cleared lounge doorway with very slightly dented, and slightly scratched door, one exhausted bookseller, a little bit shell-shocked - you'll have to ask the bb what state she was in, as customers started arriving then, and i don't believe their meals were noticeably delayed, and a warm - heart still-beating; you can check - giraffe in the middle of the public bar.
- i don't know whose it is; i suppose it could be its own animal, though it does show some sign of having borne a saddle at some recent stage in its past.
- so that is how.
- but as to why, there i fear i cannot help you.

Jackie suggested that if we wished to lure it out of the bar that ought to be possible

As for the giraffe, just hang some tasty greenery about what ever height the giraffe's head is just in view of the dragon entrance and leave the door open a while.
Voila, no more giraffe in pub, but there's now a giraffe in the garden.

The Firedrake remarked

If the wiggies have managed to drag it outside yet, perhaps we should feed it some trouser-stiffener and see whether that revives it...

but Sandriana, The Singing Squid, demurred:

Before doing that, do you think we should see if it fits the Izzard definition of an Evil Giraffe? IE ...steals all the best bits of greenery, evil loping walk, talks like James Mason...

to which Rafe Culpin responded

Since giraffes can't talk at all, it may be an innocent visitor to the village overcome by the heat and in search of a reviving TS at the Lundy - but unable to communicate this.

ppint further explained

- ah, but draco nobilis is rather more intelligent than your average giraffe, and considerably more supple also; and whilst i'm tolerably sure that a dragon would - normally - check his (or her) current form before attempting to enter a door, hall, corridor or gateway, or any other entranceway into a building, i'm not at all sure that it was the giraffe that was actually trying to: from the way that his (? her - ? its?) head dented and scratched the lundy's lounge bar door, this was travelling fairly fast at the time, as though the body started to fall in through the doorway before most of its neck, and head - we were rather lucky it missed us, on its way in...
but i could be mistaken; it's rather hard to estimate the intelligence of an unconscious giraffe.

In November of the same year Diem wished to hold a BBQ, but it was raining, and Firedrake R suggested

where's that giraffe got to? All we need is that and lots of tarpaulin, and we've got an instant tent...

but ppint confessed himself baffled

- the giraffe ? - i dunno; isn't it still where - no, you're right, it wasn't in the middle of the lundy's public bar, last time i looked in; or if it was, it was hiding. maybe it's in the toilets - did anyone happen to notice whether it was a male or a female giraffe, when we wrangled it out of the doorway vestibule, and into the bar ?
- and did anyone - including itself - ever admit to being responsible for it ?

to which Beetle responded

Oh good grief. Only in Abthite, I tell you, only in Abthite. Where else would an entire village full of denizens simply mislay a giraffe??

and John Tierney, the Sexton, solved the question

Er, sorry. Hieronymous has joined my merry band of fruit juice distributors (and finders!) I will ask him if he will do the honours.

So that is all you need to know about the giraffe; possibly rather more than you thought you needed to know.

Barmaid, could we have a TS all round please? All this writing is thirsty work, and all this reading must surely be so as well.

Why is it called The Lundqvist Arms?
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Last updated: Sat, 15 Jul 2006 22:11:23 +0100